AACAP Reaffirms Commitment to Advance Diversity, Inclusion, and Health Equity

August 11, 2020

As an organization dedicated to the health and well-being of children and families, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) is committed to promoting diversity, inclusion, and health equity. We recognize the impact that systemic and structural racism has on everyone - especially youth and black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC)—and the trauma and pain caused by systemic racism and violence.

As President, I recently appointed a Presidential Working Group to Promote Health Equity and Combat Racism, led by Drs. Melvin Oatis, Lisa Cullins, and Tami Benton. AACAP’s longstanding priority to diversity and action includes advancing health equity and combating racism. To that end, AACAP is engaging all members at all levels (Executive Committee, Council, Assembly, committees, and staff) to combat racism and inequities in all areas, including research, care, and practice.

AACAP’s Diversity and Culture Committee, skillfully led by Drs. Lisa Cullins and Cheryl Al-Mateen and managed by Carmen Thornton, crafted a dynamic and robust Action Plan for AACAP to address mental health equity concerns as well as combating racism in the era of COVID-19 and beyond. AACAP’s Council approved this plan and champions these efforts.

We continue with our efforts on this front, working on many projects including the following:

We are committed to anti-racism and to building a just and equitable society. Working together, we move forward with our efforts in strengthening our community that is built on dignity, respect, and trust. 

In the weeks ahead, we will continue to share ideas and resources for your active participation in improving our shared future.

Thank you for you continued support.


Gabrielle A. Carlson, MD
President, AACAP


The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry promotes the healthy development of children, adolescents, and families through advocacy, education, and research. Child and adolescent psychiatrists are the leading physician authority on children’s mental health. For more information, please visit www.aacap.org