Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives
Lack of racial diversity and inclusion has been a part of this country’s history since it’s early days. And in March 2020, as the world began grappling with the novel coronavirus COVID-19, frustrations around racial injustices also erupted.
ALCA, like many organizations around the world, issued a statement against racism and the violent acts towards people of color.
The recent senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others have illustrated the long-standing, systemic injustices faced by black men and women in our communities. As an association we deplore racial injustices and demand justice and equality for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
From our very beginning 35 years ago, ALCA members have focused on caring for those vulnerable members of society. And as an association with Ethical Principles for our members, we believe:
“An Aging Life Care Professional behaves in a just and fair way in all professional and business relationships. An Aging Life Care Professional does not promote or sanction any form of discrimination such as discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or socioeconomic status.” And
“ALCA members recognize diversity in our society and embrace a multi-cultural approach to support the worth, dignity, potential and uniqueness of each client. The Code of Ethics acknowledges the vulnerable population we serve and makes explicit the highest standards of practice.”*
We recognize that our principles are not enough and action is needed. We further acknowledge that our efforts to increase the diversity of our membership have not been as effective as we would want them to be. To that end we are forming a task force to develop ideas to recruit more diversity in our membership and create strategies to support our current members. Our commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion has never been more important and our goals are to broaden membership, leadership, and clientele among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
As we grapple with feelings regarding the recent injustices, please reach out to the association staff and leadership to recommend other ways we might be more inclusive in our membership or strategies to ensure equality for all members and the clients we serve. ALCA may not have all the answers today, but we are listening and committed to action and change. Like a global society, as an association, we are always “better together.”
*Aging Life Care Association Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice
However, there is much work to be done.
ALCA's founding members, all women, created an organization focused on helping older adults age well and with dignity. The ALCA Board works to continue to build on the efforts of our founding members, which has always upheld non-discrimination in our membership and in serving clients. We are well aware of the lack of diversity in our membership and we have taken concrete steps to begin working on changing this in a respectful and thoughtful manner.
In March 2020 ALCA mobilized membership and identified outstanding members who could help address and work towards adding diversity in our leadership and membership. ALCA’s 2020 Board President formed two task forces on Membership Diversity and Servicing Diverse Populations.
The Task force met in June and September to discuss our outreach efforts for membership and clientele, and will continue to meet on a regular basis.
Task Force Members:
- Liz Barlowe, 2020 Board of Directors President
- Lisa Mayfield, Immediate Past President
- Connie Rosenberg, Incoming President
- Crystal Littlejohn, Member
- Abbe Udochi, Member
- Kizzy Chambers, Member and 2020 Annual Conference Co-Chair
- Kate Granigan, Board Member, PR Committee Co-Chair
Leadership Awareness & Training
The 2020 Board of Directors and Chapter Presidents have met several times to address this issue and for training.
- 6/4/20 – Southeast Chapter Meeting discussion on diversity
- 6/16/20 - Chapter Presidents Committee Meeting “Discussion about Diversity within the chapter”
- 7/15/20 - Outcomes Data Task Force Meeting “Discussion on Diversity as part of an Outcomes study”
- 7/16/20 – Aging Life Care Association® Board of Directors Meeting “Diversity Task Force ”
- 9/15/20 – Aging Life Care Association® Advisory Board Meeting “Discussion on How are associations becoming more inclusive?”
- 9/15/20 – Chapter Presidents Committee Meeting “Discussion about Diversity within the chapter”
- 9/30/20 – Diversity Group Discussion with Board Members and Non-Members
- 10/8/20 - Diversity Awareness Dialogue Board Discussion with Irene Jackson-Brown
- 01/21 – Scheduled: Diversity training during the Chapter President and Board Retreat.
Leadership created Member events for members to participate and have their voices heard.
ALCA Special Event Webinar 9.29.2020. ALCA Webinar - Diversity and Inclusion: A Skills Gap Approach with Hanif Nu’Man, Sociologist & Attorney
In the Educational Alliances Committee, began focusing on reaching out to traditionally black colleges & universities to recruit members, offer presentations on ALCM, and recruit Academic Partners
Initiated collecting ALCA member race and ethnicity demographics to determine current member diversity percentages and help measure strategy successes
Manager of Marketing & Communication attended “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Media Relations” by Muck Rack
The work is not finished. We will continue to work towards more inclusivity and diversity in all the areas of our association.