To read this content please select one of the options below:

For diversity scholars who have considered activism when scholarship isn’t enough!

Oscar Holmes IV (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Camden, New Jersey, USA)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

ISSN: 2040-7149

Article publication date: 21 January 2019

Issue publication date: 9 August 2019




The paper is the abridged text of the author’s opening keynote address given on June 28, 2017 at the 10th Annual Equality Diversity Inclusion Conference hosted at Brunel University (London, UK). The conference theme was Borders. The paper aims to discuss this issue.


The address was given orally accompanied with slides that included pictures and quotes of referenced authors and works, websites, memes and various civil rights events. The address interwove personal experiences, published research, social movement strategies and current events and social issues. A brief question and answer period followed the address.


The address made the case that while scholarship is important, diversity scholars need to do more than publish scholarship but also engage in activism. In fact, the author argued that history has informed us that scholarship has never been enough to produce significant civil rights advancements.


Toward this end, the author provides three action steps that diversity scholars can take to engage in activism that produces results: translate research for the general public; partner with activist groups, and call out respectability politics and false equivalencies.



The author thanks all of the author’s mentors who have guided the author up to this point in the author’s career and who selflessly nurture the author’s development as a Scholar–Activist and who foster and protect the author’s well-being. The author thanks Joanna Vassilopoulou and the entire EDI conference team for the invitation to address such an amazing, and inspiring group of scholars. The author gives special thanks to the following people who inspired the author and helped the author craft this address: Kristopher White, Quinetta Roberson, Myrtle Bell, Stacy Hawkins, Chinyere Osuji, Keith Green, and Demetria Logan. The author thanks Rutgers University – Camden and Rutgers School of Business – Camden for being the author’s academic home and supportive of the scholarship, teaching, service and activism that the author does.


Holmes IV, O. (2019), "For diversity scholars who have considered activism when scholarship isn’t enough!", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 38 No. 6, pp. 668-675.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles