Thursday, June 4, 2020

A Message from the AAEA Executive Board

AAEA condemns the racially motivated acts of violence, police brutality, and overreach of military action against US civilians over the past week.

These heart-wrenching events leave us all reflecting on the role each of us might play in proactively confronting the systemic conditions that have allowed such injustices to persist. It is understandable to feel anger, mistrust in some of our public institutions, and incapable of having any meaningful impact. It makes it even more challenging that we are constrained in our ability to come together as colleagues and friends to support one another in the middle of a global pandemic, which has disproportionately affected African-Americans and other persons of color.

As an organization, our responsibility is to remain a platform for rigorous research on a breadth of societal issues, engaged public discourse across a diverse set of stakeholders and to inform discussions and policies that can help refine and strengthen the frayed social fabric.

Science is stronger when it can grow from a diverse set of experiences.  To be truly inclusive, we must move beyond steps taken in the past to improve the culture and climate of our association and escalate our efforts to create a different future for underrepresented minorities, women, and others historically marginalized in our profession and in society.

As an association, we ask you to reflect on and commit to our community principles:
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion across all the dimensions of our communities and science,
  • Systemic change begins with everyone feeling safe, actively heard, and respected, and
  • Hatred, discrimination, and injustice have no place within the AAEA, in our institutional homes, or in our communities.
Let us pledge ourselves to these principles and rededicate ourselves to the mission of striving toward a just society that needs engaged, empathetic and intelligent education, science-based and community-driven research, and engaged scholars more than ever.

The AAEA Board commits to taking concrete action by:
  1. Supporting efforts to increase the pipeline of African Americans, women, and other under-represented minority groups into the profession, including in leadership positions. 
  2. Increasing plenary lectures, scholarly awards, Fellow, and other prominent recognitions of top economists who are African American, women, and members of other underrepresented minority groups.
  3. We will pursue having a call in our journals to address issues of race and equity around agriculture, food, and the environment. 
  4. Continue our climate survey of the profession. The survey was created and fully implemented by the CWAE and COSBAE Sections and funded by the AAEA Trust.
  5. Recognize organizations, departments, and individuals who promote diversity, equity, and inclusion among their students and employees.
  6. Increase mentorship and outreach efforts. 
AAEA Executive Board

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