The Women’s Academic Forum: A Network of Women Scholars

THE WOMEN’S ACADEMIC FORUM offers a peer network for women in academia who are negatively affected by the call for an academic and cultural boycott of Israel, or who are targeted for the stand they have taken against the BDS movement.  The Network provides a collegial and protective environment for women faculty at all career levels, across disciplines and campuses, with a broad range of political opinions; who by virtue of their speech, activities and/or religious, ethnic, racial or national identities, are made vulnerable to marginalization or aggression. We reject discrimination in the classroom, on campus, within disciplines, in academic journals, and professional organizations. Our aim is to support and defend those who are impacted personally and professionally by the goals and advocacy of the BDS movement.

We stand together to offer systematic support, access to mentorship, and a safe space for women who speak out against the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.  As strong proponents of free speech, we stand against the targeting of individuals and institutions due to race, religion, national identity, gender, sexual orientation or physical ability. We disavow the suppression of diverse opinion, and we will speak out against all explicit or implicit attacks on academic freedom, in the classroom, on campus, in the field, and in the community.

Through the network, we connect women scholars for professional collaboration, encouragement, and guidance. We work to champion those who wish to speak out against discrimination and prejudice. We intend to energize and mobilize support for any and every woman who has found herself isolated because of her nationality, campus of employment, field of study, or her opposition to the boycott movement.  We believe that together we can help women’s voices be heard.

The Women’s Academic Forum is being organized by Rachel S. Harris (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign–director) and Ellen Kaplan (Smith College) and Ashley Passmore (Texas A & M University), co-chairs.