A Message from the Politics Department

Date: August 5, 2020

The Politics Department of W&L believes diversity is important. Diverse backgrounds, experiences, and points of view enrich our understanding of politics and foster empathy, creativity, and dialogue.

At the core of the study of politics are justice, power, and power differentials. Race is one of the most important power differentials in the United States and across the world. The Politics Department fosters teaching and scholarship that studies race and politics in our current courses and in the development of new ones. We support a model of instruction in which faculty and students engage with difficult questions around race, ethnicity, and gender.

Political Science has a long way to go in terms of diversity and the full inclusion of the marginalized voices of those who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). We support the University's Strategic Plan in making diversity a high priority in our recruitment, hiring, and retaining of new faculty. We will support our BIPOC faculty and students.

Promotion of diversity must be accompanied by an active stand against prejudice and discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, culture, and class. A discussion of our Department's role in generating inclusion as well as exclusion is necessary. We will engage our students and alumni who would like to share their experiences at W&L and with the Politics Department, seeking their insights and recommendations for actions that would reduce overt and inadvertent acts of discrimination or exclusion.

We seek to create and maintain a teaching environment where all students know that they are welcome and integral to our community, where we use our differences to learn from each other, and where diversity and inclusion are more than just goals, but also accomplishments that enrich our academic lives. We understand that is not a reality today, but we promise to work towards it.