Estepp, C.M.. Cline, L.L., & Rodriguez, M.T. (2022). Members’ Perceptions Regarding Diversity and Inclusion within the American Association for Agricultural Education. Journal of Agricultural Education, 63(2), 186-202. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2022.02186
Abstract: Professional scientific societies, such as the American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE), have not been immune to struggles with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), even as it has come to the forefront of national conversation. In response to the 2017-2020 AAAE Strategic Plan, specifically goal one to build a more inclusive culture within the society, this study describes members’ perceptions of organizational climate regarding diversity and inclusion within the AAAE organization. This manuscript reports the quantitative survey findings from the AAAE membership to determine perceptions of opportunities and barriers for participation in AAAE, as well as perceptions of AAAE’s progress toward diversity and inclusion. Data are provided as a benchmark to describe the membership demographics of the organization. Member perceptions of opportunities to share diverse perspectives, become involved in leadership, and to be awarded and recognized by AAAE are varied. Many barriers to engagement in AAAE seem to create a dichotomy between persons who feel fully included and those who do not in the organization. Over half of the respondents do not consider AAAE’s membership to be diverse. Perceptions of progress toward diversity and inclusion across the dimensions of sexual orientation, socio-economic status, disciplinary focus, gender/gender identity, faculty rank, race/ethnicity, institution type, and religious representation reveal some areas of success and opportunities for growth in the organization. The profession should be challenged to examine how our practices and scholarship may perpetuate exclusivity as AAAE works toward meeting the goal of building a more diverse and inclusive culture within the society.