PES Decolonial SIG Statement on the Travel Ban
The Philosophy of Education Society (PES) is an international forum that promotes the philosophic treatment of educational practice, policy and research, advances the quality of teaching the philosophy of education, and cultivates fruitful relationships between and among philosophers, philosophers of education and educators. It is impossible for PES to fulfill its mission as an international forum when political conditions and policies make it impossible for responsible and respected scholars from any nation or of any religious persuasion to travel to the sites of planned conferences and other collaborations. Such conditions and policies are currently in place in the United States (the present home location of the Society). In response to US policies that stifle the interaction of educators and the free pursuit of educational ideas, we offer the following statement:
We condemn the Trump Administration’s proposed travel ban (Executive Orders 13769 and 13870) on persons from specific named countries as well as any stricter regulations on entering the US that are based on unsupported religious discrimination and/or refugee status. We acknowledge the destructive effect of this travel ban and other similar bans on the work of the PES community and on the individual scholars who bring an important diversity of experience and perspective to our shared deliberations.
Although these policies have been blocked, perhaps temporarily, by courts in the US, they have created an untenable situation for international scholars traveling to the US. No scholar who enters the country can be assured that they will be able to travel freely, including to return home. Those international scholars who are not currently subject to travel restrictions but who boycott travel to the US in solidarity with scholars from targeted countries do so at some cost to their own professional development. All in all, the quality of collaboration without the presence of a full range of international scholars is diminished.
At the most recent PES Conference in Seattle, WA in March 2017, the following resolution of the membership passed unanimously, fueled by the support of the Decolonial Studies SIG, the Committee on Race and Ethnicity, and the Committee on the Status of Women:
“Be it resolved that we recognize the negative impact on knowledge, discussion and collaboration created by policies restricting immigration and entrance into the US. We further recognize the losses of collegiality we face when others feel they must boycott US-based conferences.”
In light of our continued commitment to open international deliberation and collaboration, we
Call on the Trump Administration to lift travel restrictions and to refrain from imposing additional restrictions rooted in xenophobia and religious discrimination.
Offer assistance to those international scholars affected by the ban or the counter-boycott including, but not limited to:
Facilitating on-line presentations
providing volunteers who would work closely with those who were banned or who boycotted to ensure their scholarly work is engaged with.
Members of the PES Decolonial Studies SIG