July 29, 2021
Last winter, AATA conducted a series of listening sessions and an online survey to hear from members and the broader art therapy community about their experiences and suggestions in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Barriers to entering the field and lack of diversity in the profession were identified as the two overarching issues that need to be prioritized. Participants said they want AATA to cast a wider net to bring in more diverse people into the field, including men, BIPOC, and persons with disabilities, and supported establishing a pipeline to diverse leadership in the association to attract new members and professionals into the field. They highlighted the need to change the culture of the profession and AATA, as well as educational and practice standards and training. The findings and key take-aways are outlined in this document, alongside specific comments from participants. The priorities and strategies from the Listening Session Series are now also addressed in the Board’s newly approved 2021-2023 Strategic Plan.