Response to Racially Motivated Violence

Position Statement

ASHA’s Diversity and Inclusion statement was approved by the ASHA Board of Directors in 2017. The statement indicates that we will demonstrate an explicit willingness to challenge the status quo. It is in that spirit that we recognize the value of effective communication across dimensions of diversity in times of conflict, and stand as advocates for inclusion, equity, and access.

ASHA members know firsthand what happens when people’s voices are silenced. We know what happens when people don’t hear or understand. We also know well the change that can occur when people can effectively communicate, when they have a voice, when messages are heard, received, and acted upon.

We also know how important it is to voice concerns and communicate the need for change in our country. We stand with those who stand against violence of any kind, especially recent racially motivated violence. We stand in opposition to any actions that silence change and progress, as well as those actions that impede and interfere with mutual respect and dignity.

Engaging in effective, respectful communication is critical for challenging the status quo and is an essential tool for understanding and exploring our differences and similarities. ASHA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is deeply rooted in purposefully fostering meaningful, open, and constructive dialogue from diverse constituencies. ASHA supports its members in making effective communication, a human right, accessible and achievable for all. We encourage our members to speak up in the face of injustice, to speak up to advance equity and access, and to do what’s in their sphere of influence to empower and support their colleagues, and the clients/patients/students they serve.

Reference this material as: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2020). Response to Racially Motivated Violence [Position Statement]. Available from


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