WLU Press Statement on Congress 2021
Wilfrid Laurier University Press has decided to withdraw from participation as an exhibitor at Congress this year. We support the decision to withdraw made by the Black Canadian Studies Association (BCSA) and share their frustration with the response of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences regarding anti-Black racism and systemic inequities within the scholarly infrastructure it administers, as expressed in the BCSA statements of 9 and 20 February 2021. We support their demand for increased accountability.
Further, we embrace the call to address anti-Black racism and decolonization in our own professional practices. We take seriously the responsibilities of a university press in advancing the work of anti-racist reform. We will continue conversations among our staff, and with our editorial board and our institutional partners, regarding the development of an inclusive scholarly publishing practice at WLU Press. These efforts will include ongoing attention to building our list and series, our research and mentorship activities, and our marketing and promotions efforts. We will also attend to our hiring practices, the composition of our editorial board, and the nature of our professional community service, to ensure we demonstrate our shared commitment to social justice.
We look forward to the imminent release of the Federation’s Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonization Committee report and recommendations, and we acknowledge the efforts of those Black, Indigenous, and racialized scholars working for change from within. We call on the Federation to undertake the necessary work of building a more just and equitable future. We hope that dedicated, inclusive public dialogue will offer ways for us to address systemic inequities together.
For any enquiries, contact Lisa Quinn, Director.