AAAED Joins the Civil Rights Groups


American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity

Joins Civil Rights Organizations Expressing Concern about the Nominations of Justice and Education Department Leadership

Association Urges Nominees to Support the Civil Rights Laws Entrusted to their Stewardship

For Immediate Release: December 14, 2016
Contact:  Shirley J. Wilcher, Executive Director 

Washington, DC, December 14, 2016 - The American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAAED) joined as signatory to statements expressing concern about the nominations of Senator Jefferson Sessions and Betsy DeVos to the leadership of the Departments of Justice and Education respectively, under the presidency of Donald J. Trump.  The statements were submitted by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of more than 200 national organizations committed to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States.  AAAED is a member of the Leadership Conference.

In a December 1, 2016 open letter to the United States Senate regarding the nomination of Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions (R-AL) to be Attorney General of the United States, 144 signatories stated in part:

Senator Sessions has a 30-year record of racial insensitivity, bias against immigrants, 
disregard for the rule of law, and hostility to the protection of civil rights that makes him 
unfit to serve as the Attorney General of the United States. In our democracy, the Attorney 
General is charged with enforcing our nation's laws without prejudice and with an eye 
toward justice. And, just as important, the Attorney General has to be seen by the public - 
every member of the public, from every community - as a fair arbiter of justice. 
Unfortunately, there is little in Senator Sessions' record that demonstrates that he would 
meet such a standard.

The confirmation hearing for Senator Sessions is scheduled to take place on January 10 - 11, 2017 before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary in Washington, DC. 

In the December 12, 2016 statement regarding Betsy DeVos, nominee for Secretary of Education, AAAED joined 32 organizations expressing concerns about her nomination:

Equal access to education is a cornerstone of the civil rights movement. The Secretary of Education's role as the enforcer of education and civil rights laws is central to advancing our shared vision of an inclusive and diverse system of high-quality public education that enables every student to live up to their potential.

We are deeply concerned that the President-elect seeks to nominate as a Secretary of Education a candidate whose experience-and lack of experience-calls into question core principles of fairness, equality and a commitment to education.  .... 

DeVos' connections to anti-LGBTQ organizations including those that promote dangerous and discredited 'conversion therapy,' groups that seek to limit a woman's right to health care and civil rights protections for survivors of violence, and her opposition to affirmative action policies demonstrate a lack of respect and appreciation for the diversity of our nation's classrooms and fail to recognize a long and pernicious history of discrimination against groups of students.

AAAED President Myron Anderson stated, "Founded in 1974, AAAED's mission is not only to promote the professional development of its members who are equal opportunity, diversity, affirmative action and human resources professionals, it also promotes understanding and advocacy of affirmative action and other equal opportunity and related compliance laws to enhance the tenets of access, inclusion and equality in employment, economic and educational opportunities."

"Based on the information available, these nominees have challenged us to question whether under their stewardship the tenets of access, equity and diversity will be faithfully implemented," he added.  

For a copy of the letters noted above click here:

Open Letter on Attorney General Nominee Jeff Sessions: Open Letter Re:

Statement on Secretary of Education Nominee Betsy DeVos: