Position of AAIDD
The AAIDD community is grieving the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor as well as Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Tanisha Anderson, Deborah Danner, Ezell Ford, Alfred Olango and Keith Lamont Scott and the murder of Black people due to violence, including police violence. We condemn all violence and discrimination resulting from structural racism. As a professional organization, we are committed to supporting the eradication of barriers within policies and practices that are grounded in systemic and structural racism that form inequities for Black people in our country, including Black people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. As an organization, AAIDD does not condone racism or discrimination and recognizes that these issues have unfairly impacted the education, health, justice, and dignity of Black people in our country. In view of that, to AAIDD’s Black members we say–your lives matter! To Black people with intellectual and developmental disabilities—we see you—we support you—and your lives matter!
AAIDD reaffirms our commitment to promoting diversity and understanding that racism is at the forefront of this oppression. We acknowledge that racial inequities contribute to the persistent income and wealth gap, unemployment rate, education bias, housing discrimination, healthcare inequality, social exclusion, and violence that has impacted Black people throughout the history of our country—and has sparked outrage for many individuals across the globe. We as an organization pledge to take action against these injustices by advancing an antiracist agenda that includes leveraging our resources and supports to combat issues of racism. We must also illuminate how racial oppression for Black people with intellectual and developmental disabilities impacts their human rights in ways that it does not impact other groups. Thus, AAIDD pledges to promote anti-racist policies, research, and practices that prioritize equity for Black people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
We are saddened by the multidimensional forms of racism that leads to the death of Black people in this country. This violence against Black people is a reminder of the action that must happen against oppressive forces. Therefore, we call on our AAIDD community to embrace efforts to eradicate unjust forces that particularly impact the lives of Black people. We call on our AAIDD community to identify tangible steps to implement an antiracist agenda and address racist policies that creates trauma for Black people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We also recognize that institutional discrimination targets many groups beyond Black people, and we strongly denounce all such forms of hate that produce inequities and violence. As our nation continues to listen and learn lessons, we are dedicated to working as an organization and with allies to support social justice and antiracism.
AAIDD Board of Directors, December 9, 2020