Committee of Antiracism, Accessibility, Respect, Equity, and Social Justice (CAARES)
The Department of English opposes all forms of bias, racial injustice and oppression. All students, faculty and staff are critical to our educational mission as we strive to ensure that every member of the community is actively engaged in creating an inclusive and respectful culture in the classroom, in work spaces and at all department events. The Department stands with Black Lives Matter, Stop AAPI Hate, and other organizations dedicated to social justice for all.
The principles of inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility drive the Department of English’s instructional mission, shape our learning environments and workplace culture, and inform our research endeavors. Our Committee for Antiracism, Accessibility, Respect, Equity, and Social Justice (CAARES), inaugurated in 2018, comprises representatives from our administration, tenure-track and professional-track faculty, staff and undergraduate and graduate student body. It serves as a key conduit for communication among these departmental constituencies, and between constituents and administrators, as we all work together to develop strategies and implement practices for creating a responsive community. Aided by best practices developed by local and national peers, we work to foster connections between members of our department and other members of the campus community and beyond who seek to build an equitable, just and inclusive campus and world.
By attending to entrenched practices and unexamined biases, the committee aims to address systemic inequities and structural racism in the contexts in which we teach, learn, research, and write. The committee is authorized to conduct periodic climate audits, administer surveys, and collect data as needed to guide the department in formulating policies, procedures, and initiatives that counter our discipline’s, department’s and institution’s complicity with white supremacy. As such, the committee ensures transparency and accountability within all departmental committees, offices and programs by keeping every member of the department actively engaged in setting priorities and making decisions that place anti-racism, accessibility, respect, equity, and social justice at the center.
- Anti-Racism - the intentional practices of opposing racism, hatred, oppression of marginalized peoples and supporting those peoples with action. It is the work behind the words.
- Accessibility- the process of creating equitable opportunities to all those that require it. Ensuring access for all community members, including those with disabilities.
- Respect - Accepting each person for who they are regardless of your differences.
- Equity - In any given situation, one person may need certain kinds of opportunities, accommodations, or resources in order to ensure access to the same opportunities as someone else from a different culture, race, economic background, etc.
- Social Justice - the work that strives to ensure equal rights, access, resources, and opportunities for all.
- Further development of CAARES website content and resources.
- Revise the English Department Plan of Organization with focus on CAARES as integral to the process of shared governance, committee membership and enfranchisement.
- Periodically revise the CAARES Best Practices Guide outlining how each department office and program supports and promotes CAARES. These guides concretize practices around duties, policies and timelines that impact curriculum, hiring, purchasing, resource allocation, event planning and outreach to ensure that they are intentional and carried over as administrative positions change. These guides are live and evolving documents and part of an active practice, with a regular schedule of reflection, amendment, and revision.
- Require a departmental Diversity and Inclusion Statement and a Names, Pronouns, and Self-Identification Statement on all course syllabi. All syllabi also refer students to the CAARES Committee as a place to make suggestions and the Diversity Liaison as the person to whom report concerns.
- Require a Diversity and Inclusion Statement as part of the job application materials for all tenure-track faculty, professional-track faculty and staff positions.
- Include questions on undergraduate and graduate course evaluations about classroom climate and inclusive pedagogy, so that students can offer feedback and faculty can reflect on their CAARES-related classroom practices.
- Foster social and intellectual events to promote a supportive community among BIPOC faculty, graduate students, and staff.
- Put in place an Anti-racist Action Plan, which will include the launching of discipline specific learning groups, teaching modules, and public-facing coalition-building initiatives.
Internal and external resources and links used by UMD English. Includes land acknowledgment statements and best practices guides.
Explore UMD's student organizations and related courses.