Diversity, Inclusion, & Equity Committee Statement

The mission of the newly launched International Academy of Mediators Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity is:

“…to recognize that difference in perspectives, capabilities, and style are crucial to managing organizations and to providing mediation services in our diverse,  complex, and evolving global. community. In this spirit, IAM is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in its membership, structure, and organizational work regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual. orientation,  gender identity, marital or veteran status.”

Without a doubt, we are beginning at a crucial time in the history of IAM and in the history of our world. This is a time for much heavy-lifting, and we will begin by accepting where we are and planning on where we need to go.

  • We lament the disregard for human lives as evidenced by the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmed Aubrey, and countless others who have been killed, persecuted, profiled, or oppressed due to the color of their skin.
  • We acknowledge the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the physical health and economic condition of the Black community.
  • We affirm the responsibility we have to use our time, talent, and skills as mediators to address racism, bias, and unfairness that affects and infects our professional and personal lives.

We invite members of the IAM community to join us in an open dialogue to share thoughts, concerns, strategies, and to actualize our commitment to humanity, justice, fairness, and equality. Our first open dialogue is scheduled for Saturday, June 20th. We will send additional details and look forward to your participation.


 JANUARY 15, 1929 ( Atlanta, GA) – APRIL 4, 1968 ( Memphis, TN)

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.

 Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” 

Letter from a Birmingham Jail. April 16, 1963.

  • 1963 Dr. King delivered his famous “I Have A Dream” speech at the March On Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The speech took place before a massive gathering of more than 250,000 people from diverse races, ages, nationalities, religions, and backgrounds.
  • 1964 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize for his steadfast work on the civil rights movement. 
  • 1968 After delivering his famous “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech in Memphis, Tennessee, Dr. King was assassinated.   
  • 1985 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was observed in the United States for the first time. It is now celebrated in Japan, Canada, the Netherlands, and Dr. King is recognized around the world as a crusader for justice and equality.

As we face the continued global pandemic, as well as political, social, and economic challenges, let us take time to reflect on civil rights and human rights issues across the globe. Most importantly, let us honor Dr. King’s values and actively employ our skills as mediators to move us toward his ideal of a “Beloved Community”.

The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee

 Gail Wright Sirmans, Chair

Orit Ansin, Eleanor Barr, Earlene Baggett Hayes, James Mangerere, Joyce Mitchell, Andrea Morrison, Marvin Johnson, Jeff Krivis, Peter Meyers, and Paul Monicatti, Ex-Officio

“The International Academy of Mediators Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion recognizes that differences in perspectives, experiences, capabilities, and style are crucial to managing organizations and to providing mediation services in our diverse, complex and evolving global community. In this spirit, IAM is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in its membership structure and organizational work regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or veteran status.”


June 19,  Juneteenth, has been proclaimed a national holiday to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States.  Now, officially titled “National Independence Day”,  Juneteenth has also been known as Emancipation Day,  Jubilee Day,  Freedom Day, and Liberation Day.

On June 19, 1865, U.S. Army Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas.  He issued General Order No. 3, which announced that in accordance with the Emancipation Proclamation, “All  Slaves are free.”  The enslaved people of Galveston, Texas were the last in the nation to be informed that the Civil War had ended and that they were free! This news was delivered to them more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all slaves in the Confederate states.  It was not until December 6, 1865 that the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified to officially abolish slavery throughout the United States.

On June 17, 2021, while signing national legislation making Juneteenth a national holiday, President Joe Biden stated that it would enable all Americans to “feel the power of this day and learn from our history, and celebrate the progress, and grapple with the distance we’ve come, and the distance we have to travel.” “Great nations “don’t ignore their most painful moments…We come to terms with the mistakes we’ve made, in order to remember them and begin to heal and grow stronger.”

Holidays celebrating the emancipation of enslaved people from France, Britain, and Holland have been held throughout the Americas since the 19th century.  In March 2021 Canada officially designated First August Monday to commemorate the day in 1834 that the British Empire abolished slavery.

We welcome the United States into the community of nations that celebrate the emancipation of enslaved peoples.

We look forward to the day when no citizen of any land lives in bondage or without full civil and political rights.

The Committee on Diversity and Inclusion

Gail Wright Sirmans, Chair
Orit Asnin
Earlene Baggett-Hayes
Eleanor Barr
James Mang’erere
Peter Meyers
Joyce Mitchell
Andrea Morrison
Paul Monicatti, Ex-officio
Marvin Johnson, Ex-officio
Jeff Krivis, Ex-officio