International ACAC Executive Board’s Statement on
Systemic Racism, Injustice and Where We Go From Here

June 29, 2020 

Dear Members,

On June 2nd, International ACAC released a statement to affirm the organization’s stance that Black Lives Matter and its commitment to denouncing injustices and working collectively to support and empower our members. We, the 2019-2020 Executive Board of International ACAC, recognize this statement was overdue and affirm that we are committed to change. We acknowledge that we have not adequately recognized international education's role in colonialism and white supremacy. We are fully aware that as the organization’s leadership, we must do better. We will do better.

As an organization whose mission includes fostering ethical and social responsibility, we acknowledge that we have not always created an atmosphere of inclusion for all of our members. We accept that we have not moved to address issues of racial inequality and marginalization with the vigor we should have when members brought these matters to our attention. We promise to be accountable to members with regular updates about our efforts and opportunities to engage in critical discussions, beginning with next month’s virtual conference. 

As we embark on our efforts to create and sustain change, we will: 

  • Provide spaces for focused conversations for the membership through webinars and conference sessions.

  • Collaborate and work closely with our Committee on Issues of Diversity to engage in global diversity training and to build knowledge and understanding on topics of white supremacy, global racism, cultural competency, and anti-racism throughout our organization. We will start by recognizing that diversity is more than issues and continue with current conversations to identify a name that best addresses the actions of this committee.

  • Elevate underrepresented and unheard voices within our Executive Board and membership to ensure non-US centric perspectives as well as points of view of members who identify as people of color, are part of the greater conversation. 

  • Engage in listening and learning.

  • Seek ongoing feedback about these efforts from our members.

We pledge to identify and break down systemic structures, practices, and ideas that perpetuate racial inequality and injustices, in our work as counseling, admissions and organizational professionals and as members of our association. International ACAC’s work begins with elected leadership and we are committed to moving our organization, with you, our members, forward.  

We recognize what is written in this statement are just words right now and ask our membership to continue to hold us accountable, to push us to listen, to ask us tough questions, and to have difficult conversations; we are committed to doing the same. 

In Solidarity, 
2019-2020 Executive Board
Aaron Andersen, Past-President
David Bernay, Vice President for Communications
Ruby Bhattacharya, Vice President for Admissions/Enrollment Practices 
Michelle Chow-Liu, Vice President for Membership
Marco Dinovelli, Delegate to the NACAC Assembly
Emily Dobson, Delegate to the NACAC Assembly
Joachim Ekstrom, Delegate to the NACAC Assembly
Shilpa Gupta, Delegate to the NACAC Assembly
Tracy How, Vice President for Finance 
Becky Konowicz, President
Wilson Lee, Delegate to the NACAC Assembly
Daniel Marschner, Vice President for Advocacy & Outreach
Dean Mendes, Delegate to the NACAC Assembly
Cory Miller, Delegate to the NACAC Assembly
Denise Nijhuis, Vice President for Professional Development 
Charlie Pybus, Delegate to the NACAC Assembly
Kathleen Schultz, President-Elect
Theresa Schweser, Executive Director, ex-officio
Joe Tavares, Vice President for Inclusion, Access & Success