The American Classical League Board of Governors has authorized the release of the following statement to reaffirm its commitment to make sure the organization is welcoming to all.
ACL STATEMENT ON ITS COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION
The American Classical League (ACL) has started the process of examining its policies, procedures, and products to enhance its commitment to multiculturalism, equity, and inclusion. All divisions of ACL will participate in this project including the National Junior Classical League (NJCL), Excellence Through Classics (ETC), and the National Latin Exam (NLE)
This project began in the summer of 2019 when ACL hired a diversity consultant, Shannon Sullivan of The Groundswell Alliance, who has begun background work to understand our organization’s mission, structure, and varied activities. In addition to the ACL’s Board of Governors, the leadership of NJCL, ETC, and NLE will receive training starting at the end of 2019 and continuing through April 2020. The leadership is committed to learning about the many facets of these important topics so that they can make informed decisions.
The topics that the project will address include:
- Diversity and equity training for the leadership of ACL, NJCL, ETC, and NLE.
- Review of current materials and products.
- Protocol and guidelines for evaluating new materials and products.
- Determining what questions to ask in order to understand the current status in terms of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the organization.
- The collection of data via membership forms, the NLE, and student exams with assessment and publication of the data.
- Assurance that any data collection is done legally, ethically, and with a strict concern for member privacy.
Because of the timeframes laid out by the ACL and NJCL Constitutions, some changes will not be able to be made until the summer of 2020 and beyond. As one example, the NJCL Executive Board has authorized the NJCL Parliamentarian to draft a Constitutional amendment to replace gender-specific language. The Executive Board will discuss the amendment and vote whether to refer the amendment to the membership for approval in July 2020. The wording of the NJCL song and creed was examined by the Board, and recommendations will be put to the membership in July 2020. As membership organizations, ACL and NJCL will determine the best methods for gathering member input.
ACL is committed to advancing multiculturalism, equity, and inclusion across the organization. The core values of Inspiration, Community, Professionalism, Inclusion and Responsiveness will continue to guide the work.
One of the activities NJCL offered in the past during the Day in Old Rome was Rent-A-Roman. NJCL recognized the resemblance of this activity to Roman slave auctions and has not offered this activity for a long time. NJCL unequivocally states that our organization condemns any actions, reenactment, and/or activities that advocates or imitates slavery or any form of human rights violation.
ACL will continue the process of examining our products, practices and policies, with the expertise of our consulant, and will make changes as warranted.