July 6, 2020
“Law and ethical behavior are foundational to civilized society.” (ALSB Strategic Plan)
“The Academy promotes knowledge of law, ethical behaviors, and an appreciation for justice, in research and teaching, so that students better understand the world in which businesses operate and so that business leaders may better understand their relationship with society and the impact of their decisions.” (ALSB Mission Statement)
“The Academy supports equality of opportunity for all persons in all aspects of life, and abhors discrimination against persons on the grounds of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, handicap or disability, affinity or sexual orientation, creed, marital status, statuswith regard to public assistance, height, weight, and veteran status.” (ALSB Bylaws, Article 2)
As the ALSB Executive Committee continues to grapple with the murder of George Floyd and other senseless killings, we recognize that words without actions are hollow. Words alone are insufficient to address violence against black lives, structural inequality, and the perpetuation of systemic racism. We should expect more from ourselves, and asan organization run by its members, we must hold each other accountable.
The ALSB has work to do in the long term to make sure that we follow the values expressed in our Strategic Plan, Mission Statement and Bylaws. Consistent with that vision, we are committed to provide spaces and opportunities for research, teaching, and learning about racial justice and equity. We will continue to reflect upon and solicit ways to do this work, and as we have in the past, we will rely on our membership. We expect that discussions will be ongoing, and we ask for your ideas and contributions for short and long-term strategies to work towards racial justice and to support the equality of all persons.
Today, we announce the following first steps of the Executive Committee to help our membership discuss these difficult issues, prepare for class discussions about these issues, and be the change that matters.
Commitments related to the Annual Conferences:
- CONFERENCE VENUES. For the upcoming conferences in 2021 (Minneapolis) and 2022 (Louisville), the Executive Committee, and especially conference chairs Jamie Prenkert and Matthew Phillips, commit to including issues of racial justice and equity in considerations of social events, venue selection for off-site events, and speaker selection.
Commitments related to our mission of promoting knowledge of law, ethical behaviors, and an appreciation for justice:
- ALSB READS: A Book Discussion Symposium. The Executive Committeewill work with the Immediate Past President to arrange apanel session at the annual conference to discuss a book(or books)on current issues in law, ethics, and justice in business. The Immediate Past President will select a book or books in consultation with the Executive Committeeand will moderate the session. For 2020, Past President Marisa Pagnattaro has committed to the selection of a book or books on racial issues.
- ALSB EDUCATES.The Executive Committee encourages all interested membersto complete the Labor and Employment Law Section of the American Bar Association 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge© found online at https://www.americanbar.org/groups/labor_law/membership/equal_opportunity/
Commitments related to the structure of the ALSB:
- ALSB VALUES.The Executive Committee seeks nominations for members to serve on a task force to develop and propose a Values Statement for the organization.
- ALSB OFFICE. The Executive Committee will review and revise the “Running for Office” document to include expectations newly elected officers commit to issues related to diversity in planning their conference. This includes consideration of diversity issues in proposing locations, finding venues in the conference city, identifying speakers, and other conference-related activities. In this way, we seek for the commitments made by the current Executive Committee and identified conference chairs to continue in future conferences.