The ADHO Anti-Racism Working Group received several expressions of interest in response to its first call for participation in the Task Force we’re assembling to examine ADHO structures and processes, and to advise on reforms that will help the organization create greater equity. Other responses, however, reminded us of the frequency with which Black, Indigenous, and other scholars of color are asked to take on such diversity and equity related work as a service overload. We were urged to consider offering Task Force members – especially those members who are in precarious professional positions – compensation that might recognize the labor involved in this work.
We are grateful for this reminder. The ADHO Constituent Organization Board had originally set aside a budget of 7000 Euros to be used to hire an external consultant. We are happy to redirect these resources to supporting members of our own community by offering Task Force participants a one-time 500 Euro honorarium. While such an honorarium cannot fully compensate task force members for their labor, we hope that it will serve as a marker of our gratitude for their work on behalf of the organization.
Expectations regarding external compensation vary significantly among local academic cultures and types of employment, however, and we are aware that in some cases the honorarium will not be considered necessary. Volunteers may choose to decline the honorarium, in which case the funds will be returned for use by the Task Force for other purposes.
Members of the Working Group recognize that ADHO exists only thanks to the generosity of numerous volunteers, most of whom serve entirely in a volunteer capacity. The process of restructuring ADHO governance, required by the happy fact that the number of Constituent Organizations (COs) that make up the formal membership of ADHO has continued to grow, has placed a heavy burden on our volunteers over the years, and we recognize that volunteer fatigue is very high at the moment, only exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic. We hope, however, that the digital humanities community will recognize the importance of this initiative to work towards greater inclusivity in our organization and to address injustices that are pervasive throughout the global academic community, although they take different forms in different locations, and understand that the recognition in the form of a modest honorarium is appropriate in this context.
Following this decision, we are issuing a second call for volunteers for the Anti-Racism Task Force. We are very grateful for the expressions of interest we have thus far received via the first call. They will be considered along with additional expressions of interest received via the second call.