ABAI's Commitment to Equity
We join with voices across the country and world in expressing our outrage over the numerous acts of racial violence that have happened recently in the US, including the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, among many others. We also recognize importantly that these acts are not unique to the US--racial violence and inequity happen all over the world and are most certainly not recent phenomena.
There is a great need for change in our society and our world and we feel it is important to start with home--our collective home of the Association for Behavior Analysis International. We are committed to creating a more nurturing and welcoming environment for all of our members. We have a great deal of work in front of us, but we wanted to announce (and re-announce) some of the things that are happening now within the organization:
Last fall, the ABAI Council appointed a board for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) whose charge is to support efforts to foster a climate of diversity, equity, and inclusion in behavior analysis and ABAI. The committee is comprised of some of ABAI's strongest, most talented forces for good: Carol Pilgrim (chair), Shahla Ala'i, Jovonnie Esquierdo-Leal, Elizabeth Fong, Wayne Fuqua, Ramona Houmanfar, Fran McSweeney, and Jomella Watson-Thompson. The DEI Board already has established programs to promote DEI for the ABAI community through an ABAI scholarship via a paper competition on DEI and an award for achievement in innovations in DEI. More on these opportunities will be disseminated as the DEI Board arranges the details.
You may have heard about ABAI's first Culturo-Behavior Science for a Better World conference, which is set for October 7-9, 2020. This conference will bring together behavior analysts who are examining issues of culture with others from outside the discipline to exchange research and ideas that will help solve our cultural problems. For more information, check our website here.
We are taking steps to reduce sexual harassment within our organization and beyond. ABAI belongs to the Societies Consortium on Sexual Harassment in STEMM. Last year ABAI passed a position statement on sexual harassment for our organization. You can access this statement here.
If you attended the 46th annual convention (and first ever online, interactive ABAI convention), you may have noticed a large number of talks and poster presentations on how to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in various settings. These topics are growing in visibility in our field and becoming part of our structural fabric. We encourage more research and dissemination in this area, both in our journals and at our events. And, if you were unable to attend the convention this year, you can access some of the talks via on-demand sessions.
This is a difficult time. It is also an opportunity for change. We hope you will help us be a part of that change. We welcome your ideas and feedback by responding to this address.