The Human Development and Family Science Department at Auburn University is dedicated to addressing issues of racism and inclusion throughout all of our responsibilities as faculty members, students, and staff. This page provides resources for students and updates on our progress to make our department and our work one that centers anti-racism as key part of our mission and work.
International and national graduate student onboarding document
Procedural guide for addressing racism, bias, and discrimination within the department
Current Statement on Racial Injustice and Commitment to Antiracism
Previous Statement on Racial injustice and Commitment to Antiracism
We also encourage potential and current students to read faculty mentoring statements on our faculty biographies.
With the murder of George Floyd, and on the heels of so many tragic deaths of Black Americans, a new wave of the civil rights movement emerged in the summer of 2020. With it came a commitment by the Auburn HDFS faculty to address racism and discrimination in our department and to be agents of change within our university, community, and state. This commitment was communicated to our colleagues, students, staff, and alumni. Included in this communication was a number of concrete actionable steps to be taken by the department, and the Anti-racism, Equity, and Inclusivity Committee was formed to lead those efforts. That standing committee is now a permanent and integral part of the department’s pedagogical and scholarly mission.
At the heart of this committee is recognition that the legacy of slavery, Jim Crow laws, redlining, and discriminatory educational and economic practices have led to deep racial inequities in academia. Thus, the foremost mission of this committee is the work of anti-racism. However, racism does not exist in a vacuum, and intersectional identities can leave some members of our department particularly vulnerable. Understanding how discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, nationality, and religion contributes to the lived experiences of our students, faculty, and staff is also central to the committee’s mission, particularly as those experiences intersect with racial identity.
Specifically, the goals of this committee are to:
1. Address implicit and explicit racism that impacts hiring decisions, recruitment efforts, department climate, and retention of underrepresented minorities. Until those biases are overcome and our faculty and students reflect the composition of Alabama and can serve all of Alabama’s families, we cannot fulfill our mission as a department.
2. Commit to improving the faculty’s pedagogical efforts on the topics of racial socialization (for white children as well as children of color), as well as advancing understanding on the impact of the legacy of racism, the ongoing experiences of racial bias and discrimination that children, families, and communities face, and resiliency that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) face in the context of intergenerational racial trauma.
3. Improve the faculty’s ability to communicate and address issues related to race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and nationality and their intersections.
4. To collectively use our power as faculty members to speak out and advocate on the topics of racism and discrimination relevant to the university and Auburn community.