Are You Willing to Ask About the Diversity of an Academic Panel Before Accepting a Speaking Invitation?

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If you are invited to speak on an academic panel, are you willing publicly to commit to asking panel organizers what efforts they have made to seek “diversity” among panel members, whatever that term means to you? If yes, please add your name to the public list here.

The background to this request for a public pledge from fellow legal academics originates at least in part from a tweet I made last week via Feminist Law Professors. I tweeted a link to an article about Spanish academics who have taken a public pledge against speaking on all-male panels. I followed up with some additional tweets asking whether any male academics would be willing to take the lead on something similar in the U.S. I forwarded the tweet to ten prominent male bloggers. Here’s the series of tweets sent by me:

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Michael Dorf posted some thoughtful reactions on “Diversifying Academic Panels” here.  Over at Prawfsblawg, Paul Horowitz has some further contributions here. Orin Kerr and others have added constructively to the conversation in the comments to Paul’s post (here).

Because there’s no clear consensus on what “diversity” an academic panels might look like, my on-line list/pledge is intended to simplify things.  If you are a legal academic, and you are invited to speak on a panel, consider asking the organizers what attempts they have made to seek diversity among panel members.  For me, that means gender, race and range of schools, foremost. But whatever “diversity” means to you, if you’re willing to commit to asking the question, please add your name!  All legal academics of all genders very welcome to sign.

(cross post from Faculty Lounge)

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