The Academy is reaffirming its longtime commitment to promoting diversity in the wake of racist, violent demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va.
In a press statement, AAP leaders called the events “horrifying and deeply shocking to AAP members and harmful to children who witnessed and heard about it.”
“Our children must grow up feeling like valued members of our communities,” the statement said. “We will do all we can to make sure that every child lives in an environment free of intolerance.”
Since its founding in 1930, the Academy has worked to foster the well-being of all members and children and to treasure their differences whether in race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or other attributes.
“The Academy’s ongoing efforts to support pediatricians and families have become more urgent as they grapple with the bigotry displayed in Charlottesville. This is an important time for the AAP and its members to lead,” said AAP CEO/Executive Vice President Karen Remley, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H., FAAP.
Those efforts are led by several groups including the AAP Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion, which recently recommended making the Academy’s commitment to diversity more visible, encouraging diversity among AAP leaders and evaluating the Academy’s actions around diversity.
The Academy also has formed a provisional Section on Minority Health, Equity, and Inclusion that aims to advance health equity among children and promote greater inclusion and diversity in the pediatric workforce. Members will be able to discuss the challenges impacting minority children, access tools to address their needs and promote diversity in pediatric medicine. All AAP members are welcome to join.
The newest group, the Task Force on Addressing Bias and Discrimination, has been charged with developing a plan to address common types of bias across a broad spectrum. The group will develop materials for pediatricians and parents, promote partnerships, and develop a policy agenda to build inclusive communities and health care systems.
“Celebrating the diversity of children and families and promoting nurturing, inclusive environments means actively opposing intolerance, bigotry and discrimination,” said AAP President Fernando Stein, M.D., FAAP. “This has always been the commitment of the AAP.”