The SPSP Board of Directors meets twice annually to discuss society business. At this summer’s virtual meeting, we approved a number of changes and initiatives, a few of which I’ll highlight here.
The first is a change to our bylaws that would allow graduate students to vote in SPSP elections and to hold office. This change is long overdue, as graduate students represent the single largest bloc of our membership (roughly 39%), and the future of our field and organization. They deserve a bigger voice in setting society goals and implementing programs. This change in bylaws will require approval by current voting members, so watch for an email call to vote in October. We hope our current voting membership approves this important change.
The Board also approved several initiatives stemming from recommendations of the 2020 Equity and Anti-Racism (EAR) Task Force report. One mundane but important move is the instigation of a quarterly check-in and strategy meeting among the Executive Committee members and standing committee leaders (including the Diversity and Climate, Professional Development, Early Career, Student, International, and Nominations committees) to assess progress toward DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) goals. Other initiatives include the creation of two working groups: One will collate and develop a set of educational tools for eliminating racism in workplaces and communities, and the other, the Anti Colorism/Eurocentrism in Methods and Practices (ACE-MAP) group will take a close look at our research and publishing practices, developing guidelines for editors and reviewers and resources to researchers and authors. The convention and program committees are also working to add resources to Connect! and the SPSP website to help researchers identify underrepresented scholars and others doing DEI-relevant research. Along with the diversity statements that were required this year for submissions to the upcoming SPSP conference, we hope these tools will enhance the diversity of scholars and scholarship represented at SPSP meetings and in other programming.
Stay tuned for a full recap of our meeting in our next Board of Directors Update, to be published in early September.