CHICAGO | August 26, 2020
In an effort to fully embrace diversity within the American Lung Association and the communities it serves, today the organization announced the formation of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council. The council, composed of diverse staff from throughout the country, seeks to advance the organization’s lifesaving mission while fostering diversity, equity and inclusion in the Lung Association’s practices, programs and processes. Since its formation in June, the Council has conducted an organizational assessment and outlined its objectives, roles and responsibilities.
“The American Lung Association has a long history of championing the nation’s lung health, including addressing health disparities in asthma, tobacco use and lung cancer as well as issues of environmental injustices in both air quality and climate change,” said Kristina A. Hamilton, chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council and director of advocacy for Illinois and Iowa, American Lung Association. “Right now, as our nation reflects on racial and social injustices, I’m pleased that the Lung Association is actively engaging this council to address not only how we function internally as an organization, but also how we deliver our mission to diverse communities, particularly those most affected by systemic racism, which continues to contribute to health disparities.”
“The American Lung Association actively monitors and addresses health disparities in our nation, and also works to ensure that we are meeting the unique needs of the communities we serve,” said American Lung Association President and CEO Harold Wimmer. “I’m pleased to advance the work of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, who will inform all areas of our mission work, including our recent $25 million investment in the COVID-19 Action Initiative, as well as diversity, equity and inclusion within the ranks of our organization.”
Objectives of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council include:
- Build capacity and competency to lead and manage a diverse workforce.
- Create a work environment that ensures equitable access for all to opportunities for professional growth and advancement.
- Develop staff cultural competence and responsiveness to maximize our effectiveness in community engagement with historically underrepresented constituents and partners, considering and respecting their unique perspectives, experiences, contributions, and needs.
- Encourage cultural norms and practices that promote positive and culturally responsible interpersonal relationships among staff.
- Ensure communities we serve are treated as stakeholders, leaders, and assets to the work.
- Proactively counteract race inequities inside and outside of our organization through our work outlined in our strategic imperatives.
- Foster an inclusive environment so that all association leaders, staff, and board members are confident in talking about race, racism and its implications for the organization and the communities we serve.
For more information about the lifesaving mission of the Lung Association, including its work addressing health disparities and environmental injustices, contact Stephanie Goldina at [email protected] or 312-801-7629.
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org. To support the work of the American Lung Association, find a local event at Lung.org/events.
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