As the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Garner, and countless other members of the Black community by police and self-styled vigilantes brutally remind us, anti-Black racism, oppression, and violence in the United States remain terrible forces of destruction today. They are a scourge on our society, felt most acutely by Black communities, whose members already endure a legacy of significant and disproportionate rates of poverty, incarceration, morbidity, and premature death.
Alongside anti-Black racism are kindred injustices on the basis of race, class, ethnicity, migration status, disability, sexuality, gender identity, and their intersections. The mechanisms of racism and oppression are systemic, and we all owe a responsibility to see that they are exposed and rooted out.
We believe that philosophy offers powerful tools for addressing issues of justice, morality, equality, identity, truth, power, law, democracy, race and intersectionality, among others. But philosophy also reflects the legacy of privilege, oppression, and systemic racism. It is one of the whitest disciplines within the humanities. By recent estimates, just 5% of philosophy bachelor's degree recipients, 3% of philosophy PhD recipients, and 4.3% of tenured philosophy professors in the US are Black., Among members of the American Philosophical Association surveyed in 2018, just 8.8% self-identify as either Black/African-American (2.8%), American Indian/Alaska native (1%), or Hispanic/Latinx (5%). All those groups are under-represented in philosophy compared to the US general population.
The professional philosophical voices students hear at Dartmouth also are predominantly white voices, both in the classroom and on the page. We can do better to diversify our philosophical community and curriculum and to contribute to the struggle against racism.
To this end the Philosophy Department faculty has unanimously approved a series of changes as steps towards a more inclusive and enlightened study of philosophy at Dartmouth.
We commit to reviewing and reporting on these initiatives on an annual basis as we seek to improve and expand upon them. We will welcome further suggestions for how we can do better, as well as criticism, public and private, of our efforts.
To all those facing ongoing discrimination and violence, we stand with you. To our colleagues, students, and friends across the Dartmouth community, we support you in this difficult time. Our doors, our minds, and our hearts are open.
Amie Thomasson, Chair of Philosophy (2020-2023)
Samuel Levey, Chair of Philosophy (2017-2020)
Further statements and information
Statements by Philosophy organizations:
Additional resources on race and demographics in philosophy:
Statement and list of resources for students from Dartmouth RMS:
Statement from Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon:
Statements by members of the Dartmouth Philosophy Department:
 Among those responding on race/ethnicity; see Demographic Statistics on the APA Membership, FY2016 to FY2018.