AAAL DEIA Initiatives

The American Association of Applied Linguistics has launched and pursued a number of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA) initiatives. In this section of the newsletter, we showcase three ongoing DEIA initiatives that we believe you will find interesting. The individuals in charge of these initiatives have kindy agreed to provide informational blurbs or referred us to existing documents, which we are including below. 

Establishment of a social/mentoring network for under-represented scholars (Sobremesa Event)


Varies Yearly

Sobremesa began at the 2019 Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. It is designed for community members, graduate students, and faculty from minoritized and underrepresented groups to have a space to socialize and to build supportive networks and a better sense of community within AAAL. We’re in our third year of the initiative and we’ve just started planning for the 2021 Annual Conference.  If you want to get involved, contact us at

​Revision of Nomination Committee policies and procedures to specify diversity, equity, access, and inclusion efforts as criteria


Andrea Revesz, Chair of the AAAL Nominating Committee

The DEIA initiative of the AAAL Nominating Committee involves incorporating DEIA considerations formally into the Nominating Committee procedures and templates. Although the current manual instructs the Nominating Committee to consider DEIA, this is not yet formally written into the process. The initiative is guided by Laura Collins, who is a member of the Nominating Committee as Past President of the association. The goal of the initiative is to prepare recommendations to be considered by the Executive Committee, based on the experiences of the committee this year. The initiative will help ensure that DEAI is formally considered when the committee nominates candidates for various AAAL roles in the future.

Establishment of family-friendly policies to support members attending the annual conference with their children


Charlene Polio, AAAL 


Below is AAAL's policy for attending the annual convention with children. Although this policy is not immediately relevant to the 2021 convention (the conference being fully online), we would like to thank Prof. Polio for referring us to this important information. The website version is available at

You can read more about AAAL's diversity efforts in the June 2020 AAAL Letter, where Fabiola Ehlers-Zavala, AAAL Secretary and AAAL-AILA Representative, provides an extensive update.  

Editorial note: The blurbs in this section were edited for brevity and clarity.