Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
We are committed to actively and intentionally working to center and uplift communities that have historically and are currently facing systemic exclusion, disenfranchisement, and disinvestment. To strengthen and advance the environmental health profession, we resolve to nurture an organizational and membership culture with justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) at its foundation—one that promotes respect, dignity, fairness, and equality.
We affirm our commitment to these values:
- Justice. We resolve to continually assess and address systems that perpetuate systemic exclusion, disenfranchisement, and disinvestment.
- Equity. We resolve to ensure access for these impacted communities to resources and opportunities by continually evaluating, identifying, and removing systemic barriers, inequities, and disadvantages.
- Diversity. We seek to accurately reflect the populations and communities we serve, including our members, by actively working to ensure that our culture embraces and celebrates people from a multitude of cultural and life experiences and communities.
- Inclusion. We resolve to foster a culture where every individual is respected, accepted, and welcomed, and where diverse voices are amplified and valued.
To fulfill our mission and live our values, we aim to make our commitment to JEDI evident in our work, network structures, organizational structures, policies, staff, mission, and vision. Upholding these values is the responsibility of every individual within our organization; employees are charged with meaningfully promoting these values in their day-to-day work. Embracing these values cannot live in a statement alone.
We are committed to fostering an empowered workforce that celebrates the unique contributions of its members and does not discriminate based on race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity or expression, or veteran status. While we acknowledge the aforementioned categories, we believe that the essence of human dignity supersedes any attempt at categorization and we honor the complex fabric that makes up our identities and experiences.
We believe that we can accomplish far more together than alone. We are stronger—and our work and outcomes are more just and impactful—when a diversity of people and abilities make up our staff, board, networks, and partners, and guide and inform our strategy, programs, research, resources, convenings, and outreach.
We are committed to the following JEDI objectives:
- Placing JEDI at the forefront of organizational and programmatic decision-making, hiring practices, and retention practices to drive meaningful and sustainable change.
- Intentionally integrating JEDI principles throughout our programs and within our resource allocation and decision-making processes so that our actions are informed by a broad range of perspectives.
- Building relationships that value, respect, hear, and empower members while leveraging our networks, relationships, and access to amplify the voices of our partners who are centering equity and inclusion in support of our workforce and communities and responding when these ideals are not met.
- Fostering a culture of continuous growth and learning; regularly evaluating staff needs and experiences related to diversity and inclusion and sharing openly our efforts and the solutions we implemented.
The adoption of the JEDI statement:
- Codifies our commitment to the JEDI initiative and incorporates the values into every level of our operations
- Elevates the work of creating a more equitable organization and contributes resources to the pursuit of this work.
- Demonstrates equity-centered leadership to our profession and follow-through from previous policy statements on race as a public health issue
Incorporated self-identified pronouns into email and nametags. Inclusion of this information:
- Improves how we practice JEDI values
- Provides a more open and accepting environment.
AEC Dress Code
Updated our dress code to reflect our commitment to representing our role as leaders in the environmental health profession while upholding our values of equity, diversity, and inclusion. The modernization of the dress code also better reflects the diversity of our staff.
Conducting multiple staff trainings to:
- Provide our staff with best practices, practical skills, and information to apply principles of justice, equity, and inclusion
- Identify opportunities to live into our values, support and include staff, increase diversity, and upskill and build capacity around anti-oppression
Our work to fulfill the principles outlined will remain a work in progress as we seek ongoing dialogue and improvement. Through these efforts, we aim to empower and uplift the environmental health profession and the professionals we serve who protect the health of our communities.