The senseless murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery and the numerous other unjust Black killings have left us all grieving, but none more than the Black community. The Arizona Speech-Language-Hearing Association stands in solidarity with our Black colleagues, clients, patients, students and Black community at large. It is devastating that it took the loss of these lives for further light to be shed on the systemic racism and injustices that continue to exist in this country.
The fact that our profession is predominately White is not lost on us. Despite efforts to increase diversity in the fields of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, ASHA member demographics continue to fall short compared to the communities we serve. With this in mind, we are committed to confronting racism, racial bias, and inequity. As a helping profession, our job is not only to recognize the individual needs of each person we serve, but to understand the lens in which we view the world and how this affects our every interaction. We need to address the impact that racism and biases has on our field and the way we deliver services.
Our work happens within the context of our communities, cities, state, country and the world right now. It is our goal to make the spaces within which we operate safe and supportive. As clinicians, it is our responsibility to create this safe and supportive environment as we continually examine the ethics of our words, actions and assumptions.
ArSHA, led by our Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Committee, is committed to fostering open discussion among BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) students entering our field, providers, and those receiving our services within the broader provider community. We are also committed to creating and disseminating resources for providers to use as they confront racism, racial bias, and inequity in their work with those with communication disorders and differences. Previous work by the committee includes: "Implicit Bias in Clinical Practice" by Chelsea Privette, M.Ed., CCC-SLP (https://www.arsha.org/implicit-bias-in-clinical-practice/); and "Cultural Differences and Imposter Syndrome" by Nicole C. Flournory (https://www.arsha.org/cultural-differences-and-imposter-syndrome/). Look for more resources and opportunities in the coming months.
Please join us in this important work.
The Executive Board, Special Committee Chairs, and Arizona State Adocates