AACP Statement Related to Racism, Education and the Sept. 22 Executive Order

AACP Article

The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) expresses serious concerns with the Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping released on September 22, 2020, and the Office of Management and Budget memorandum that, together, limit diversity, racism, and sexism training for federal employees, contractors and grantees. These communications, while vague and difficult to enforce, produce a chilling effect on educational initiatives that are needed in today‚Äôs workplaces to address historical and ongoing conscious and unconscious biases against marginalized groups in our society.

Inclusivity is a core value of AACP and our members. Earlier this year, AACP was a signatory to a statement issued by 13 national pharmacy associations taking a stand against racism. We committed to the following actions:

  • Working together to provide opportunities to address health care disparities and strengthen affected communities.
  • Providing pharmacist, student pharmacist, and pharmacy technician education on social injustices and systematic challenges impacting health care. 
  • Delivering strategies that focus on change through communications, partnerships, and solutions to address health care disparities.
  • Continuing dialogue among pharmacy organizations and stakeholders to identify and implement change.

Moreover, in July 2020, the AACP House of Delegates approved two statements related to social justice and anti-racism:

As educators, researchers, and healthcare professionals, members of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy are committed to the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, justice and anti-racism; and will seek opportunities to eradicate structural and systemic racism to address social determinants of health, diminish health disparities, and promote racial equity.

AACP House of Delegates

AACP supports the integration within core curriculum and programs information regarding the historical and current impact of structural and systemic racism and cultural biases on health care disparities, including strategies to promote health equity and delivery of culturally responsive care.  

The September 22nd Executive Order blunts the ability of government employees, contractors and grantees to fulfill the intent of these statements to the detriment of our aims of creating cultures of inclusion, diversity, and cultural safety, overall. It is clear that education, among other strategies, is one element of achieving our aims, and that education must be built upon the evidence that structural racism exists and has contributed to health disparities and other societal ills that are pervasive even today. The disproportionate morbidity and mortality experienced among populations of color during the COVID-19 pandemic is but one more reminder of the need for proactive intervention through intentional education and action in our society.

AACP stands shoulder to shoulder with our colleagues in health professions education to broaden the lens with which we view diversity, equity and inclusion to include anti-racism initiatives that will move us toward equitable access to education, health care, social justice and upward mobility for all. 

About AACP

Founded in 1900, AACP is the national organization representing the interests of pharmacy education. AACP is comprised of all accredited colleges and schools with pharmacy degree programs, including more than 6,500 faculty, 60,600 students enrolled in professional programs and 4,400 individuals pursuing graduate study. To learn more about AACP, visit www.aacp.org.