Friday, September 13, 2019

#RaceB4Race and how you can help create a better future for the field

If you have been following the hashtags #ASS #ISAS #medievaltwitter #Shakerace and more on social media you know the disheartening struggles that continue to unfold in the field ... as well as some of the profoundly good interventions well underway. The latter center around the foregrounding and amplification of the voices of scholars of color, especially early career. In the aftermath of the submissions from Medievalists of Color being rejected from a major medieval conference, it was obvious (to some at least) that there had to be a better way: a door that opens and sustains community, a place of welcome, a shelter for forging a better future for the past. This kind of access is wholly consonant with the ASU charter and with Ayanna Thompson as the new director of ACMRS it made sense to hold something at ASU if possible as an affirmative counter-vision. The project that came from this impetus was a convergence of MOC and #Shakerace called Race Before Race, which through (admittedly cobbled together) funding enabled ten extraordinary scholars to have the space, time and agency to found a new kind of community. Race Before Race 2 just unfolded in DC in partnership with the Folger. Ayanna Thompson as director of the Arizona Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies is an absolute rockstar -- and the now twenty scholars who are the guiding geniuses of the collective have made it clear that there really is a better way.

We will soon be setting up a dedicated #RaceB4Race account to fund young in the field as well as independent & under-resourced scholars of color to access future symposia, enabling even more to be a part of these gatherings as they continue. In the meantime, however, starting immediately ANY donation that anyone now makes at the ACMRS website will be used to fund this participation and inclusion. Just choose the "Public Programs" option and know that any resources you provide go directly to building a more capacious field at a time when too many seem intent on policing its boundaries. Build doors not walls. And when the doors are built keep them open and place a welcome mat in front.

Follow the link below if you would like to help. And thanks. It means a lot!