The Creative Writing Studies Organization recognizes that silence communicates loudly. We do not choose silence; we choose instead to speak and write in ways that seek to end police brutality as well as broader and systemic racism and interlocking systems of oppression. We thank the CWSO members who are doing this work, and we recognize the resilience, perseverance, and creativity needed to create change. We affirm Black Lives Matter and Black communities everywhere. We demand justice for all Black people who have been killed and terrorized by police brutality.
We acknowledge that the academic discipline of creative writing and creative writing in higher education exists in a continued history of white supremacy. We acknowledge that our organization operates within multiple overlapping systems of white supremacy (within academia, publishing, and education more broadly). We want to take this opportunity to identify our commitment to our mission statement, in which we advocate for “the amplification of marginalized stakeholders, constituencies, and communities in order to foster open conversations.” At the CWSO, we want to be accountable beyond just a statement, which, as Sara Ahmed warns in On Being Included, can become conventional, performative, and emptied of accountability.
To that end, the CWSO is committed to taking the following actions in order to make ourselves a more equitable and accountable organization, with the intention to update the CWSO membership on progress toward these goals every six months:
- Establish a conference scholarship fund. This fund will offer financial assistance to BIPOC writers and scholars—especially students— interested in attending in-person events.
- Create a position on the board dedicated to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The board acknowledges one person cannot be singularly responsible for the DE&I of the organization; antiracism must be integrated into every position on our board and every activity of the CWSO. This board position is an advisory role meant to guide our conversations.
- Establish appointed co-chair roles. In order to be a more radically inclusive organization and broaden the representation of our board, we deliberately invite members of the organization who may not have been previously involved in leadership roles. Such positions allow for board-level involvement beyond elected roles.
- Intentionally broaden the editorial board and peer-review pool for the Journal of Creative Writing Studies.
- Actively solicit work from scholars of color for publication in the Journal.
- Promote the scholarship and creative activity of BIPOC writers through our organizational website, events, book circles, reviews published in the Journal of Creative Writing Studies.