Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee


In 2018, the APSA Board of Governors modified the foundation of the APSA Strategic Pillars to read “Inclusion, representation, and participation for all.” A fifth pillar was adopted, termed “Equity and Social Justice,” and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee was formed to guide the organization’s efforts in these regards.

DEI Committee Mission Statement

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values for APSA that drive excellence and innovation in clinical care, research, education, advocacy, and leadership. We will broaden organizational diversity across cultural, demographic, cognitive, and practice style domains. Our environment will advance pediatric surgeons to attain their greatest potential, work in partnership to eliminate health inequities and provide the highest quality of pediatric surgical care for all.

To achieve these goals, we will leverage and connect diverse talents through programmatic development that spans education, innovation, and research in the following domains:

Organizational environment and culture

  • Implicit bias awareness and training (implicit biases can perpetuate gender and racial disparities in impactful areas such a policy development and leadership opportunities)
  • Sensitivity training
  • Building cultural competence (a process that includes cultural awareness, cultural knowledge, cultural skill, cultural engagement, cultural desire- Campinha-Bacote model)
  • Consciousness-raising
  • Culture assessment and survey

Equity and inclusion

  • Diversity in representation throughout the organization - includes membership, committees, committee chairs, APSA Board of Governors, and leadership

Leadership development

  • Mentorship and sponsorship programs for women and underrepresented minorities
  • Leadership development programs to prepare underrepresented groups

The DEI Committee has created four working groups made up of members committed to addressing the following themes:

  • Education
  • Community engagement
  • Lowering bias
  • Empowerment and governance

As its inaugural publication, members of the DEI Committee, in conjunction with the APSA Board of Governors, wrote and published a position paper outlining APSA’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as a strategic priority for the organization. The following statements were agreed on:

  • APSA acknowledges the potential for enhanced productivity, creativity, and innovation within diverse organizations.
  • APSA recognizes the positive impact a diverse cadre of pediatric surgeons may have on healthcare outcomes, patient satisfaction, and patient compliance.
  • APSA adopts “Equity and social justice” as the fifth pillar of its organizational mission statement and “Inclusion, representation, and participation for all” as the foundation of its pillars.
  • APSA endorses the activities of a member committee dedicated to the study and promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion in pediatric surgery.
  • APSA supports implicit bias assessment to enhance awareness and generate discussion and reflection regarding existing disparities in the care of pediatric surgery patients.
  • APSA urges medical schools, general surgery residency programs, and pediatric surgery training programs to enact measures targeted at increasing the diversity of learners who will become pediatric surgeons.
  • APSA encourages transparency and intentional hiring and promotion practices that are inclusive, fair, and open for women, underrepresented minority groups, surgeons with disabilities, and for all.
  • APSA champions the establishment of mentorship and sponsorship programs specifically aimed at increasing the retention and recruitment of women and underrepresented pediatric surgeons.
  • APSA uniformly condemns discrimination, racism, verbal and physical abuse, and sexual harassment.
  • APSA promotes the importance of wellness, mental health, and work-life balance to the well-being of its membership and to the positive health outcomes of pediatric surgery patients.
  • APSA advocates for efforts to create workplaces that are conducive to new parents at all levels of surgical training and practice.
  • APSA pledges to engage in initiatives and strategies to address differential healthcare outcomes related to social determinants of health.
  • APSA commits to achieving organizational benchmarks in the quest for increased diversity and inclusion among its membership and leadership.

Suggested Resources

Strategies for Equity in Pediatric Surgery Fellow Selection

DEI Committee Publications

  • Morrison, Zachary D., et al. "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: A strategic priority for the American Pediatric Surgical Association." Journal of Pediatric Surgery (2020)

An extensive reading list on diversity and racism can be found at Charis Books. Below are just a few recommendations from the DEI Committee.


Books for adults
• Sister Outsider, by Audre Lorde and Cheryl Clarke
• Making all Black Lives Matter, by Barbara Ransby
• Building a Movement to End the New Jim Crow, by Daniel Hunter
• Coming of Age in Mississippi, by Ann Moody
• I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
• When They Call You a Terrorist, by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele
• Killing the Black Body, by Dorothy Roberts
• The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson
• Say Her Name, by Kimberlé Crenshaw, Andrea J. Ritchie, et al.
• Breathe: A Letter to My Sons, by Imani Perry
• Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America, by Melissa V. Harris-Perry
• Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route, by Saidiya Hartman
• Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness, by Simone Browne
• The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
• Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools, by Monique Morris, Mankaprr Conteh, et al.
• So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo
• The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race, by Jesmyn Ward
• White Rage, by Carol Anderson
• Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?, by Beverly Daniel Tatum
• Why I’m no Longer Talking to White People About Race, by Reni Eddo-Lodge
• Natives and Race: Class in the Ruins of Empire, by Akala
• Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson
• Medical Apartheid, by Harriet A. Washington
• Witnessing Whiteness, by Shelly Tochluk
• Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race, by Derald Wing Sue
• The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics, Revised and Expanded Edition, by George Lipsitz
• Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race, by Debby Irving
• White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son, by Tim Wise
• White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, by Robin DiAngelo, Michael Eric Dyson
• How to be an Anti-Racist, by Ibram X. Kendi
• Native Son, by Richard Wright

Books for kids
• I am Rosa Parks, by Brad Meltzer
• I am Martin Luther King, Jr, by Brad Meltzer
• A is for Activist, by Innosanto Nagara
• Sulwe, by Lupita Nyong’o
• Last Stop on Market Street, by Matt de la Peña
• Not my Idea, by Anastasia Higginbotham
• The Day You Begin, by Jacqueline Woodson
• Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History, by Vashti Harrison
• Let’s Talk About Race, by Julius Lester
• The Skin I’m In, by Pat Thomas
• A Kid’s Book About Racism, by Jelani Memory
• The Colors of Us, by Karen Katz


• Conversations on the Oprah Winfrey Network: Where do we go from here?
• 13th, directed by Ava DuVernay (Netflix)
• Just Mercy
• American Son (Netflix)
• The Hate You Give (Cinemax)
• When They See Us (Netflix)
• King in the Wilderness (HBO)
• If Beale St Could Talk (Hulu)


• 1619 (New York Times)
• About Race
• Code Switch (NPR)
• Intersectionality Matters! Hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw
• The Stoop, hosted by Hana Baba and Leila Day


NAACP Legal Defense Fund
American Civil Liberties Union
Reclaim the Block
Know Your Rights Camp
Black Lives Matter
Campaign Zero
Equal Justice Initiative
The Marshall Project

Last updated: September 30, 2021