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TESOL Launches Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative

by David Cutler | 06/15/2021

Following recommendations from its Diverse Voices Task Force (DVTF), TESOL International Association (TESOL) announces an association-wide effort to increase diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in all aspects of its governance and operations. Formed in 2019, the DVTF was created with the purpose of reporting on the state of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within the association and making recommendations to enhance DEI within TESOL’s culture and activities. The DVTF conducted research on DEI practices in similar associations and gathered member input through an extensive survey.

The DVTF prepared a set of recommendations for building a culture of inclusion and diverse leadership in TESOL International Association. The recommendations and the initial steps of TESOL’s DEI initiative are available in the Summary and Next Steps document.

The DEI initiative will be further introduced in two Town Hall meetings held in July 2021. Register in advance for the Town Halls: 

7 July at 5:00 PM ET (convert to local time)
8 July at 9:00 AM ET (convert to local time)

Key efforts in the near-term include


· defining underrepresented and historically marginalized groups within TESOL and a) targeting outreach for membership and b) and encouraging applications for leadership positions

· eliciting more detailed demographic information in membership applications and renewal forms

· creating a form that may be used to report discriminatory acts experienced by attendees at the convention or other strategic events

· providing and requiring diversity training for reviewers of convention submissions.

Further, the TESOL Board of Directors commits to addressing DEI more explicitly in the upcoming strategic planning process. “We are very grateful for the work of the Diverse Voices Task Force, chaired by Dr. Kisha Bryan and Dr. Eric Dwyer” said TESOL Past President, Dr. Deborah Short. “This team spent 18 months collecting and analyzing data and thoughtfully preparing recommendations that will help our association become more inclusive and equitable for English language teaching professionals around the world and will help us actively counter bigotry and discrimination in all its forms.”

Download a copy of the full press release here