Message from the Board of Trustees: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
A message from the AOTF Board of Trustees:
We condemn the brutal and senseless killings of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and all of the Black men and women who have violently lost their lives. We join in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement to end racial injustice, racial trauma, systemic racism, structural violence, health inequities, oppression, and police brutality. We know members of our community are personally and deeply impacted by these events.
We recognize expressions of support are not enough and are taking actions to demonstrate our commitment and initiate changes in our practices and programs that will be impactful and enduring. While some of these actions build on existing initiatives within AOTF, others represent new steps that the Foundation will be enacting in direct response to recent events. Over three years ago AOTF committed to increasing our diversity on our Board of Trustees and our current membership reflects this commitment. Our Volunteer Development and Nominating Committee has recently reaffirmed this stance and is determined to continue to build on their efforts. The AOTF Board of Trustees has been both individually and collectively reflecting on our past and current actions, implementing changes, developing plans for future actions, and creating a sustainable process to ensure we exercise our talents and resources to promote transformative changes. We are reviewing and rewriting our research priorities so that our funding programs reflect the importance we place on social and racial justice. We are identifying educational and reflective programs for our research community to directly engage in addressing systemic racism, structural violence, and disparities. We are also asking all our strategic planning work groups to reappraise our objectives and tactics so that all our AOTF programs and resources are directed toward enacting needed change. We have provided descriptions below of selected changes enacted as well as future initiatives we are developing.
This is just the beginning. We will continue to build on these actions this summer and develop a definitive set of action plans and benchmarks to be considered for adoption at our September Board meeting. We recognize that changes will need to occur on multiple levels including individual, interpersonal, local community, institutional and organizational, and national and global levels. The Action List below summarizes current and planned activities.
See Full Statement with Action Plan