Who Does Hopkins Press Help #SpeakUp?
We recently sat down with Ariana González Stokas, the author of Reparative Universities: Why Diversity Alone Won't Solve Racism in Higher Ed, to discuss her book, her DEI work, and her experience publishing with a university press for the first time.
Hopkins Press (HP): Why did you decide to publish your first book with Johns Hopkins University Press?
González Stokas (GS): A former student, Kyle Gipson, was working for Hopkins, and he reached out to see if I was working on anything. He encouraged me to submit. In the process, I found the Press to be very kind and supportive. I had also been influenced by the critical university studies work that Hopkins Press had been publishing for a few years so it seemed like a good fit for the book.
HP: Can you tell us about your DEI work and how it’s related to your book Reparative Universities?
GS: After holding several jobs as a senior-level diversity administrator, my philosopher brain began wondering about the genealogy of diversity; why we use it as a kind of proxy for justice or remedy. In the spaces of higher education, reparations are rarely put forward as a viable anti-racism strategy. I wanted to understand what diversity is, why reparative actions are thinly understood and employed and how we might make such activities rigorous within administrative work. It is hopeful to see that more institutions, as they reckon with histories of slavery, genocide, and the dispossession of indigenous communities, are making attempts at reparation and reconciliation.
HP: What does it mean to you to publish your first book with a university press like Hopkins?
GSs: It's humbling, as I feel like I am in such good company with the interesting and brilliant scholars Hopkins Press publishes. It was also such a nice process. I mean, folks at the Press are really kind and supportive. I haven't found that to be true in all academic publishing.
HP: How does your work and your book contribute to amplifying marginalized voices and the expansion of ideas?
GS: I hope that people doing diversity work and the people who allocate resources to this work take seriously the significance of reparative activities to creating a future more healed from racism. I hope it spreads the notion that reparations are not just monetary recompense; it is an ethic, a way of knowing and acting that marginalized communities have employed, using various tactics, for survival.