Office of Appreciative Education Statement on Anti-Racism

Racism in all forms, including systemic, institutional, and/or interpersonal, must be addressed and eradicated. We condemn the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, as well as countless other people. The Office of Appreciative Education (OAE) is joining the fight to create a safe, just, and anti-racist society for all people, and we are committed to examining our own office and educational space first.

The word appreciate is defined as “to grasp the nature, worth, quality, or significance of.” Because we grasp the nature, worth, quality, and significance of Black lives and stand in solidarity with our Black colleagues and students, we are committed to acting upon this historic opportunity to root out racism. Although we understand that the journey ahead will not be easy, we commit to leveraging our strengths, voices, and actions to co-create a better world for everyone.

The Office of Appreciative Education (OAE) team pledges to be part of the solution by deepening our own learning and practicing how to live out being anti-racists. In alignment with the six phases of Appreciative Education and the six tenets of the Appreciative mindset, we will collaborate, grow, and act to intentionally infuse anti-racism principles and practices into our educational offerings and presentations. We will not settle for anything short of realizing the anti-racist society we all imagine.

We believe in the importance of first walking the talk of becoming an anti-racist office. To this end, we are committing to the following first steps to educate ourselves

  1. Read Ibrahm Kendi’s How to be an Antiracist next in our OAE book club.
  2. Create a diverse OAE Advisory Board to guide our anti-racist efforts as well as the overall operation of the Office.
  3. Work to increase the submissions to the Journal of Appreciative Education on anti-racism and Appreciative Education.
  4. Create a compendium of anti-racist resources for the greater Appreciative Education community.
  5. Reconvene our group of colleagues that have been meeting pre-COVID-19 pandemic that is focused on equity and social justice issues in Appreciative Education.
  6. Connect with our partners in the greater Appreciative Inquiry community to figure out how we can co-create a better future.