The year 2021 marks the 47th Anniversary of the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAAED), formerly the American Association for Affirmative Action. It is also the 60th Anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s Executive Order 10925 – the first Order to require equal opportunity and affirmative action in the workplaces of federal contractors. The theme of the AAAED National Conference this year is “Reflect, Reset and Move Towards Justice, Equity and Inclusive Excellence.” In view of the challenges the world faces, with an unprecedented pandemic and health crisis, and the outcry for racial justice, the AAAED conference theme could not be more appropriate. We have chosen to turn these challenges to an online opportunity. Moreover, we are learning to embrace the technology of today and promote our mission of access, equity and diversity in a virtual environment.
The virtual conference agenda contains many of the programs from an in-person event, but it will be offered in three parts. First, the conference will begin in June as the AAAED Annual Membership Business Meeting, where, in accordance with the AAAED Bylaws, members (and nonmembers) hear from the association’s leadership, listen to the presentations of those seeking office in 2022, and vote on matters of association business.
On October 7 – 8, 2021, we will host for the first time, two days dedicated to the self-care and professional development of our members and attendees. As an association, AAAED’s motto is: “Advocate. Educate. Activate.” The two-day Self-Development Program is dedicated to the “Activate” portion of our motto, where we place emphasis on the personal development of our members. This is particularly important given the fact that during the past two years the nation has been ravaged by COVID-19. The program will address such questions as: “How do we cope with the adjustments we had to make to protect ourselves and our families from this pandemic? How do we successfully perform our jobs when most of the work we do is virtual?” As equal opportunity professionals (EOPs), what is our career trajectory and where does it lead? What are the potential opportunities for advancement for individuals in our profession? These Self-Development days will help to address these and other questions regarding our personal growth.
On October 11 – 15, we will host Pre-Conference Workshops (October 11 – 12) and the Main Conference (October 13 – 15). The virtual conference will include keynoters who have recently taken the lead at federal EEO agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education. The meeting will culminate in the Annual Awards Ceremony.
Conference attendees have the option of purchasing the entire Conference Package, including the June annual meeting, virtual sessions, Master Classes and Deeper Dives, and/or may choose to purchase the Self-Development program: one day for personal self-care and the second for professional development.
We hope you will enjoy the 21st Century virtual format. For AAAED, this is equal opportunity re-imagined. It is also turning a daunting obstacle into a wonderous opportunity to learn and share in a virtual space.
Thank you for your support of AAAED! We look forward to “seeing” you at the Conference!