TAA Council Statement on Racism

Issued June 19, 2020, Juneteenth

Black Lives Matter.

Representing and celebrating Black lives in our educational resources matters.

The events of these past weeks have shown us, once again, that the lessons of our history have not been absorbed by large segments of our population and must be reiterated. This is a moment to educate our nation and as such our organization, the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA), feels a special responsibility to support authors as they step up and educate. But before we can educate, we must stop, listen, and learn.

Throughout our history, and in many ways still today, our educational system, pedagogical methods, scholarly writings, and textbooks have been structured to support racism, whether through conscious or unconscious biases, thus contributing to America’s racial divide. In addition, authoring and publishing opportunities for underrepresented authors have been limited, depriving students of textbooks that reflect diverse perspectives. 

This is not acceptable. In the coming months, TAA will collectively work with its members to establish short-term and long-term goals that effect positive change toward social equity in textbook and academic authoring.

This statement is being issued on June 19, the annual commemoration, known as Juneteenth, of the final official proclamation ending slavery in the United States, which occurred in Texas on June 19, 1865. That day is, arguably, the most significant date in US history not recognized with a national holiday, or widely acknowledged and celebrated across the nation. This year—155 years past that seminal moment in history—we must reflect on ways we can repair the heinous damage done by racism and insist that our nation live up to its most inspiring ideals of equality for all. The time for action on these matters is long overdue and requires all of our efforts.

We TAA members commit to doing our part.