Today news is going around Twitter about a 30 person white male “applied history” conference at Stanford. Here it is, in all its pasty glory.
ALL-MALE HISTORY CONFERENCE. This goes for the GUINNESS BOOK of the century! A team of 30 white male historians will discuss Applied History at @Stanford . What a shame. https://t.co/IXFQqi2eN2 pic.twitter.com/GBRNzIFMvP
— Ana Lucia Araujo (@analuciaraujo_) March 14, 2018
It’s likely most of these august chaps didn’t bother to ask about diversity before taking the gig. I can’t speak for what the organizers were thinking, though perhaps we’ll found out. The one speaker who responded to queries on Twitter, so far, is being smug about it.
My response is this: If you are, like me, a white dude academic and/or writer, diversity needs to be part of your INITIAL response to invitations to speak.
Fellow white dude writers and academics: When you are invited to go to an event, your first question should be about diversity. Make it your own personal #inclusionrider.
— David M. Perry (@Lollardfish) March 15, 2018
I’m not perfect. The answers aren’t always simple (sometimes I’m a lone speaker, then I try to make sure the overall series isn’t all white dudes). No single event can incorporate every type of diversity in the cosmos.
But we, the white dudes, can do the work of diversifying events in which we participate. We have to.