Organization of equal opportunity and diversity professionals conveys its condolences for the loss of
the nation’s first Black Secretary of State
WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, October 18, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — The American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAAED), an organization of equal opportunity, diversity and affirmative action professionals, mourns the loss of Colin Luther Powell, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and first Black U.S. Secretary of State, who passed away on October 18, 2021 at the age of eighty-four due to Covid-19 complications. General Powell was a four-star general, former national security advisor, and the 65th United States Secretary of State. Secretary Powell, an advisor to four U.S. presidents, served as Secretary of State under President George Walker Bush. AAAED President Dr. Richard Anthony Baker stated, “Today, we reflect on Secretary Powell’s efforts to lead his party in the work towards the inclusion of minorities. Secretary Powell was an outspoken leader in American politics and spoke forcefully in support of equity, diversity and inclusion.”
Colin Powell is quoted speaking about his support for affirmative action, saying:
“When equal performance does not result in equal advancement, then something is wrong with the system, and our leaders have an obligation to fix it. If a history of discrimination has made it difficult for certain Americans to meet standards, it is only fair to provide temporary means to help them catch up and compete on equal terms. Affirmative action in the best sense promotes equal consideration, not reverse discrimination” (Source: My American Journey, by Colin Powell, p. 591-2 , Jan 1, 1995).
AAAED Executive Director Shirley J. Wilcher added, “Secretary Powell’s position on affirmative action was rooted in the belief that diversity has made our nation strong, but that the discrimination in our history that taints the present must be confronted, not ignored.” “Powell’s leadership reminds us that acknowledging our history is crucial in order to create educational and economic opportunities for those who continue to be denied access based on their race, ethnic background or gender,” she elaborated.
Founded in 1974 as the American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA), AAAED is a national not-for-profit association of professionals working in the areas of equal opportunity, compliance and diversity. AAAED has 47 years of leadership in providing professional training to members, enabling them to be more successful and productive in their careers. It also promotes understanding and advocacy of affirmative action and other equal opportunity laws to enhance the tenets of access, inclusion and equality in employment, economic and educational opportunities. AAAED is the longest-serving organization for the Equal Opportunity Profession. Its tagline is “Advocate. Educate. Activate.” www.aaaed.org