Antiracist Publishing Letter-Writing Campaign

Please contact the publishing presses that serve the Classics community and ask for their antiracism action plan to be publicly posted. We have created a template below to help everyone get involved. Following the template is a list of publishing presses to start contacting along with contacts and links to their websites (list is ongoing). If you have racist textbooks or resources you would like to have addressed, please email us and let us know at multiculturalclassics@gmail.com

LETTER TEMPLATE

Dear [NAME OF TEXTBOOK PUBLISHING COMPANY/EDITOR],

I am writing to ask that you publish an antiracist statement and action plan in support of Black Lives Matter that answers the questions below. If you already have a statement written, we ask that you check and verify that these questions are answered and post additions as necessary. Please post your responses openly on your website, listserv, or however you connect with the community:

  1. How does your press acknowledge the responsibility of publishers and editors to join in the antiracism movement? (e.g. action plan, solidarity statement)
  2. What are your current antiracism efforts? (e.g. antiracism review process for manuscript submissions, employing an editor with demonstrated expertise in antiracism)
  3. What are your future plans in support of antiracism? (e.g. review your list for racist texts and pull racist texts from the shelves, hire personnel with expertise in antiracism)
  4. How will your press increase publication of antiracist material and publications by Black authors, Indigenous authors, and other People of Color? (e.g. who do you hire? where do you network? where do you advertise? what texts do you promote and where?)

Textbooks and published scholarly research play a vital role in communicating to teachers, students, and the community what societal values the field of Classics supports. There are countless examples of implicitly and explicitly racist materials in Classics textbooks past and present (see this bibliography put together by MRECC, the Multiculturalism, Race & Ethnicity in Classics Consortium). 

This issue needs immediate attention. We request that you have a clear statement publicly posted by September 1, 2020. Thank you for taking this matter seriously so that I and my colleagues can continue to support your press in our research and classrooms. I look forward to hearing back and learning about your action plan soon. For an example of detailed action plans in Classics, see the MRECC, Sportula, and SCS.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

[POSITION AND AFFILIATION TO CLASSICS]

Suggested Contacts (Email multiculturalclassics@gmail.com to recommend additions)