STATEMENT ON INCLUSIVENESS

 The Southern Historical Association (“SHA” or the “Association”) is committed to being an inclusive, diverse, and equitable organization.  The SHA strives to treat all its members with dignity and respect and strives to provide a community that is free from discrimination and harassment in all respects, whether based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, or any other status or classification protected by federal, state, or local law.

CODE OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT

The Southern Historical Association (“SHA” or the “Association”) strongly opposes discrimination and harassment in all aspects of academia. Further, the Association encourages informational activities designed to promote the education of its members and the public regarding discrimination and harassment and encourages historians to speak out against such incidents. Simultaneously, the Association opposes efforts to limit academic discourse and free speech on campuses, and it disapproves of the violation of academic freedom. Discrimination and harassment within academe are unethical, unprofessional, and constitute a threat to academic freedom.

Purpose

The purpose of this Code of Professional Conduct is to ensure a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment, free of discrimination and harassment, for all members and participants during the SHA’s annual meeting (whether at an official or unofficial event or activity), in traveling to and from the annual meeting, during a SHA committee meeting, or in connection with performing committee or other official work for the SHA committee work (whether in-person, by telephone, or through electronic communication), all such events and activities referred to collectively herein as the “SHA Events and Activities”.

To that end, the SHA strictly prohibits discrimination and harassment against members and participants at all SHA Events and Activities, whether based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, or any other status or classification protected by federal, state, or local law.

Any form of discrimination or harassment based on any status or classification protected by federal, state, or local law at SHA Events and Activities is a serious violation of this Code of Professional Conduct and undermines the atmosphere of trust essential to the academic environment.  

It is unacceptable to condone discrimination or harassment or to disregard complaints of discrimination or harassment.  Such actions or inactions may allow or promote a hostile environment and are inconsistent with the maintenance of academic freedom.

Simultaneously, the SHA recognizes that among historians and scholars who study and discuss difficult topics, there may be times when the display of offensive materials and the discussion of negative and even denigrating stereotypes and labels is reasonable for honest scholarly conversation. 

Additionally, the SHA requires all members and participants, including attendees, staff, contractors, temporary staff, vendors, exhibitors, venue staff, employees, volunteers, and guests, to engage in respectful behavior and to preserve the Association’s standard of professionalism at all times at SHA Events and Activities.  

 Expected Behavior

All participants are expected to comply with this Code of Professional Conduct at all SHA Events and Activities.

All participants are expected to abide by the norms of professional respect that are necessary to promote the conditions for free academic interchange.

If any participant witnesses or is subjected to a potential violation of this Code of Professional Conduct, the participant must immediately report the conduct as directed under this Code in the Complaint Process below. 

If any participant witnesses or is subjected to a situation in which someone may be in imminent physical danger, the participant must immediately alert staff, security personnel, or law enforcement, as appropriate.

Examples of Unacceptable Behavior

These examples are not intended to be exhaustive. 

Sexual Harassment

Unacceptable behavior includes any form of sexual harassment, and the SHA opposes sexual harassment in any setting. Sexual harassment of members or other participants at SHA Events and Activities is strictly prohibited under this Code of Professional Conduct.  Sexual harassment includes behavior that demeans, humiliates, or threatens an individual on the basis of that individual’s sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.  In the academic context, the term “sexual harassment” may be used to describe a wide range of behaviors. 

Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, the following: 

Gender-based or sexist remarks or behavior

Intentionally misgendering someone or refusing to use a person’s preferred pronouns 

Sexual advances linked to reward or accompanied by threat of professional harm or other forms of retaliation

Persistent and unwelcome solicitation of emotional or physical intimacy

Sexual assault 

Other Forms of Harassment and Discrimination

Harassment and discrimination on the basis of any protected characteristic are also strictly prohibited under this Code of Professional Conduct. Harassment includes inappropriate, discriminatory, or harassing comments or actions based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, and/or any other status or classification protected by federal, state or local law. 

Examples may include, but are not limited to: 

Epithets, slurs, or negative stereotyping based on any protected status or classification 

Denigrating jokes and display or circulation of written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group based on a protected status or classification 

Behavior that demeans, humiliates, or threatens an individual on the basis of any protected status or classification

Retaliation

Retaliation, retribution, or reprisal against any individual who in good faith reports any potential or actual violation of this Code of Professional Conduct or who assists or participates in any investigation under this Code of Professional Conduct is strictly prohibited.  Any such retaliation constitutes a serious violation of this Code of Professional Conduct and will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. Any person who witnesses or is subjected to retaliation must immediately report that conduct as directed under this Code of Professional Conduct.

COMPLAINT PROCESS

Any participant covered by this Code of Professional Conduct who believes he or she has witnessed or been subjected to any violation of this Code of Professional Conduct should immediately report the conduct: via the web intake portal (http://thesha.ethicspoint.com); via the mobile intake portal (http://theshamobile.ethicspoint.com); or via phone at (833) 254-2098.

The complaint intake process is handled anonymously and independently via the incident management service NAVEX. All complaints will be taken seriously.

Upon receipt of a complaint under the Code of Professional Conduct, the SHA Professional Conduct Committee or the Committee’s designee will conduct a prompt, thorough investigation of the complaint as appropriate. Any member of the Professional Conduct Committee who believes they have a conflict of interest will not participate in the investigation process. Depending on the circumstances, the Professional Conduct Committee may engage an outside investigator or counsel to conduct an investigation on its behalf as the Committee deems appropriate. Following investigation, the Professional Conduct Committee will refer its findings to the Executive Committee or the Executive Council.

Every reasonable effort will be made to keep all matters related to the complaint and the investigation confidential, and investigations will be designed to protect the privacy of the parties concerned to the extent reasonably possible.  

Disciplinary Action

Individuals who violate this Code of Professional Conduct will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action by the Executive Committee or the Executive Council, as will individuals who make complaints under this Code in bad faith.  Appropriate disciplinary action may include, but is not limited to, a verbal or written warning, censure, ejection from the annual meeting without refund of any applicable registration fees or costs, being banned from participating in future SHA Events and Activities, or expulsion from the membership in the Association. 

Appeals

In the event that an individual is dissatisfied with any action taken as a result of the investigation, that individual may submit an appeal to the SHA’s Executive Council within thirty (30) days following the action. An appeal may be granted in the discretion of the Executive Council.

Questions

Any questions regarding this Code of Professional Conduct should be directed to the President of the SHA.