Let there be no doubt – AEI stands in solidarity with the Black community in speaking out against racial injustice, hatred and violence. We recognize that fighting inequality is a shared responsibility and that systemic racism will not be addressed unless we face it head-on with love, honesty and courage. We raise our collective voices to join the many others who have spoken out to condemn all forms of anti-Black racism and hate.

But it is not enough to just make statements. We must also look at our organization and commit to addressing the ways in which our culture, operations, or processes may be inadvertently supporting racial injustice. Last year, we began our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program by working with an independent consultant to conduct a needs assessment. Based on recommendations, we instituted improvements to our recruitment and internship practices, incorporated DEI into the AEI Strategic Plan, and provided initial leadership training on emotional intelligence and bias awareness. Other recommendations will move forward this year, including formation of a DEI Advisory Council, completion of our Career Pathways Program, continued training on leading diverse teams and bias awareness, and review of site inspection guidelines from a DEI perspective.

Collectively, we have a responsibility to recognize that we each experience different realities in the course of our work, from travel to site inspections to interactions with clients and site contacts. We have a responsibility to listen and learn how physical and psychological safety can be improved at AEI.

We believe in cultivating a culture of curiosity, teamwork, respect, and now more than ever, engaging in uncomfortable but necessary conversations. Our AEI community is anchored in friendship, camaraderie, shared commitment to professional excellence, humor and love, and we will stand by each other’s side to promote equality, fairness and respect.

We embrace and celebrate the beauty, creativity, and strengths that our differences bring as they make us stronger as a community and more resilient as a company. AEI is committed to building a diverse community where we show up for our colleagues each and every day with love, respect and courage.