Board Letter to the Paideia Institute

On October 13, 2019, the SCS Board of Directors approved the following letter addressed to the Board of Directors of the Paideia Institute for Humanistic Study, Inc.

"The Society for Classical Studies joins the American Classical League in expressing deep concern in response to recent public statements regarding the Paideia Institute. Some of those statements are authored by individuals who have been closely associated with Paideia in various capacities and who have now resigned from the Institute.  Some of the published allegations are more generally about the Institute’s cultural climate, while others concern specific incidents. All the allegations are serious.

Accordingly, the SCS board of directors has approved a temporary hiatus on new funding for Paideia programs, including but not limited to support via the SCS Minority Scholarships, Coffin Fellowships, and Classics Everywhere micro-grants.

The directors of the Society for Classical Studies admire the innovative pedagogy and broadly inclusive mission that marked the foundation of the Paideia Institute. Many directors have heard first-hand testimony about the love of the ancient languages that Paideia programs have inspired and the strong bonds that have formed among students, interns, and volunteers participating in the Institute’s programs in the US and abroad. Further, the SCS board of directors recognizes that many classicists who have worked and volunteered for Paideia have striven to create and sustain innovative programs that are both welcoming and inclusive.

In our view, however, it is incumbent upon all Classics organizations to create environments that are diverse and inclusive across all areas of their programs and operations; further, it is incumbent upon all to combat racism, sexism, and discrimination against LBGTQ+ and other marginalized individuals. The SCS board therefore expects that the board of the Paideia Institute will address the public allegations that have been made and describe in detail measures which the organization has taken, is taking, and will take to address its climate, culture, and handling of human resources issues, expanding upon Jason Pedicone’s email of October 2 to the Paideia community. We realize that addressing these issues thoroughly may take some time. The SCS board will evaluate whether to resume funding when we receive an update from Paideia; this should reach us by April 10, 2020. We look forward to hearing from you."

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