AAUW’s Commitment to Inclusion & Equity

In 2018, AAUW put forth a bold vision for our future with a new strategic plan. The plan included actionable goals and tactics towards achieving equity, along with the values, mission and vision for the organization. We updated the plan in 2020 with a 2.0 version. But words are only as good as the paper they are printed on if they are not embodied in all we do. Our values include being fiercely nonpartisan, always fact-based and with the utmost of integrity, and a commitment to inclusion and intersectionality.

As the Inclusion & Equity Committee — made up of member leaders dedicated to our mission, vision and values — launches this updated set of resources on diversity, equity and inclusion in Fall 2020, I’m reminded of one of our key goals within the plan: Embody the goals and spirit of inclusion, diversity and intersectionality across all AAUW activities and participants.

We need to not only value the importance of intersectionality, diversity and equity, we must do the work — and it is lifelong work, core to our mission and vision. Systemic racism is firmly rooted in the U.S. and the injustices of today mirror our shameful history, from police brutality to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color.

AAUW must commit and continuously recommit to fighting for justice, long-term and lasting change, and we stand in solidarity against racism. But, as AAUW is nearing 140 years old, we also acknowledge that as an organization we have a lot of our own work to do in diversity, equity and inclusion.

Our commitment to diversity is not just among the staff at the national office, or with the nationally elected board — this must be a commitment from all of our 170,000 members and advocates around the nation who believe in our vision of equity for all. That means we must hold each other accountable, we must set bold goals and be transparent about where we are and where we are going, we must be lifelong learners in reading, listening and understanding. This is work we must all embrace, and I’m grateful to the Inclusion & Equity Committee for putting forth a roadmap to help guide your individual and group work ahead.

You’ll continue to hear more from me, the staff and the Board about additional efforts in embracing diversity and inclusion in all that we do at AAUW, but for now, I invite you to open your heart, your mind, your ears and your eyes and dive into this work with us.

Finally, I want to extend my personal appreciation to past and present members of the Inclusion & Equity Committee and to express my deep gratitude for all their thoughtful work that went into creating this toolkit.

In solidarity,

Kim Churches