Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
CCAS is committed to fostering an environment that is inclusive of all groups and to elevating diverse voices, especially Arab world perspectives, through our curriculum, events and programming. We work with colleagues in other departments and programs, as well as with a variety of institutions in the Washington D.C. area, to organize events and educational opportunities that provide diverse viewpoints. At CCAS, we approach admissions through a holistic approach, cognizant that the diverse experiences and backgrounds of our students is one of our greatest strengths.
Following events in the United States and around the globe in the summer of 2020, the CCAS community also publicly addressed its “Commitment to Combat Racism“. As articulated in this statement, CCAS re-committed to adopting policies within our academic program, as well as through our engagement beyond Georgetown, that proactively address the systemic barriers that have at times excluded marginalized groups from our program, school, and the broader field of Middle East Studies. As part of CCAS’ commitment to amplifying race and racism in the region, CCAS launched a new course in spring 2021: Race and Ethnicity in the Middle East and North Africa. CCAS faculty also participated in a process of syllabi and curricula review to identify areas for improvement in diversity, equity, and inclusion in content and in the classroom. This work has also been informed by the efforts of the SFS Faculty Council Global Anti-Racism Committee as well as the SFS DEI office. With colleagues in the African Studies program, CCAS also organized a lecture series on Race and Racism in Africa and the Middle East for the academic year 2020-21.
In the summer of 2020, CCAS also formed a Racial Justice Task Force with a mission of “honestly confronting racism, especially anti-Blackness.” This taskforce of students, faculty, and staff seek to do this by “confronting racism in the Middle East and the study of the Middle East, while also building racial justice and equality within the Center so that we can create an equitable environment for all who come to Georgetown University in pursuit of knowledge about the region.” Faculty, staff, and students on CCAS’ Racial Justice Task Force (RJTF) research, plan, and implement measures aimed at creating a more inclusive environment. The RJTF is divided into four subcommittees: Social and Events, Recruitment, Community Accountability and Culture, and Curriculum and Syllabi. CCAS has also hired two students as DEI assistants. Some recent and ongoing initiatives developed by the task force include conducting a community climate survey and implicit bias training, organizing events such as a Black History Month movie night, and facilitating discussions about community norms and commitments.