ARCE's Statement on Racial and Cultural Diversity
The American Research Center in Egypt believes that Black Lives Matter. We stand for equity and justice for all people of color, and all under-represented minorities, including LGBTQIA+. We have a professional and ethical obligation to recognize inequality and to advocate and act for change.
Our mission is to support research on all aspects of Egyptian history and culture. As scholars and supporters, we seek to learn more and to share it with all who are interested to foster broader public knowledge and understanding of Egypt and to strengthen American-Egyptian cultural ties.
Whether ARCE researchers focus on the recent or early history of Egypt, we must confront our own history and biases as well as that of past researchers. Sadly, racist orientalism and the nationalist aims of western ideologies over past centuries influenced early scholarship, and research into Egypt’s history itself reveals the power structures that caused countless lives to be spent in bondage to the rulers of the Nile Valley.
The brutality of the past is still with us. Today we witness violence against Black Americans and against women, Muslims, Native Americans, immigrants, and LGBTQIA+ people. We are more than a learned society and more than a forum for public interest in Egypt. We have a responsibility to educate ourselves and to take action to increase diversity and inclusion within our organization and otherwise.
Here is how we begin:
An ad hoc committee is being formed to collect data, assess our resources, and recommend how best we can take next steps to further our goals to increase diversity and inclusion. Our focus will be on how to encourage more diverse students and scholars to participate in our organization and in our programs, how to mentor and support them more, and how to develop the pipelines needed for them to succeed in their careers.
Besides working at the national level, we will reach out to our chapters, and ask them to work with us toward achieving the same goals.
We will seek to partner with the universities, colleges and museums with which we are affiliated, and share information on how we can all increase our efforts to achieve more diversity and inclusion in our memberships and programs.
We will seek additional funding for students and scholars of color to pursue their career goals and, in particular, to support excavation, and conservation work in Egypt and Nubia, as well as to support publication of their work.