One of the great things about the ICA is the way in which so many of its members actively commit their time to working with others to address key challenges of our time. One of the ways in which this occurs – largely behind the scenes – is through the work of Task Forces.
We are very pleased to announce the formation of three new Task Forces, each of which is addressing a key issue that arose at the 2019 Annual ICA Conference in Washington, DC. One that is of particular importance is the IDEA Task Force, addressing issues of inclusion, diversity, equity and access (hence, IDEA) within the ICA, and in how ICA engages with the wider world. The IDEA Task Force will be co-chaired by Jasmine McNealy (U of Florida) and Maria Len-Rios (U of Georgia). It is charged with:
Recommending an association-wide definition of inclusion, diversity, equity, and access, that can recognize global diversity;
Identifying areas of activity on which ICA can be assessed in terms of IDEA principles, as outlined in the Statement on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access circulated in July 2019;
At time of publication, the membership of the IDEA Task Force, in addition to co-chairs McNealy and Len-Rios, is: Walid Afifi (U of California, Santa Barbara), Meryl Alper (Northeastern U), Miriam Ayieko (Daystar U), Sarah Banet-Weiser (London School of Economics), Sarah Cho (U of Massachusetts, Amherst), Stine Eckert (Wayne State U), David Ewoldsen (Michigan State U), Shiv Ganesh (U of Texas), and Kim Gross (George Washington U), with John Paul Gutierrez (ICA) as ex officio member. The Task Force will report on progress to the ICA Executive Board at the 2020 ICA Annual Conference in Gold Coast, Australia.
The second Task Force to be established is the Open Access Task Force. Chaired by ICA President-Elect Claes de Vreese (U of Amsterdam), the Open Access Task Force will develop a strategy and policy for ICA regarding OA publishing, including developing an Open Science strategy and addressing financial and organizational implications of ICA moving towards open access models for its publications. Other members of this committee are: Jeff Pooley (Muhlenberg College), Patricia Moy (U of Washington), Meenakshi Gigi Durham (U of Iowa), Nick Bowman (Texas Tech U), Eike Rinke (U of Leeds), Eun Ju Lee (Seoul National U) and Janice Krieger (U of Florida), with Robin Nabi (U of California, Santa Barbara), John Paul Gutierrez and Larry Gross (U of Southern California) as ex officio members. This Task Force will report on draft recommendations to the ICA Executive Board in May 2020.
The final Task Force is the ICA-UNICEF Task Force, which I will chair. We are finalizing the Commitment to Cooperate between ICA and UNICEF, and will report further on this in the new year.
I am also pleased to announce that ICA has increased its commitment to Grant-in-Aid funding to enable participation by scholars from lower and lower-middle income (World Bank defined Tier B and Tier C) countries, as well as those facing financial hardships from all parts of the world, to attend the Gold Coast conference. A total of $75,000 in funding has been approved for 2020. Further changes, if any, are subject to a wider review by and recommendation from the IDEA Task Force. The travel grant application will open in mid-January.
We are also actively promoting the participation of First Nations scholars in the 2020 ICA Annual Conference, and a call for proposals has been widely circulated among First Nations scholarly communities, particularly in Australia.