Press Release
September 14, 2020

A Statement on Anti-Racism from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences


A Statement on Anti-Racism was approved by the Academy’s Board of Directors on September 8. 2020. The committee responsible for drafting the statement included Anthony Appiah, Deborah Rutter, and Natasha Trethewey.

“This institutional reflection brings together deep thought and broad consensus about pride, guilt, shame, responsibility, and – indispensably – action,” said Academy President David Oxtoby. “With this statement, the Board seeks to acknowledge the racism embedded in our history, and it commits to forging ahead with awareness and actions rooted in anti-racism.”

The statement includes the announcement of a new Standing Committee of the Academy on Anti-Racism, which will be chaired by Anthony Appiah.

President Oxtoby, when sharing the statement with Academy members, wrote “We may be in the early stages of charting our course, but we know that the Academy’s aim is to be an anti-racist organization as a fundamental part of our commitment to advancing the public good.”