Federation President’s update regarding the outcomes of the investigation (June 2nd incident)

August 28, 2019

Today the Federation announced the results of an investigation into an incident that occurred on June 2 at the 2019 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

The investigation’s findings are clear: a member of our scholarly community was harassed and discriminated against by another Congress participant, in violation of the standards of behaviour that every person who registers for Congress has a duty to uphold.  

This incident involved a case of racial profiling. The Scholar who endured this mistreatment was denied what, in the words of our Code of Conduct, all Congress participants are entitled to: “an environment free of all forms of discrimination [and] harassment.” We are profoundly sorry this happened and we extend our deepest apologies to him for the pain, disrespect, and public embarrassment that this experience has caused him.

We are taking decisive action in light of the investigation’s findings. The individual responsible for these actions has been suspended from Congress for a minimum of three years, and must demonstrate that he has met five conditions before he will be eligible to return.

We are strengthening our organizational policies and practices to prevent discrimination, harassment, racial profiling, and anti-Black racism, and we are committed to making these issues an integral part of the program at future Congresses. We have announced a revised theme for Congress 2020: Bridging Divides: Confronting Colonialism and Anti-Black Racism, and we are working with our members to incorporate this change into the theme’s description and programming.

Thank you for your patience as we took the necessary steps to investigate the events of June 2, determine what happened, and take responsible actions based on facts.  My Board colleagues and I look forward to continuing the dialogue about these important issues and working with our scholarly community to address racial and social injustices.

Please contact me if you have questions, comments, or concerns.


Patrizia Albanese
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

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