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Statement of Support for Antiracism Advocacy

6/2/2020     First and foremost, to DADD’s Black members, Black students and their families, and Black practitioners – your lives matter. We share the outrage and grief and condemn the killings of our Black brothers and sisters, as well as the terrible injustice and bias that continues to dictate their fates. We support the expression of hurt, anger, and outrage that has stemmed from centuries of systemic racism.

The Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities joins with other organizations and individuals calling for action to end racial injustice and violence to people of color in this country. Children with autism, intellectual disability, and other developmental disabilities and the practitioners who serve them are not immune to racial injustice. Practitioners of color face biases and discrimination every day. Our students of color are referred to special education at higher rates than their white peers and yet do not have access to the same services. These points alone bring another meaning to the words, “I can’t breathe.” 

These events impart urgency to our ongoing efforts at DADD to combat bias and advance social justice, equity, and inclusion. We acknowledge that the majority of special education practitioners are white, and practitioners are not yet equipped to incorporate racial justice in their daily practices. We recognize our responsibilities to listen to people of color and engage in self-reflection. We commit to educating ourselves and others on how to serve as allies and how to be anti-racist.


10/1/2020     The fight for racial justice must continue despite any resistance and setbacks that are encountered. DADD's course of action is clear - we must press forward in supporting Black lives and pursue our impact in dismantling oppressive ideologies. Our responsibility in the fight for social justice in special education is only as strong as our efforts to combat bias and advance social justice, equity, and inclusion. ​ -Liz Harkins (Diversity Committee Chair) and Ginevra Courtade (President)


3/17/2021    DADD is deeply saddened for the families and communities affected by last night’s act of senseless violence in Atlanta, GA where eight people, including six women of Asian descent, lost their lives. We stand with the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and unequivocally condemn this act – and all acts – of racially-fueled violence. We also acknowledge that anti-Asian racism has existed in the United States for more than a century and that it has recently increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March 19, 2020, hate incidents towards Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have risen by as much as 150% in some US cities. According to a coalition that tracks reports of racism and discrimination, Stop AAPI Hate, there have been over 3,000 anti-Asian incidents since the beginning of the pandemic, and over 500 between January 1 and February 28 of 2021 alone. Women report experiencing hate incidents 2.3 times more than men, and 3 in 10 Asian Americans (31%) report having faced racial slurs or racist jokes during the COVID-19 pandemic (Pew Research Center survey, 2020).  


These events impart urgency to our ongoing efforts at DADD to combat bias and advance social justice, equity, and inclusion. We are committed to growing our advocacy and leadership in these areas and we aim to offer resources for impacted community members and for those of us who need to step forward as allies and activists. Please join us in educating yourself, educating others, taking action, or donating:… 



Posted:  21 December, 2023

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