SWS Statement on Current Protests and Systemic Racism


Message Sent to SWS Members on June 2, 2020

Dear SWSers:

These are challenging times we are living in. In so many ways our lives have been disrupted or put on pause as we navigate the various stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic, hoping things will get back to “normal.” And now, we are in the throes of competing epidemics, this time in the form of systemic racism, as seen in Amy Cooper’s false 911 Central Park call on Christian Cooper, the murder of George Floyd by four police officers in Minneapolis, the killing of Ahmaud Arbery while jogging by two armed White men in South Georgia, and the shooting of Breonna Taylor in her own home by police officers in Kentucky. Lest we forget, Tony McDade, a Black transgender man was also killed by police in Tallahassee, Florida on May 27th, 2020.

As sociologists, we know that these are not isolated incidents and that they form part of a historical process of systemic racism against Black men, women, trans, non-binary and intersex people in this country. As an intersectional feminist professional organization, we know that the intersections of race, class, sexuality, and other oppressive structures are key components that must be recognized and acknowledged in any conversation about these injustices. Not only has COVID-19 disrupted our way of life and our comfort zones, but it has disproportionately affected people of color, particularly Black communities who are most often frontline workers or among the poorest in our society. Statistics are clear that they are disproportionately impacted by unemployment, loss of housing, positive test cases and deaths from this virus and homicides generally. Likewise, statistics are clear about disproportionate rates of police brutality, sentencing and imprisonment of Black and Brown people, rape and sexual abuse of Black and Brown women, and violence against LGBTQI communities. Institutional racism is a painful experience for all who have to live through it whether in the United States or abroad, past or present.

This country needs to do better and we need to be more self-reflective about how we position ourselves in this conversation and everyday actions, whether as individuals (e.g., how we practice social justice in our own lives, professionally and personally), and in what kind of changes we want to see in our society. SWS has to be part of this conversation and make its voice heard in our scholarship, pedagogy, and activism. We should condemn recent atrocities perpetrated by the police on Black people and stand in solidarity with the protest movements across the country and around the world. We are having conversations and preparing a formal statement for the public. But as we do this work, we wanted to make it clear that we stand in solidarity with our Black students and colleagues and with all communities of color widely.  We invite you to share your thoughts, concerns, and ideas about ways in which SWS can support Black feminist membership at this time and moving forward.

In solidarity,

SWS Council and SWS Co-Chairs of the Sister to Sister Committee


Please stay tuned for additions to this conversation. 

Sociocast Episode – Social Isolation and Physical Distancing in Time – With SWS Secretary, Andrea Boyles, Thurka Sangaramoorthy, Jessica Finlay, and Hosted by Sarah Patterson

Social Isolation and Physical Distancing in Time (Boyles, Sangaramoorthy & Finlay)

MARCH 29, 2020

Please click HERE to access the Sociocast Episode.

What effect will social isolation and physical distancing have on already marginalized communities during the COVID-19 pandemic? In this episode, we talk to three colleagues from a variety of social sciences to understand the different dimensions of social isolation during the pandemic.

With Dr. Andrea Boyles, SWS Secretary and Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, Social and Behavioral Sciences at Lindenwood University, Dr. Thurka Sangaramoorthy, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Maryland, College Park, Dr. Jessica Finlay, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Michigan and Hosted by Sarah Patterson from the University of Michigan Population Studies Center.



SWS Signs Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Higher Ed Relief Letter

To View The Full Letter, please click HERE.

Letter Coordinated by The American Sociological Association and sent to:

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker

The Honorable Mitch McConnell, Leader

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy, Leader

The Honorable Charles Schumer, Leader

June 1, 2020

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leaders McConnell, McCarthy and Schumer:

Thank you for your efforts to ensure the wellbeing of Americans during this critical moment in our history. We are grateful for the support that has been provided thus far in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. We are writing today to encourage the provision of substantial additional funding for higher education in future bills, with focus on those students and institutions hardest hit by the consequences of the pandemic.

Like many sectors of the economy, higher education is facing debilitating consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Colleges and universities have refunded student fees and room and board payments from the spring term, significantly reducing their operating revenue for the current fiscal year. The uncertainty of the pandemic means that many students will delay or forego their education, leading to large declines in enrollment for many institutions. In addition, public institutions anticipate lost revenue as states, facing their own revenue losses, make deep cuts in higher education funding.

The $14 billion allocated to higher education in the CARES Act was a useful first step in helping higher education weather the crisis. However, it is not enough. Without additional federal support for students and institutions, the seriousness of the crisis will necessitate additional layoffs of staff and faculty; elimination of programs and services for students; and significant tuition increases for students and families.

Thus, we urge you to allocate additional relief funds to higher education and to ensure that these resources are distributed to the students and institutions who need them most. Although the pandemic has affected all of us, its consequences are not uniform. The most marginalized institutions and individuals are hit hardest. This means that HBCUs, community colleges, underfunded public institutions, and tuition-dependent non-profit private colleges face the most economic precarity. In addition, the pandemic has made it even harder for students from working class and low-income backgrounds, who are often the first in their families to attend college, to access higher education.

We understand that you face difficult choices in allocating funds to all sectors of society that have been decimated by this pandemic. Providing additional relief funds to higher education would be an investment in the public good. Higher education employs over 4 million people and is the primary employer in communities across the country; it opens opportunities for students from all walks of life, and it ensures that America is positioned to continue to lead the world in scientific, economic, and creative endeavors.


African Studies Association

American Anthropological Association

American Educational Research Association

American Folklore Society

American Historical Association

American Musicological Society

American Philosophical Association

American Political Science Association

American Psychological Association

American Society for Environmental History

American Sociological Association

Archaeological Institute of America

Association for Asian Studies

Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies

Association of College and Research Libraries

College Art Association

Economic History Association

Executive Board of the Association for Jewish Studies

Executive Committee of The National Women’s Studies Association

International Center of Medieval Art

Medieval Academy of America

Midwest Political Science Association

Modern Language Association

National Communication Association

National Council of Teachers of English

National Council on Public History

Organization of American Historians

Phi Beta Kappa Society

Sixteenth Century Society and Conference

Society for Cinema and Media Studies

Society for Ethnomusicology

Society for Research in Child Development

Society for the Study of Social Problems

Society of Architectural Historians

Society of Biblical Literature

Sociologists for Women in Society

World History Association

Nicole Bedera -Time Magazine

Trump’s New Rule Governing College Sex Assault Is Nearly Impossible for Survivors to Use. That’s the Point

Written by: Nicole Bedera, SWS Member and doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan, Department of Sociology

Published in: Time 

May 14, 2020

Please click HERE to access the article.


Voting Ends on May 29, 2020. 

Thank you to SWS Vice President, Nancy López for collecting this data.

Please Click HERE to go directly to this 2020 Annual Survey.

It is also located on the SWS website in the Justice in the Academy section.

“Ballots for the 2020 ASA election will be distributed to eligible members in April 2020. Voting will close on May 29, 2020.”
For more information on the American Sociological Association’s 2020 Election, please go to this website:

ASA Department Affiliates Webinar for Graduate Program Directors on May 27

ASA Virtual Forum for Directors of Graduate Studies in Sociology

Wednesday May 27, 2020
3:00pm Eastern / 12:00pm Pacific
Registration is required.

ASA invites sociology graduate program directors to a virtual forum to discuss how to navigate disruptions in graduate education due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The forum is an opportunity to share support, resources, and ideas with your peers. The conversation will be led by three experienced graduate directors at doctoral and master’s degree-granting departments across the country: ASA President Christine Williams, University of Texas at Austin; Kirk A. Johnson, University of Mississippi; and Mary Nell Trautner, SUNY Buffalo.
Register Now
Can’t make the live event? Registrants will have access to the recording on Zoom, and a link to the recording will be available on the ASA COVID-19 Resources for Sociologists website.

For more information, contact Teresa Ciabattari, PhD, Director of Research, Professional Development, and Academic Affairs, at 202-247-9840 or tciabattari@asanet.org.

Call for Manuscripts, SWS Global Concerns Autoethnography Project

Announcement from SWS President, Josephine Beoku-Betts

Call for Manuscripts

SWS Global Concerns Autoethnography Project

Dear SWS Colleagues, Global Partners and Associates:

SWS and its Global Partners and Associates are requesting submissions for a co-edited autoethnography publication examining global portrayals of our lives as academics and practitioners in our particular social contexts during this traumatic period of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In seeking autoethnographies, we are looking for pieces that are biographical with thick description and which incorporate both self-reflection and critical analysis of one’s experiences during this period. We welcome essays that are feminist, global, and/or intersectional in analytical approach. We welcome submissions from individuals at all career stages.

Questions for consideration may include but not be limited to:

  • How has COVID-19 affected your life and work as a feminist scholar/activist/practitioner? What challenges have you faced (e.g., the “new normal” of working remotely and participation in virtual meetings) and how have you navigated these experiences?
  • In what ways are you contributing as a feminist activist/scholar/practitioner to public discussions and debates about responses to COVID-19 in your particular context?
  • In what ways have current trends in digital activism impacted your engagement in feminist and social justice issues in your social environment?
  • What are the political and economic trends of this pandemic and how have they impacted the institution in which you work and its expectations of you?
  • What challenges have your students had to face (graduate) and (undergraduate) and how has your institution provided support to you as a faculty member?
  • What challenges have you as a student had to face and how has your institution provided support?
  • How have you navigated the present challenges in your retirement and how have you found support?
  • Given the infrastructure and resources of your place of work and social environment, what new demands have been put on you and what sort of support has been provided to meet these demands? To what extent were you able to challenge these demands and what was the response?
  • What best practices can you share about teaching online courses or courses converted from face-to-face to online during the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • If you work in an administrative capacity, what challenges have you faced in budgetary decisions that may affect faculty lines, promotion and tenure schedules, hiring, student recruitment, and program development over the next few years?
  • What impact has the pandemic had on your work/life balance?

This publication project will target an academic and professional audience and all manuscripts should include scholarly references and follow  APA Style. Manuscripts should be between 10-15 double-spaced pages and 12 font size.  Please send along with your manuscript (1) a short bio of 100 words, including your current or most recent institutional affiliation and e-mail address, and (2) an abstract of 150 words.

Submissions should be in the English language and should be sent to Bandana Purkayastha (bandana.purkayastha@uconn.edu ) as a Microsoft Word Document no later than August 28th, 2020. Please title your submission as Autoethnography.

Co-Editors of this project representing SWS and its Global Partners and Associates are: Josephine Beoku-Betts (Florida Atlantic University), Akosua Darkwah (University of Ghana), Melanie Heath (McMaster University), and Bandana Purkayastha (University of Connecticut).

We welcome your submissions and invite you to share this call for manuscripts among your professional networks.






SWS Writing Groups

Join SWS Members, Penny Harvey and Jasmine Hill for Writing Groups


For the latest information on the SWS Writing Groups, please visit the SWS MemberClicks Page for Writing Group details.

Jasmine Hill and Penny Harvey each hosting two Writing Group Sessions each week (Jasmine Hill’s are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-7:30p pm Eastern Time and Penny Harvey’s are on Wednesdays and Fridays from 12-1:30 pm Eastern Time). A special thank you to these SWS Student Members for organizing these efforts.

Please direct questions to Penny or Jasmine if you have specific questions about the Writing Groups. These groups are open to all who are interested in being a part of the SWS feminist community at this time. You do not need to be a member to participate, but you need to reach out to Jasmine or Penny for more details.

Jasmine Hill: jasmine5@stanford.edu

Penny Harvey: pharvey5@gsu.edu

SWS Writing Group v2-1