America is mourning. Today we woke to city streets filled with broken glass and smoldering wreckage as protests have turned violent for the sixth day in cities across America over the death of an unarmed black man, George Floyd.
People are right to be upset at this senseless injustice, and we have to confront the truth that our country has been on a journey of anger and frustration over systemic racism throughout its history. African Americans and other communities of color live with these feelings on a daily and hourly basis. The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. said that riots are the language of the unheard. It is profoundly disturbing when peaceful protests turn violent and are marred by looting and vandalism. Even as violence should never be condoned and is, in fact, not a solution, we should all be listening. We need things to change and we need them to change now.
While the answers to racial injustice are complex and multi-faceted, America’s associations are a community of listeners and problem solvers. We need tangible commitments from our nation’s leaders to address racial inequalities once and for all, but every one of us needs to do the work, to identify, challenge and change the values, structures and behaviors that perpetuate systemic racism. My hope is that we as association leaders will confront the uncomfortable truths in our world, create communities that are truly collaborative and be active embracers of a better tomorrow.
To help us on this journey, ASAE is making the following session available to staff and members. We will share more scheduling details soon but I encourage everyone to take advantage of this virtual discussion.
Exploring Anger, Frustration and Hopelessness: From COVID-19 to George Floyd
You are invited to participate with your colleagues in a discussion that thoughtfully examines a national heartache. From COVID-19 to the public deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, this virtual session will explore the impact of multiple pandemics and the challenges we all must acknowledge to better interact with and serve each other. We will discuss and learn coping strategies, effective communication and individual responsibilities.
The virtual session will be led by Janet and Gary Smith, co-founders of Ivy Planning Group, a nationally renowned diversity, equity and inclusion consulting and training firm. www.ivyplanninggroup.com
As always, be safe and stay well.
Susan Robertson, CAE
ASAE President & CEO
ASAE Executive Team:
Mary Kate Cunningham, CAE – Vice President, Public Policy
Karl Ely, CAE – Senior Vice President and Publisher
Reggie Henry, CAE – Chief Information & Engagement Officer
Greta Kotler, CAE – Chief Global Development Officer
Amy Ledoux, CAE, CMP – Chief Learning & Meetings Officer
Robb Lee – Chief Marketing & Communications Officer
Sharon E. Moss, Ph.D., CRA, CAE – President, ASAE Research Foundation
Betsy Piper Bach, JD, CFP®, CIMA® – President, ASAE Business Services, Inc.
Heidi Robey – Chief Financial Officer
Robert Skelton, CAE – Chief Administrative Officer