Because Black Lives Matter
Friday, June 5, 2020
Posted by: AAP Board of Trustees
Dear Physiatry Community,
Black lives matter.
Now more than ever, our collective actions are important to effect change.
The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others before them, have shone a light on centuries of injustice faced by the Black community in America. Acts of racism, violence and hate are unacceptable and must not be tolerated.
The AAP stands against racism and discrimination, and our core values include the basic principles of human rights, justice, and dignity. We know that these words alone are not enough. In addition, although diversity, inclusion and equality have been among our guiding principles, re-affirmations of our actions and ongoing commitments are both essential. The AAP's Board of Trustees has worked with AAP staff to expand and re-affirm our commitments, develop action items, and formalize our commitments to our membership. We hope that these important steps, as outlined below, help foster diversity, equity and inclusion in our association, the field of physiatry, the healthcare system, and society as a whole. Our actions include:
- Standing in solidarity with the Black community – our leaders and members, their families, our staff, our patients and all members of society
- Providing our members with resources that work to understand and break down systemic racism, such as this podcast by Dr. Quinn Capers on implicit bias
- Committing to creating a more diverse Board of Trustees where all races and genders are represented
- Re-establishing our Membership Committee as a new Membership & Diversity Committee to focus on data-driven equity and inclusion at every level of the AAP
- Training all members of our Leadership Development & Recognition Committee (LDRC) on implicit bias
- Actively recruiting more diverse voices for Physiatry Forward, webinars, the AAP’s Annual Meeting, and other AAP programming
- Offering educational sessions at the AAP’s Annual Meeting that foster diversity and inclusion, such as the sessions on implicit bias and microaggressions at our recent meeting
- Becoming more intimately involved in the AMA’s and AAMC’s diversity and inclusion efforts
- Continuing to enforce a zero-tolerance approach to racism and any other forms of discrimination or abuse within our membership and at our Annual Meeting
We are committed to hold ourselves, our team and our community accountable to ensure that every person is treated equally and with respect. These steps are just a start. If you have any suggestions on how we can better support the Black community, we encourage you to share them with us at email@example.com. Together, we can help create lasting change by the way in which we lead by example, teach our communities and treat each other.
May we never forget the lives lost and bravely move forward in their honor.
The AAP’s Board of Trustees