The Urban Affairs Association prides itself on being an international organization that is open and accessible to scholars, researchers and practitioners globally. The UAA seeks to serve as a locus for creative cross-national dialogues. Our conferences are designed to offer meaningful opportunities for critical conversations on some of the most pressing issues facing communities today. With over 4000 members within our network (social media and physical), from all parts of the world, the UAA values the ability to generate new understandings through open and honest dialogues. As our mission states:

The Urban Affairs Association is dedicated to creating interdisciplinary spaces for engaging in intellectual and practical discussions about urban life. Through theoretical, empirical, and action-oriented research, the UAA fosters diverse activities to understand and shape a more just and equitable urban world. (Adopted March 12, 2010)

As members of the UAA community, we are deeply concerned about any governmental action that restricts access (directly or indirectly) to the United States based on nationality, religion, race, ethnicity or sexual identity. We stand firmly in opposition to all forms of discrimination. These actions are not only an affront to the mission of the UAA, but more generally to our values as critical scholars, educators and practitioners. Dialogue, access and transparency are at the core of academic freedom. Thus any actions which:

  • curtail our abilities to interact face-to-face;
  • create ideological or physical walls that impact our ability to share ideas;
  • prevent us from communicating freely;
  • or, restrict us from collaborations across geographies;

are deeply troubling to us as members of the UAA and as individuals. When voices are silenced, when dissent is criminalized, we all suffer.

The UAA fully recognizes the case for a boycott of international academic conferences held in the United States, and is supportive of colleagues who feel duty-bound to uphold it at this time. At the same time, we believe that the UAA conference continues to offer a space in which to build creative and critical solidarities for academic and activist scholars. The urban profession will be irreparably harmed if we fail to accomplish this.

We also understand that the Supreme Court ruling on June 26, 2018 to uphold the travel ban put in place by Executive Order creates difficulties for some of our members to travel to the U.S. The UAA is monitoring the situation and gathering information from our peer organizations domestically and abroad to ensure that we can be responsive to member needs and interests. The UAA’s committees are working to develop strategies that can ensure that members are able to enjoy open, accessible and meaningful opportunities for dialogue (face-to-face and virtually).

We the Governing Board and Executive Director, wish all our UAA members to know that we are opposed to any actions which curtail academic freedom and social justice.

Sincerely,
UAA Governing Board and
Executive Director