Race, representation, and diversity in the american association for applied linguistics


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25 Scopus citations


Since its inception, the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) has advocated for diversity within the organization and in the discipline. This culminated in the passing of the resolution, 'Affirming Commitment to Promoting Diversity' (2013), hailing racial and other kinds of diversity as 'an asset within our community and a source of learning and opportunity'. Despite this resolution, AAAL faces continuing challenges in realizing diversity in practice. This study turns the spotlight on the uneven professional mobility and visibility of scholars of color (SOCs) within AAAL, examining historical trends in the representation of SOCs in structures of power within AAAL as well as in recognition of meritorious scholarship. The data were mined from annual conference programs and official websites, and analyzed using computer software. Our analysis reveals stark disparity in the representation of SOCs across both metrics. We finally argue that cultivating greater racial diversity within AAAL is imperative for highlighting issues of race and inequality in applied linguistics; in expanding our epistemological field; and, ultimately, sustaining our vibrancy and strength as a discipline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)999-1004
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Linguistics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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