Amid the election for our new AIR leaders, I think it is important as you contemplate who to vote for to reflect on the purpose of your vote. I fundamentally believe the leaders we choose are an image of our hope for a better future.
Our professional aspirations describe a new vision of our field, but it is our Statement of Ethical Principles that evokes our purpose. “We act with integrity.” The leaders we choose cannot just be symbols but must also have a track record of creating democratic civility as much as they offer us hope. We need leaders who will support uplifting diverse voices, strive for creating inclusive policies that consider the different landscapes we exist in, and offer divergent perspectives a seat at the table. Your vote matters because who you vote for will help shape the future of AIR.
Our next leaders will help our association navigate supporting the standards of our profession, and I hope that is through a social justice mindset and an ethos that respects the diverse approaches through which we perform our duties. Continuing to prioritize integrity and ensuring our work product is accurate, valid, and reliable is critical, as evidence is under increasing scrutiny. Training new and veteran IR/IE professionals is critical, as our field is evolving. Those we elect to govern our association contribute to the direction in which AIR is headed, and we should be at the forefront of demonstrating how democratic civility leads to positive outcomes.
I will shamelessly say, vote—but vote with intention to support leaders who will cultivate civil discourse and espouse democratic values in how they serve the members of our association.