Our Commitment to Anti-Racism, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Jun 19, 2020

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Dear AACN Community Members,

Like you, we are deeply saddened and angered by the violence and systemic racism against Black Americans. The senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Rayshard Brooks are some of the most recent examples of the countless deaths and the longstanding history of injustice, inequality and racial discrimination that persists in our country.

As nurses, we have observed and continue to see these inequities unfold in healthcare, our communities and our own lives. The current social climate and COVID-19 crisis have amplified racial, economic and health disparities. It's painful to witness the impact of these inequities as they manifest in our patients' health challenges.

We, as individuals and as a community, share responsibility for this entrenched system of privilege and oppression. And we also share the responsibility to do and be better. So much is at stake. The solutions will not be simple or easy. We're seeking clarity on the AACN community's most impactful contributions to creating the future we envision.

In 2016, AACN began an internal journey of equity, diversity and inclusion. We invested significant time and resources to start with ourselves and work on awareness and learning to be better individuals and a better organization, committed to effecting sustainable change. This work — which included in-depth EDI training for our boards of directors, senior leadership and all employees — was deliberate and thoughtful, but also incomplete.

Although we are still early in this journey, let there be no doubt about our stance on these deep, important issues:

  • AACN condemns the violence, suffering and fear caused by ongoing social injustice and racism.
  • AACN values and honors the spectrum of human experiences, perspectives and identities.
  • AACN is committed to creating a future where people of color do not bear the burdens of living with fear and inequity, and can enjoy the full benefits and respect due to all of us equally.

Our journey continues, but now with even greater insight. This work is about driving a cultural transformation to ensure a sustainable way of being, not a checklist of things to do or motions to go through. On the next leg of our journey, we are committed to these actions:

  • Action 1 — Engage and partner with you, the members of our nursing community, to inquire, listen, learn and plan the next steps for our organization and community.
  • Action 2 — Share the equity, diversity and inclusion work we have undertaken to date.
  • Action 3 — Elevate and accelerate the comprehensive integration of equity, diversity and inclusion into our strategic and operating plans.

A truly meaningful contribution to the AACN community and the nation cannot be shaped without you. We've been on a path for many years to fully engage our AACN community in defining who we are and our collective future. An association — in our case a community of exceptional nurses — is not an average company, not just a business with customers. AACN is all of us — members, staff and volunteers. We look forward to engaging with you in this vital work.

Megan Brunson

Dana Woods
Chief Executive Officer

Denise Buonocore
Chair, AACN Certification Corporation