Development of the Equity Agenda

The AAP Equity Agenda was built on the recommendations of the Task Forces on Diversity and Inclusion and Addressing Bias and Discrimination convened from 2015-2017 and 2017-2019, respectively. The AAP Board of Directors approved the AAP Equity Agenda and first workplan in fall 2020 to guide the Academy’s efforts to achieve health equity and actualize our goals to become an equitable, diverse, and inclusive organization. Recognizing that addressing the role of racism in the history of organized medicine and as one of many social drivers of health that are often the driving force behind health inequities, the Equity Agenda was, in large part, informed by the AAP policy statements The Impact of Racism on Child and Adolescent Health and Truth, Reconciliation, and Transformation: Continuing on the Path to Equity. The Equity Agenda is also supported by the Academy’s commitments outlined in the AAP Diversity and Inclusion Statement.

The Equity Agenda workplan sets forth explicit and intentional action to support the Academy’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) and health equity and ensures this action permeates all aspects of the Academy’s functioning.

Guiding Principles

The following principles guide the AAP Equity Agenda and serve to advance our goal to eliminate health inequities and disparities and promote equity in child and adolescent health care:

  • All children and adolescents have equitable health care within a medical home that includes primary care, subspecialty services, emergency medical services, and hospital care.
  • Child and adolescent health care professionals shall address the social, behavioral, and environmental factors that affect children’s health, development, and achievement.
  • Child and adolescent health care professionals deliver care in a culturally and linguistically effective manner that addresses the unique needs of each child and family.
  • Child and adolescent health care professionals deliver care based on the best available evidence.
  • Child health care professionals advocate for identification and elimination of racist policies and the inequities that contribute to racial disparities and impede equity.
  • Child and adolescent health care is delivered using language that the patient and family prefer.
  • Child and adolescent health care delivery settings are welcoming and reflect the diversity of their patients.
  • Child health professionals receive training on delivering culturally and linguistically effective care.
  • The child health care workforce is diverse and reflective of the child population.
  • Child and adolescent health care services are evaluated using data stratified by insurance status, race and ethnicity, language, socioeconomic status, gender, gender identity, religion, disability, and sexual orientation.

Equity Agenda Approach

The Equity Agenda workplan serves as a roadmap for incorporating EDI across and within the AAP and to advance child health equity. It is intended to inspire action while ensuring accountability for change.

The Equity Agenda workplan outlines concrete actions in 4 domains:

  1. Internal Processes focuses on AAP organizational culture change that supports inclusion and belonging and operationalizing equity, developing infrastructure to monitor EDI efforts in AAP processes, programs, and policies.
  2. Education and Clinical Practice focuses on creating and disseminating educational content that helps pediatricians further incorporate strategies to implement EDI and advance health equity in practice, communities, and institutions.
  3. The AAP recognizes that Workforce and Leadership are integral to increasing diversity of those in the pathway to pediatric medicine and building capacity to further efforts that foster EDI among the pediatric workforce and AAP leadership
  4. Through Policy and Advocacy efforts, the AAP will advance health equity, justice, and promote diversity in the pediatric workforce



Internal Processes: Implement organizational change necessary to become a diverse, inclusive, anti-racist organization

  • Foster an organizational culture that supports inclusion and belonging and promotes trust and psychological safety
  • Build staff capacity to apply an equity lens to AAP processes, programs and policies
  • Operationalize equity and ensure accountability in AAP programs and initiatives
  • Measure and monitor impact of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) efforts on AAP culture, processes, programs and policies
  • Develop and promote content and messaging on racism and equity, diversity, and inclusion across all AAP media and communications platforms

Education & Clinical Practice: Increase general pediatricians, medical and surgical subspecialists knowledge of social and structural contributors of health inequities and build their capacity to combat bias, racism and other forms of oppression in practice, communities and institutions


  • Identify existing or develop new educational content on topics such as cultural humility, power distribution, racism, other forms of oppression and social and structural root cause of health inequities
  • Increase capacity to address root causes of health inequities
  • Increase ability to provide culturally effective health care in a welcoming and inclusive practice environment
  • Collaborate with relevant partners to promote and disseminate existing educational content on EDI and anti-racism essential to medical training and practice

Workforce & Leadership: Strengthen the pathways to diversify the field of pediatrics and AAP leadership and build capacity in leadership practices that support EDI

  • Identify and implement strategies to strengthen the pathway to pediatrics for historically marginalized and underrepresented in medicine (URiM) students
  • Increase the percentage of URiM and other historically marginalized members serving in AAP leadership
  • Build AAP leader's capacity in practices that foster EDI
  • Provide leadership development opportunities for URiM and historically marginalized trainees and early- to mid-career members
  • Increase capacity and engagement of District EDI Champions

Policy & Advocacy: Promote health equity and EDI through policy development and advocacy

  • Ensure all AAP policies promote health equity and EDI in the profession of pediatrics
  • Develop new policies to address racism and other forms of oppression that harm diverse groups of children, adolescents and young adults
  • Advocate for policies and programs that advance child health equity and diversify the pediatric workforce
  • Identify and increase joint advocacy efforts and other partnerships to advance health equity and justice 


The AAP Equity Agenda workplan is guiding the Academy’s journey to achieving justice and equity for all children. The AAP approaches this journey with resolute determination and humility – recognizing it will be important to be speak - as a voice for children, adolescents and young adults – and to listen. There is a need for ambition and urgent action. However, this action must lead to sustained, transformative change. With the commitment of its leadership and staff and in collaboration with its partners, the AAP will continue to lead the way to attaining optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

Last Updated



American Academy of Pediatrics