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From the Desk of the ACCP President

September 06, 2022
Leigh Ann Ross, Pharm.D., FCCP, FASHP, FAPhA, FNAP, BCPS

Our Journey Toward Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

First-day school photos. For many, September marks the beginning of a new academic year. From children starting kindergarten to student pharmacists arriving on university campuses across the nation, pictures are flooding social media of back-to-school activities with big smiles from learners and teachers. Often, these posts display a side-by-side comparison of photos of children starting their journey toward adulthood in elementary school with their high school senior first-day photos. Wow, the changes can be significant – from snaggle-toothed little ones to tall, striking young adults. We can see the growth and maturity. If we instead looked from the first- to second-grade photo, it might appear at first glance that not much had changed. However, if we look closely, we can see development from this first year of gaining knowledge, applying that knowledge to new experiences, and building confidence.

The early phases of ACCP’s journey toward diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have paralleled this developmental process. We began this important work as the equivalent of a small child on the first day of school. We have made steady progress by working with outside consultants, developing a DEI plan, and implementing the changes recommended by the ACCP DEI Task Force, Member Relations Committee, and others. Specific DEI activities over the past 2 years were highlighted in the August ACCP Report (ACCP Report: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at ACCP).

One concept emphasized by experts in this area is the importance of employing well-thought-out processes, not only in developing a DEI plan but also in implementing its strategic priorities. We feel a sense of urgency to optimally model inclusivity; reflect diversity in our leadership, award recipients, and membership; and ensure equitable practices in all aspects of our operations. We want to progress from first grade to senior year overnight. We wish to achieve a level of maturity that comes with years of thought, planning, and hard work … and we want to accomplish this end right now! I encourage all members to review the ACCP DEI plan, take pride in the achievements to date, remain fiercely committed to continued progress, and identify ways we can all learn and grow in the coming year. But we must also embrace patience as we collectively matriculate to the next phase of our DEI efforts. We can’t be discouraged if ACCP’s 2022 “photo” doesn’t include a graduation cap. There is much more work ahead to reach our goals, and we remain committed to excellence at each step. I am proud to be part of this exceptional organization that values diversity and translates commitment to action. Thank you for supporting and facilitating these efforts as we progress steadily on our journey to the desired end point of making the College a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive professional association.


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