Southern Sociological Society Statement in Support of DEI Initiatives
Originally posted in Announcements on June 1, 2023
The Southern Sociological Society strongly supports DEI initiatives, including courses, curricula, and other programs that focus on class, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and other forms of inequality, which are key issues within sociology as reflected in our broader society. Recent legislation has banned teachers and scholars, including sociologists, from teaching certain topics at all levels of education. The Southern Sociological Society opposes any attempts to limit sociologists as well as other teachers and scholars from teaching sociology content.
The Southern Sociological Society urges legislators and other public officials to protect the rights of educators to teach freely and openly about topics important to our society, including race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, as well as educational institutions to pursue DEI initiatives to provide a more equitable environment for students, faculty, and staff. We further implore legislators and other public officials to protect the rights of all children and adults regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, immigrant status, or disability status.
Teaching and learning about racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and other systemic forms of oppression is integral to Sociology. Sociologists seek to understand not only how race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and so on are socially constructed but also how social structures continue to produce and reproduce inequalities that substantially impact individuals’ pursuit of happiness. It is vital that sociologists shed light on these dynamics in order to seek a better, more just society.
DEI on Our Campuses
At Morehouse College, the Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, headed by Dr. Hideko Sera, PsyD, works very hard to provide valuable resources to faculty, staff, and students. From classism to colorism, Dr. Sera advances the kinds of conversations we need to have at Morehouse College. On our campus, Dr. Sera has hosted a three-part teaching series on serving the needs of neuro-diverse students. We have hosted Dr. Saida Grundy to discuss her book, Respectable: Politics and Paradox in Making the Morehouse Man, which contributes to our ongoing dialogues about sexual identity, gender, and respectability politics.
Most recently, Dr. Sera has provided the attached Mental Health Resources to connect our students with culturally competent therapists. She has also negotiated a free subscription to TurnSignl (https://www.turnsignl.com/), a Black-owned business out of Minnesota created by friends of the late Philando Castile. TurnSignl is an on-demand, real-time service that provides 24/7 legal guidance from an attorney to drivers while their camera records the interaction.