Public Management Research Association Statement on Anti-Racism

On behalf of the Public Management Research Association, we join the world in outrage at the senseless killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery​ and Breonna Taylor, among so many other Black people​. These recent high-profile deaths highlight the persistent racism and injustice in our communities, in our private and public organizations, and in society at large. In no uncertain terms, we condemn the racial injustice that underlies these killings and we call for systemic change to counteract the racism embedded in the history of the United States of America ​and our public institutions.

As an international association of public administration scholars, we must walk the walk, and not just talk the talk. Therefore, we will be devoting a portion of our June Board of Directors meeting to wrestling with what it means for our association to be anti-racist and specific ways that we can join the fight for racial equality in the U.S. and around the world. This includes diversifying our board of directors, editorial boards, award committees, and membership. The board will also address how we can foster research that ​leverages academic scholarship on racial inequities, racial prejudices, and institutionalized and systemic racism in public institutions ​to call for meaningful change. It also includes a commitment to create spaces to engage in systematic and inclusive conversations about how this work can be done and to whom we are accountable when doing so.

The newly created Kenneth J. Meier Travel Awards will increase the accessibility of PMRC to scholars of color, which is a good start. But we must also identify past, present and future barriers, whether implicit or explicit, to scholars of color. PMRA is committed to removing these barriers in our conversations, association, publications, conferences, and ways of collectively creating knowledge.

These efforts are no doubt small steps and the journey to healing will be long and difficult. But as Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” PMRA renews its commitment to education, research and practice that is ethically and legally informed. We declare our commitment to the values of respect, equity, justice and inclusion. These commitments will guide the first and subsequent steps.

As leading scholars in public management, our actions will serve as a model for the change that we seek.

We hope the resources below may help.*nZ9-nAXT3H1FXKstgoyDFA   Glossary for Understanding the Dismantling Structural Racism/Promoting Racial Equity Analysis   How to Be an Anti-Racist, by Ibram X. Kendi   Policing Black Bodies: How Black Lives are Surveilled and How to Work for Change, Angela J. Hattery   Towards the “Other America”: Anti-Racist Resources for White People Taking Action for Black Lives Matter, Chris Crass   Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice, Paul Kivel