AAPA Supports the Black Community and Pledges to Combat Racism

June 5, 2020

We at AAPA are appalled by the killing of George Floyd and the disturbing pattern of continued violence and discrimination against the Black community. These events, along with passionate messages from PAs and PA students, have propelled us to reflect more deeply on how AAPA can better exemplify the values of the PA profession, now and in the future.

All PAs uphold as their primary responsibility the health, safety, welfare, and dignity of all human beings. This absolutely includes Black lives, which have been jeopardized for more than 400 years. Racism is fueling a public health crisis in our country. We greatly admire and respect the PAs and PA students who are bravely working to eliminate racism. Now AAPA must better support our members in achieving this goal.

AAPA will begin building a comprehensive strategy to do our part to eliminate racism and explicit and implicit bias while promoting equity and justice in healthcare. We know this endeavor deserves more time, collaboration, and attention. But to start, we feel strongly that Black PAs and PA students, and the allies that support them, must be heard.

This month, we will host professionally facilitated online sessions for all PAs and PA students, engaging our constituent organizations that represent people of color. Our goal is to listen, create shared understanding, build trust, and build respect that will make our organization and profession stronger and more effective. We will share details as soon as they are available.

Together, and in partnership with our sister PA organizations, we will identify ways in which AAPA can be of service and take action. These include, but are not limited to, advocating to eliminate health disparities, recruiting Black applicants to the PA profession and developing resources to overcome professional challenges, instituting corporate best practices to address implicit bias and racism, engaging more Black PAs and other PAs of color in volunteer leadership opportunities, and working with the PA Foundation to establish scholarship opportunities for Black PA students.

This is not the end of the conversation but the start. We pledge that AAPA’s work will better reflect the values of the PA profession and that we will move forward with openness and kindness as we seek out every opportunity to listen. This week we have heard many of your voices, and we are thankful.

[Join AAPA for one of two listening sessions for all PAs to listen to and learn from Black PAs and PAs of color, including students, about how racism has impacted and continues to impact their lives and the lives of their patients.]