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Diversity Statements for Philosophy Graduate Programs
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In response to the recommendations of the APA’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion, the APA Committee on Academic Career Opportunities and Placement is seeking help from philosophy graduate programs.

The APA’s core mission is to promote the discipline of philosophy. Like many professional and private organizations, the APA recognizes the value of diversity. Our discipline will only flourish if we see a greater inclusion of underrepresented groups in the ranks of philosophers. A first step is bringing more diversity into our graduate student population. Every department that trains graduate students should take concrete steps to promote diversity, by encouraging students from a wide range of backgrounds, and publicly espousing the value of a diverse department.

Toward that end, we invite each philosophy graduate program to develop an explicit written commitment to the recruitment and success of a diverse group of graduate students, and to publicize this commitment on its website and other department materials.

The following is an example of such a commitment that may be useful as a starting point for local discussions.

Sample Diversity Statement for Philosophy Graduate Program

Our department seeks to do all it can to make philosophy an inclusive discipline. We understand the value that diversity brings to philosophical inquiry, and that the health of our profession depends on greater inclusion of underrepresented groups in the ranks of philosophers. As a training program, we play an important role in cultivating a diverse philosophical community. Our goal is to recruit and sustain a diverse graduate student body.

In order to realize this goal, we will

  • encourage a full range of applicants with diverse backgrounds, for instance from two-year community colleges or from “non-elite” undergraduate institutions
  • collect and make public data concerning the demographic makeup of graduate students, along with career outcomes such as time to degree and job placement, on our website and in the APA’s Guide to Graduate Programs in Philosophy
  • provide financial support, academic assistance, and advisement that reflects the diverse needs of a diverse population
  • strive for a curriculum that illustrates that a diverse group of people have contributed in the past, and should contribute in the future to the richness of philosophy
  • continuously strive toward an environment of greater inclusion and respect through critical self-examination, paying due attention not only to overt forms of prejudice or exclusion but also to its subtler manifestations

If your department adopts such a statement, we ask that you inform the APA and prospective
students by indicating so in your department’s profile on the APA’s Guide to Graduate Programs in Philosophy. In addition, the committee values your feedback on this effort and sample statement; you are welcome to contact the chair of the committee with any feedback.

The American Philosophical Association
University of Delaware
31 Amstel Avenue, Newark, DE 19716
Phone: 302.831.1112 | Fax: 302.831.8690