AAAR Representation and Equity Statement
AAAR is strongly committed to creating equity and justice in our scientific and broader communities. The protests in the weeks following the murder of George Floyd and the horrific stories from those who have bravely exposed their experiences of racial discrimination and hate crimes have opened the eyes of many of us who had not fully recognized or understood these injustices previously. AAAR strongly condemns actions that destroy Black lives and livelihoods.
We know that Black, Brown, Indigenous, Asian/Pacific Islander, LGBTQ+ and other underrepresented minority (URM) members in the STEM disciplines face discrimination in their work and private lives. This is certainly true for our own AAAR racial and other minority members. We recognize that AAAR has been too slow in embracing diversity and racial equity in our culture. We have not had proper representation of URM groups in our organization leadership or other high visibility roles, and we have missed out on the contributions of URM members in our organization. We are committing to do better to increase URM participation and equally support all our members in their career development and success.
We are already moving forward with a plan of action. Increasing diversity in our Membership is part of our new Strategic Plan, which was approved by the Board of Directors in February 2020. The AAAR Representation and Equity Affairs Committee, initiated in fall 2019, is currently assessing the needs of the AAAR community and proposing a path forward using evidence-based sources. Focus areas include promoting URM members in leadership roles, increasing nominations of URM members for AAAR awards, and supporting the success of our early career URM members. This support includes education and actions for our entire community. We have dedicated funding in the annual budget for diversity programming at the annual conference and will share these plans with you for the 2020 conference soon.
We will be looking for your participation in this important undertaking. Some of you have already contacted the AAAR leadership to encourage us to make changes, and we thank you for your input. If you would like to share your experiences and/or ideas, please contact the AAAR president Andrea Ferro (firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or the chair of the Representation and Equity Affairs Committee Lupita Montoya (email@example.com).
Together, we pledge to identify and eliminate systemic racism within AAAR and to be a positive example of support for our URM scholars.
Andrea R. Ferro (AAAR President), Clarkson University
Lupita D. Montoya (AAAR Representation and Equity Affairs Committee Chair), University of Colorado
AAAR Executive Committee and Board of Directors Members:
Sergey Nizkorodov (Vice President), University of California, Irvine
Akua Asa-Awuku (Vice President Elect), University of Maryland, College Park
Amy Sullivan (Treasurer), Colorado State University
Kelley Barsanti (Secretary), University of California, Riverside
Murray Johnston (Immediate Past President), University of Delaware
Cari Dutcher (Director), University of Minnesota
Arantza Eiguren-Fernández, (Director), Aerosol Dynamics Inc.
Robert Griffin (Director), Rice University
Lea Hildebrandt Ruiz (Director), University of Texas at Austin
Jesse Kroll (Director), Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Timothy Raymond (Director), Bucknell University
Julie Stone (Director), URG Corp.
Jason D. Surratt (Director), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Qi Zhang (Director), University of California, Davis