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Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Policy on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

GSA Board of Directors approved August 27, 2021

Prelude

The Gerontological Society of America (hereinafter referred to as the “Society”) is more than 75 years old. Our Society serves as a voice for advancing the study of aging. We recognize the need to be intentional in our actions to achieve our highest ideals. For these reasons, we make an active and conscious effort to challenge racism and discrimination in any form and view this as central to our ideals of creating an, equitable, diverse, and inclusive Society that promotes meaningful lives for all as we age.

Policy

GSA will embed diversity, equity, and inclusion as fundamental principles and practices across the Society to:

  1. Embrace an inclusive membership culture that recognizes and values all backgrounds, voices, roles, and contributions
  2. Cultivate practices that build a culturally inclusive workforce, empowered, and supported to carry out the principles of equity, and inclusion
  3. Foster research practices to include a culturally inclusive workforce in the development and implementation of research on aging to achieve health equity
  4. Ensure that people from underrepresented, disproportionately affected and marginalized communities thrive in our Society as researchers, educators, policy makers, practitioners, learners, and students
  5. Hold ourselves accountable for developing diverse and inclusive groups and teams, making decisions equitably and transparently, and modeling inclusive behaviors
  6. Strive to have our Society better reflect the members and communities we serve

We will hold fast to our vision: meaningful lives for all as we age, and that all individuals will have the opportunity to live healthy and productive lives and be treated with justice, humanity, dignity, and respect.

Definitions and Commitments

Diversity: We define diversity as a comprehensive compilation of ages, cultures, ideas, people and traditions providing the opportunity to learn at the intersection of this collection of individuals. Our Society values the richness of identities in all areas, including age, race, national origin, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, beliefs, and perspectives. We are committed to having our community better reflect the members and communities we serve.

Equity: We define equity as fairness or justice in the way we treat and value people. Due to the historical discrimination against, and ongoing oppression of, specific communities, effort is required to ensure an equitable organization. In our approach to equity, we are committed to ensuring that people from marginalized communities thrive in our Society as researchers, educators, policy makers, practitioners, and students. Further, we are committed to understanding and identifying how privilege interacts with oppression based on multiply-held identities as a key to achieving equitable outcomes in all of our Society’s programs and activities.

Inclusion: We define inclusion as the act or practice of intentionally including and accommodating people who have historically been excluded. Ensuring that we value and actively address the experiences of people who are marginalized and ignored is critical to achieving equity. Justice goes a step further and requires us to correct previous structural, systemic, and personal wrongs. As the preeminent interdisciplinary gerontological association, we are committed to using our influence and resources to make essential changes to ensure that all programs and activities of our Society are just and inclusive.

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