Letter to Our Members

17 June 2020

To Our ASABE Family:

ASABE strongly denounces acts of racism and violence. George Floyd’s killing shines a light on a continuous injustice to the Black community. Although not fast enough, the population that understands the profound importance of dismantling racism and systematic racism is starting to grow.

As an organization, ASABE has been too slow in specifically addressing issues of diversity and inclusion within the profession. Yet we have always cared deeply about our members and the global populations our members serve. As expressed in the Society’s Policy on Diversity, ASABE is committed to building a community in which every person has an equal voice and equal opportunity to thrive. 

At the heart of the profession that ASABE represents lies its mission to uplift people and livelihoods throughout the world, and to care for our shared planet. We can fulfill that mission only if we fully recognize the humanity of all of those we serve, and that of the colleagues at whose sides we serve.

What is ASABE doing? At its April meeting, the Board of Trustees set in motion the development of a standing committee tasked with promoting inclusion, diversity, equity, and access—the IDEA concepts—within the Society and the profession. We are also in the process of establishing policies on professional conduct, the first of which, for ASABE awards and honors, was adopted at that recent Board meeting. ASABE is pleased to offer the John C. Nye Graduate Fellowship, which supports minority PhD students. And we look forward to hosting, at the upcoming virtual annual meeting, a session entitled, “Increasing Diversity in Our Profession: Why Does It Matter and What Can We Do About It as Educators?”

Nevertheless, it is clearer than ever that much work lies ahead, and we invite your input to accelerate our efforts. It is time for all of us to take stock of who we are, and who we wish to be. As engineers, we aspire to shape the world into a better place. Our success in doing so demands that we acknowledge and welcome the unique experiences, perspectives, and talents each of us contributes to that endeavor.

As we continue to educate ourselves on how to best serve a diverse community, we pledge to take responsibility for the leadership role ASABE must play as an agent of positive change, and we encourage our members to be active participants in all efforts to foster open minds, challenge the status quo, and, above all, care for one another. Should you have questions or suggestions for advancing ASABE’s efforts on diversity and inclusion, please contact us at leadership@asabe.org


Sue E. Nokes

Candice L. Engler

Maury V. Salz
Past President

Paul H. Heinemann
President-Elect Designate 

Darrin J. Drollinger
Executive Director