EMU's Minorities and Philosophy Chapter (MAP) is a group of students whose mission is to "examine and address issues of minority participation in academic philosophy." Even though the group is mostly lead by graduate students, MAP also relies on faculty support and urges undergraduate involvement. Currently, MAP has 134 chapters throughout the world.
Through the MAP organization, students can share ideas on topics related to minorities and philosophy, meet and support peers and learn from philosophy departments.
A few of MAP's main goals include "addressing minority issues in the profession, theoretical issues regarding philosophy of gender, race, sexual orientation, class, disability, native language, et cetera, and philosophy done from minority perspectives."
Typical meeting formats include external or internal speakers, reading groups, film screenings, mentorship events for undergraduates or graduates, panel discussions, practical workshops that focus on communication techniques, navigating stereotype threat or implicit bias and many other topics.
Cristobal Borges, MAP’s organizer, is a graduate student from EMU and is responsible for installing the MAP chapter at the university.
“Our group is nascent, and as such, our endeavors are modest at this point; we have started out by organizing a reading group that will cover minority-related philosophical topics,“ Borges said.
Borges believes it is important to have a MAP chapter on campus as it exposes people to philosophical topics that are minority-focused.
“One of the goals of MAP is to examine and address issues of minority participation in academic philosophy, and to help repair the leak in the pipeline issues that exist,“ he said. "Our discipline has a dearth of minority faces, not just in the classroom, but in the faculty and also in the material covered in the syllabi. Fortunately for EMU students, our Philosophy Department has been proactive and they've done a great job of furnishing students with an academic experience that is robust and diverse.”
Borges’ goal for EMU’s MAP chapter is to meet for a reading discussion every first Tuesday of the month. He encourages interested students to attend the first meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 5 p.m. in the History and Philosophy lounge.
If interested, please contact Borges at firstname.lastname@example.org to let him know you will be attending.
Even though MAP is still in its early stages, Borges has big hopes for the chapter this year.
“Growing our reading group and attracting folks from varying disciplines/majors is our humble goal at the moment,“ Borges said. "In the future, if I may be so bold as to say, we would like to include a speaker series or perhaps a symposium.”
Borges offered some advice for incoming members.
“Above all else, [we are] an all-inclusive group,“ he said. "We welcome with open arms contributors from all walks of life; you needn't be a philosophy major or grad student. Our group is a safe and welcoming place for all who care to participate.”
To learn more about the Minorities and Philosophy organization and their mission, visit www.mapforthegap.com.