Statement on Racism & Discrimination
The Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics values diverse perspectives and experiences and strives to provide an inclusive environment for all students, faculty, staff, and community members.
In this effort, we recognize the importance of reflection and open and honest conversations about the current challenges faced by underrepresented groups and communities, not only on our campus but within the community and profession at large. It is through this first step of confronting uncomfortable truths that we are challenged to think critically about how to develop and lead effective initiatives that result in a diverse community where people from all backgrounds feel safe, supported, valued, and heard.
We are saddened by the too-frequent instances of racism and discrimination in this country. We, as a department, feel compelled to declare our stance in strong opposition to racism and discrimination and will pursue efforts to foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment in our community and our profession. We condemn racism, xenophobia, violence, bias, intolerance, hate and discrimination of any kind.
Should you experience or witness racist behavior or discrimination, we ask that you report it officially to the University and inform the Department so that we may be informed as well. Victims of abuse and discrimination are often reticent to report transgressions. But we must know when this behavior occurs to be able to hold offenders accountable.
Tucson community members can report hate crimes at https://www.tucsonaz.gov/police/report-hate-crime?fbclid=IwAR3Fan4p8S3n9xM0rDpxXxiPHu29Tqk4W6MfunmNK1akt2ZdZ4ik8ZWuET
UArizona members can report hate crimes at https://diversity.arizona.edu/apida-harassment
We understand that racism and discrimination can be both intentional as well as unintentional. Unconscious bias can result from years of being conditioned to internalize stereotypes. Though unintentional, unconscious bias can result in the same negative impact on underrepresented groups as conscious prejudice. We also recognize that racism and discrimination exist and are present in our institutions and pose a significant hazard and burden for our community members from underrepresented groups. The economics profession in general and the agricultural economics profession in particular are comprised of membership that do not reflect the diversity of this country at large. In our department, we are undertaking steps to become more inclusive and welcome a wider range of participants at the student, staff, and faculty levels.
To achieve our goals, our department has created a committee on Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DE&I) comprised of faculty, staff, graduate, and undergraduate students. The DE&I committee coordinates and steers department-wide efforts to promote and support diversity, equity, and inclusion. These initiatives include, but are not limited to:
- Recruiting and supporting a more diverse faculty, staff, and student body.
- strengthening our capacity to mentor and support students of underrepresented backgrounds and identities.
- Improving the representativeness and inclusiveness in the agricultural and applied economics profession.
- Encouraging and supporting activities and conversations, including training on recognizing unconscious biases, that promote a safe and supportive environment for all members of our AREC community to work, learn, and succeed.
We seek to provide an inclusive environment for all people and do not tolerate discrimination or abuse in any form. We must all continue to nurture an open and welcoming environment for all--students, staff, and faculty alike. We acknowledge that the creation of the DE&I committee and the initiatives set forth by the committee are just the beginning. It will take a department-wide effort to move beyond rhetoric towards sustainable, accountable, and action-oriented practices. We hope that you will join us in these efforts.