Equity, inclusion, diversity: a call to action 
In the Field
June 11, 2020
A Special Communication From
PATH Intl. President Susan Becklenberg
and CEO Kathy Alm

The course of events over the past few weeks has been extraordinarily painful, for our country, our community and for us personally. The killing of George Floyd and other violence against African Americans at the hands of law enforcement has highlighted the systemic racism in our country. The disproportionate number of African Americans and Hispanics who have died from COVID19 highlights the economic and societal inequities that exist. The protests have shined a light on the need for each of us, as individuals and a community, to look hard at our industry and our own biases.

PATH Intl. is against any type of violence. We oppose racism. We support equal justice for all. We admire and stand with the millions of peaceful protestors demanding needed change.

We believe equity, inclusion and diversity are fundamental to the life-changing work of equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT). We recognize that all of you offer services to people of diverse needs, which is an integral part of who you are and what you do. We know your focus has always been to assist people in living their best life.

We know centers are starting the reopening process and that it takes a lot of time and focus. You want to make sure you are keeping your community of staff, volunteers and participants or clients safe while starting to offer the life-changing services your participants or clients count on. That is important work.

And we know now is the time for all of us to also recognize that we as individuals, professionals, centers and the PATH Intl. organization need to take this time to reflect and determine what more we can do to support the underserved of our country from a financial and health perspective. This includes African Americans, Hispanics and other minority groups.

Our first step is to gather data, to understand the demographics of PATH Intl. Members, Certified Professionals, center staffs, center volunteers and participants or clients. This will give us important information on where our focus should be, helping to answer the question, "Are we serving in the appropriate manner all ethnicities of this country?" The next step will be convening stakeholders and bringing disparate voices to the table for meaningful conversations. This workgroup, led by Ed Milford, PATH Intl. Board Treasurer, will be comprised primarily of members and other stakeholders of color to ensure they are driving the conversation and the recommendations for change. We will also ensure that various perspectives-small center, large center, new member, long-time member, participant and different credentialed professionals for example-will be represented.

We invite you, particularly our members of color, to reach out to Kathy if you would like to be a part of this process and help PATH Intl. and the EAAT industry put our belief in equity, inclusion and diversity into greater action. Please send messages to kalm@pathintl.org.

Please stay healthy and safe and take care,
Kathy Alm sig


PATH Intl. | (800) 369-7433 | pathintl@pathintl.org | www.pathintl.org
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