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TESOL DEIA Initiative

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA)

In principle and in practice, TESOL values and seeks diverse and inclusive participation within the field of English language teaching and is committed to upholding antiracist and antidiscrimination policies and practices within the association while requiring the same level of commitment from its global partners and sponsors. TESOL promotes equitable representation, engagement, and access to professional opportunities for all and proactively works to eliminate any kind of discrimination and social injustice based on individual differences, including age, appearance, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, geographic location, language background, national origin, race, religion and belief, and sexual orientation. TESOL is committed to being a welcoming organization. This commitment is reflected in our leadership, membership, sponsors, global partners, resources, and staff and by ensuring an inclusive environment at all levels. 

If you feel we have fallen short or that you have experienced discrimination at a TESOL event or by a TESOL representative, report the incident.  

Utilizing recommendations from the TESOL Diverse Voices Task Force (DVTF), TESOL International Association launched an association-wide effort in the Summer 2021 to increase diversity, equity, inclusion, and access (DEIA) in all aspects of its governance and operations.

What We Have Done

Updated code of conduct to encompass interaction on all platforms and channels and in-person locations with link to an incidence reporting form.  
Provided diversity training for TESOL staff, volunteer leaders, and convention reviewers.
Considered the demographics of our current volunteer leaders when selecting the 2024 slate.
Included land acknowledgement during opening convention general session.
Requiring new volunteer leaders and myTESOL members to acknowledge code of conduct.
Released Discrimination in Education white paper. 
Included global perspectives and resources in the advocacy portal.


Hosted webinars highlighting various cultures.
Organized a global panel during the Advocacy Summit.
Launched enhanced demographic information for members.
Provided DEIA training for Board, staff and volunteer leaders.
Increased outreach to diverse speakers, presenters, and program facilitators.
DEIA criteria for the executive director search.
Launched inclusive welcome message.
Focused on inclusive invited presentations and presenters at our events.
Added language to all TESOL contracts and sponsorship and exhibitor agreements requiring adherence to TESOL's code of conduct and commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and access while conducting work on behalf of TESOL. 
Applied a DEIA lens and used a facilitator with DEIA expertise to develop TESOL's new strategic plan.
Encourage historically marginalized and under-represented groups to become TESOL leaders. 
Reviewed the TESOL awards to ensure they reflect our values and are inclusive of all.
Recruiting diverse writers and editors for TESOL publications.
Established a new process for recruiting a more diverse pool of expert reviewers for TESOL book and product proposals.
Increased in-person events outside of N. America.
Strengthened our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access.

What You Can Do

  • Educate yourself on diversity, equity, inclusion and access topics.
  • Be an advocate for under-represented groups and marginalized individuals.
  • Complete or update your profile to include demographic information.
  • Spread the word about TESOL's initiative and efforts.
  • Welcome everyone to TESOL, both in-person and online.

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