The following principles inform our teaching, scholarship, activism, and organization:

  • Antiessentialism – We resist attributing particular sets of traits to particular groups, or to individual members of those groups.
  • Antisubordination – We are concerned about subordination, power, and substantive justice, rather than mere formal equal treatment.
  • Globalism – We believe that subordination is both a local and a global phenomenon, and that our principles and values can inform and be informed by subordinated communities, both domestically and internationally.
  • Hegemony – We believe that power works not only directly and coercively but also hegemonically – that power affects the ways people perceive “reality” as well as their understandings of what constitutes “knowledge” about the world.
  • History – We believe that critical engagement with history is centrally important to understanding how power operates through race, gender, sexuality, and class to de-center and marginalize the lived experiences of subordinated peoples.
  • Intersectionality – We recognize the multidimensionality of individual identity and the complex, mutually reinforcing relationships among systems of subordination.
  • “Meritocracy” – We question the notion of “meritocracy,” and the assumption that standards of “merit” can be neutral under current social conditions.
  • Multiplicity of Non-Whiteness – We recognize that non-whiteness takes many forms and has varied impacts.
  • Praxis – We believe in doing as well as talking, in working to make real change in the world.
  • Privilege – We believe that group based privilege, such as race, class, gender, and heterosexual privilege, are pervasive in society.