We are calling for expressions of interest to host affinity group workshops as part of the NAACL 2022 virtual conference (July 10-15, 2022).


An affinity group is a collective of researchers formed around a shared interest or common goal. In our community, affinity groups promote and support ideas and voices of underrepresented groups and raise awareness of issues that affect their members. Previously, affinity groups like Queer in AI, Black in AI, Masakhane, LatinX in AI, North Africans in NLP have organized socials, mini-workshops and workshops in *CL conferences. In this call, we welcome applications from all kinds of affinity groups.

We feel that there is a need for members of affinity groups to have more opportunities to showcase their work and participate and network in *CL conferences. The main aim of these workshops is to encourage folks to showcase their work and step into the NLP community. Unlike other workshops, these workshops are more loosely defined and meant to promote diversity and inclusion.

The idea of having affinity group workshops is to establish research communities out of affinity groups and raise awareness of the challenges faced by them. Hence, the NAACL 2022 D&I committee has decided to actively organize and fund such workshops to bolster the research from these communities. We are also organizing collaborative events to enable interactions between different groups.

Please note that affinity group workshops are different from affinity group socials. We will be releasing a separate call for socials at a later date, and affinity groups who wish to only host a social instead of also inviting paper contributions should respond to our call for socials.

Format of workshop sessions

All affinity workshops should be either hybrid or virtual. Proposals for in-person only affinity group workshops will be rejected. All affinity group workshops are required to have two features: a standalone program, and a collaborative session with other affinity groups.

Standalone programs: Affinity groups can decide the time and length of such programs. Standalone programs can include one or more of the following:

  • Keynote talks
  • Panels
  • Roundtable discussions
  • Socials
  • Lunches
  • Lightning talks
  • Art Exhibit or Other Artistic Intervention

Collaborative sessions: The NAACL 2021 D&I committee will coordinate collaborative events to enable interactions between different groups. Such sessions will include:

  • Shared poster sessions: A combined poster session (in-person and virtual) featuring accepted works from all affinity groups.
  • Plenary sessions: A combined session featuring D&I keynotes, panels and discussions to encourage inter-affinity group discussions.

Affinity groups should collaborate with each other and with the D&I team to design centralized D&I sessions. NAACL D&I team will organize meetups and discussions for getting in touch with affinity groups before the conference to collaborate in structuring collaborative sessions.

Guidelines for call for papers for affinity group workshops

The following guidelines are only recommended and the workshop organizers do not necessarily need to enforce them.

  • Affinity group workshops should release the call for papers to be presented in shared poster sessions.
  • Affinity groups can invite submissions that are proposals, work-in-progress or fully fleshed out research papers.
  • Affinity groups can feature contributions in English or in any language that workshop authors prefer.
  • Affinity groups can also invite authors to submit in any media: paper, poster, resource, corpus, Jupyter notebooks, Github repo, video, art, comics, books etc.
  • The possible timeline that we suggest is:
    • First call for papers: Late Jan / Early Feb
    • Visa-friendly submission deadline: Early April
    • Final submission deadline: Late May
    • Notification date: 2-3 weeks after the submission

Affinity group workshop proposals

The proposals can include the following (the following are recommended, but you can structure the proposal however you like):

  • Abstract and rationale: A summary about your affinity groups and plans for the workshop.
  • Tentative plan of program: Possible schedule, format of the sessions, arrangements between online / in-person modes.
  • Submission system: Timeline to release call for papers, tentative review committee and submission infrastructure
  • Outreach plans: Plans for advertising the call for papers on social media and networks
  • D&I plans: Plans that you want to implement to increase diversity in participation and representation
  • Organization budget: An estimated budget for organizing (excluding registration waivers and travel grants, as these will be funded by NAACL D&I)
  • List of organizers: Names, brief bio and emails of the organizers.
  • Expected attendance: How many people do you expect to attend your workshop. This number can be a very rough estimate.

Depending on the budget, NAACL D&I can fund some of the organizational budget of workshops and provide travel grants and registration waivers to the authors and organizers.

You can send the proposal to the NAACL D&I team (naacl-2022-dei-chairs@googlegroups.com) in the form of a PDF file by Jan 31. If in case you are unable to submit by Jan 31, please inform us and express your interest, so we can make room and budget arrangments for your workshop.

Notes On NAACL 2022 Arrangements

Registration waivers: NAACL 2022 will provide a limited number of registration waivers. Student volunteers will receive registration waivers. The Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) budget will also support qualified authors from underrepresented developing countries or in financial need, who have accepted papers in the main conference and workshops. Applications for waivers will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis via a form included in paper acceptance notifications. More details will be provided in the future. For reference, please see previous year’s grant initiative.

Remote presentation option: The format of the conference will be hybrid so remote presentations will be possible. More details regarding this will be announced in the future.

Visa applications: We understand that authors may face visa issues and processing delays. We will provide visa invitation letters as early as possible, to facilitate early visa applications. As stated above, remote presentations and virtual components will also be available for the conference.