In early June, we stated our commitment to stand in solidarity with Black communities. We committed to unearthing and unlearning our inherent biases as an organization and to listening to the voices of Black colleagues, students, and travelers in international education and educational travel. Our goal is to become a more anti-racist organization. We write today to share our Anti-Racist Action Plan and the first steps towards putting these commitments into action.
We deem this to be a social justice plan, designed to support and guide our part in righting a wrong in our society and our world. We hope that by working towards full diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) in our organization and our programs that we will better serve our students, travelers, employees, and communities. We know that as we evolve in this process, we will be a better partner to you and provide a more enriching educational experience for our students and travelers.
As our industries recover from the impacts of the global pandemic, we have a rare opportunity to build back better. We can shape our organizations and our programs in a post-pandemic era with diversity, equity, and inclusion at the center—not the periphery— of everything we do. Our 10-year plan helps us focus on concrete actions that will allow us to do this as we rebuild and begin to welcome students abroad again in the future.
Putting Our Commitments Into Action
Every department at Academic Travel Abroad (ATA), CET’s parent organization, contributed long-term action items and goals to the plan. Each Director will be held responsible for achieving these goals. The plan, the deliverables, and action items will be reviewed annually. As we work towards these goals, we will update you on our progress and new initiatives that have been born as a result of this work.
Actions to Transform our Workplace
- Hire and retain more people of color, with the goal of having a staff that is more diverse in each racial/ethnic category.
- Identify and remove barriers that might be impacting our ability to hire more candidates of color.
- Conduct a yearly audit that focuses on retention of employees of color, and make recommendations that will enhance our retention of these employees.
- Continue organization-wide discussion sessions at least three times annually on racism and inequity in the U.S. and abroad.
Actions to Transform our Programs
- Overtly include DE&I considerations in program goals, descriptions, and curricula.
- Create, provide, and update yearly resources for CET students and ATA travelers that forefront DE&I considerations, such as information on race and racism in the countries in which we operate.
- Conduct a yearly audit of print and digital marketing materials that focuses on looking at our materials through the lens of diverse student experiences.
Actions to Transform our Industries
- Commit to increase the number of people of color-owned businesses, vendors, restaurants, hotels, venues, and tour staff we work with wherever possible within the U.S. and in foreign destinations.
- Continue our strong support of the Fund for Education Abroad.
- Support National Tourism Association efforts to increase diversity and inclusion efforts in travel.
This Anti-Racism plan extends out as far as 2030, and yet it is also just the beginning. Creating this plan required taking a hard look in the mirror, and implementing it necessitates organization-wide, sustained action. By establishing clear metrics and building mechanisms such as annual reporting and reviews into the plan, we hope to achieve this sustainability.
We want this work to become an integral part of who we are and what we do. We want these actions to be woven into the very fabric of our organization, so that the work of this plan will be viewed by internal and external stakeholders alike not as an “add-on” series of steps, but instead as a key component of the CET/ATA workplace. By achieving the goals we have set in this plan, CET and ATA will establish a solid platform from which to extend the plan’s continuation, one that aims even higher, when the next decade arrives.