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Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

The American Association of Geographers (AAG) is committed to enhancing diversity, promoting inclusion, and broadening participation in Geography. We are open, welcoming and encouraging of differences in perspectives across the broad spectrum of backgrounds or origins within our membership. An organization where everyone feels valued and possesses a keen sense of belonging, creates a vibrant community and advances the discipline of Geography.

Here we provide a record of the past, current, and upcoming efforts to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion at the AAG. The Diversity and Inclusion Committee advises and shapes these efforts. In 2020, AAG’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee renewed this commitment by developing a three-year strategic plan for the AAG, which provides a clear action plan to enhance and measure diversity and inclusion.

JEDI at the AAG

Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion is woven into the fabric of AAG’s strategic framework


AAG's JEDI framework venn diagram

Advancing Leadership Capabilities for JEDI
  • Dedicating leadership resources
  • Enhancing AAG policies and practices
  • Enabling data-driven D&I excellence

Establishing Organizational Tools to Support JEDI
  • Engaging through communication
  • Curating JEDI knowledge

Integrating JEDI into Programming
  • Embedding JEDI in AAG programming
  • Fostering healthy departments
  • Growing geography’s next generation
Our Culture of Care

Explore AAG’s impact and get involved

Person holding their hands in the shape of a heart with sunlight in background

We take seriously the goal of creating a relational approach to dismantling oppression, discrimination, and marginalization that addresses multiple and intersectional barriers to inclusion and equity and have created a clear action plan to enhance and measure diversity and inclusion.

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Be a part of the conversation with JEDI office hours

AAG seeks to bring members and partners into the discussions about our TLC GRAM approach. To broaden the dialogue beyond the working groups and subcommittees, we invite members to call for and participate in meetings focused on the important subject areas of our TLC GRAM working process through our JEDI Office Hours. Information shared during these opportunities will help AAG learn and exchange new ideas, implement actionable outcomes, and measure progress on our goals.

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Women in Geography

Friends of the Golden Compass

Attendees participate in a discussion during the "The Golden Compass Onward: Securing success of foreign-born women faculty in their career, leadership, and life in the United States" roundtable session during the AAG 2023 annual meeting.

Attendees participate in a discussion during the "The Golden Compass Onward: Securing success of foreign-born women faculty in their career, leadership, and life in the United States" roundtable session during the AAG 2023 annual meeting.

This program is specifically designed for foreign national women working in geography-related academia and living in the United States. Initially funded by UCGIS and TRELIS through the Carolyn Merry Mini-Grant program, Golden Compass grew to become a collaboration led by Dr. Jieun Lee, University of Northern Colorado with other TRELIS alumni, including Dr. Mônica Haddad of Iowa State University and Dr. Huyen Le of Ohio State University, as well as TRELIS leader Dr. Laxmi Ramasubramanian of San José State University. AAG also provided support, as well as the University of Northern Colorado and the Korea-America Association for Geospatial and Environmental Sciences. For a perspective on the program, see Dr. Lee’s article in ArcNews.


JEDI in our programs

Several efforts underway at AAG address diversity issues directly. In addition, AAG is working to integrate diversity and inclusion into all of its programming. Below are a few examples of current and established work, as well as numerous awards recognizing excellence in teaching and research toward diversity, inclusion, social equity, and anti-racism.

Through its job and career initiatives, policy stances, responses to current events, and themes in its journals, AAG frequently highlights how racialization, gender discrimination, ableism, marginalization and the need for inclusion have shaped or been shaped by the geographic discipline.


Repositories and bibliographies


Resources Citing the Forces that Contribute to Police Brutality


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AAG Journal Articles on Black Geographies and Racial Justice


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Feminist Geography Specialty Group Bibliography


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Black Geographies Specialty Group List, 2018-2020


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Below is a list of recent journal articles about Building Places to Thrive In: Toward More Just Geography Graduate Departments:

AAG 2024 Sessions

The AAG annual meeting brings together scholars and teachers from around the world to discuss diversity in geography and higher education, as well as teaching more inclusive histories of geography.

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Past meetings

Topographical lines simulating barbed wire
Spatial Analytics and Abolitionist Futures

Collective Concerns, Qualitative Data and Analyses, Spatial Narratives
Photo of Harold M. Rose


AAG Harold M. Rose Award for Anti-Racism Research and Practice

AAG celebrates geographers who have a demonstrated record of advancing the discipline through their research and who have also had on impact on anti-racist practice, in honor of Harold M. Rose, who devoted his career to expanding the discipline of geography into anti-racist scholarship.

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Image of AAG award pin and certificate



AAG Diversity & Inclusion Award

AAG honors those geographers who have pioneered efforts toward or actively participated in efforts toward encouraging a more diverse discipline over the course of several years.

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Photo of Glenda Laws courtesy Stephen Matthews



Glenda Laws Award

AAG recognizes early to mid-career scholars’ outstanding contributions to geographic research on social issues in memory of Glenda Laws, who brought energy and enthusiasm to her work on issues of social justice and social policy.

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AAG Letter to Members on the Forces that Shape Police Brutality

A letter to AAG members about geographers’ roles in recognizing and documenting the structural biases that lead to police brutality.

Changing Human Populations, Collective Concerns, Geography Essentials, Governance and Policy
AAG Statement on the Targeting of Diversity Education and Critical Inquiry by U.S. States

The AAG strongly opposes targeted, state-sponsored attacks on diversity initiatives and on critical studies of racial inequity across the United States.

Collective Concerns, Governance and Policy, Networks and Connections, Sharing Knowledge
Recent work

Strengthening our efforts through recent work across AAG and the discipline

Two recent AAG task forces have made recommendations that support elements of inclusiveness in terms of, respectively, mental health in the discipline and harassment prevention/intervention. The recommendations of the latter task force have been incorporated into AAG’s recently culminated revision of its Code of Conduct to create a harassment-free environment not only at its meetings but in the field, imposing new penalties for violations and putting in place training, support, and intervention frameworks to eliminate harassment from its gatherings.

Following are the most recent efforts in AAG’s ongoing work:

  • February 2022
    February 2022:

    JEDI web page — New JEDI Committee page on AAG’s redesigned website

  • October 2021
    October 2021:

    JEDI strategic plan framework — Committee plan approved by Council

  • April 2021
    April 2021:

     JEDI strategic plan — Committee provided progress report at April 5-6 Council Meeting

  • March 2021
    March 2021:

    Diversity page — Update of Diversity page on

    AAG statement — The AAG released a statement condemning targeted violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in response to the murders in Atlanta

  • February 2021
    February 2021:

    Membership Forms Review — Mark Revell shared draft changes to the AAG membership form for JEDI Committee review and discussion

    Accessibility Task Force — Accessibility Task Force shared draft report with JEDI Committee for review

  • November 2020
    November 2020:

    JEDI Committee Leadership — JEDI Committee formally assumed full leadership for the strategic plan, supplanting the need for a separate task force

  • September 2020
    September 2020:

    Open Letter — Specialty Groups released open letter calling for change at the AAG.

    AAG Council Response to Open Letter — the AAG Council responded to the SG Chair open letter

  • August 2020
    August 2020:

    SG Chair Meeting — AAG staff calls meeting with chairs of Specialty Groups with connection to diversity to discuss the potential involvement in Diversity Strategic Plan (review the minutes)

  • July 2020
    July 2020:

    Council meeting — The AAG Council votes to establish a Diversity Strategic Plan. This three-year plan will commit the organization to specific, funded, staffed actions

    Call for Transformative Justice — Black Geographies Specialty Group releases call to action in response to white supremacy through policing

    JEDI Committee — JEDI Committee elects co-chairs, Lisa Marshall and Ronald Schumann, begins work with AAG Executive Director on diversity strategic plan; committee agrees to play a major role in the task force

  • June 2020
    June 2020:

    AAG Anti-racism Letter — The AAG released a statement in response to the death of George Floyd.

  • May 2020
    May 2020:

    AAG statement — The AAG released a statement in response to the rising anti-Asian racism related to COVID-19


JEDI committee

This committee coordinates and facilitates ongoing JEDI initiatives to enhance diversity and inclusion excellence. Diversity and inclusion in this sense is envisioned in its broadest demographic definition, indicating, ethnic, gender, disabilities, and other underrepresented groups and also diversity in thoughts, ideas and perspectives. The committee also considers nominations and selects awardees of the Glenda Laws Award to recognize outstanding scholarly contributions to geographic research on social issues and provides nominations to the AAG Council for the AAG Enhancing Diversity Award to honor those who have pioneered efforts toward or actively participated in efforts toward encouraging a more diverse discipline.

The JEDI Committee is guiding the development of the three-year JEDI strategic plan. This plan will define the improvement areas we want to address and define thoughtful strategies and proposals for D&I Initiatives in order to enhance sustainable justice, equity, diversity and inclusion excellence.  As part of the planning process, we will identify short, medium and long-term JEDI-specific actions that can enhance JEDI excellence for AAG.

  • Jenna Loyd, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Co-Chair – 2026
  • Stefano Bloch, University of Arizona – 2027
  • Debarchana Ghosh, University of Connecticut, Council Liaison – 2025
  • Lily Houtman, Pennsylvania state University – 2026
  • Nick Koenig, University of Idaho – 2027
  • Jieun Lee, University of Northern Colorado – 2027
  • Adriana Martinez, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville – 2026
  • Jennifer Mokos, Coastal Carolina University – 2027
  • Rasul A. Mowatt, North Carolina State University – 2025
  • Damon Scott, Miami University Ohio – 2027
  • Russell Smith, Winston Salem State University – 2025
  • Edgar Virguez, Duke University – 2026
  • Mia White, The New School – 2025
  • Gary Langham, AAG Executive Director, Ex Officio
  • Risha RaQuelle, AAG Chief Strategy Officer, Staff Liaison