Embrace Diversity

As a member of the AANR Board, one of the questions asked by frustrated members is why does AANR allow club XYZ reject me just because I’m (single, gay, a person of color …)? And as a frustrated board member, I must answer all AANR clubs are independently operated and AANR has no way to force them to comply with AANR’s own principles and standards regarding discrimination. Each club makes their own rules and business decisions.
AANR is taking steps to encourage diversity. We can and do talk to clubs pointing out why it is financially sound to accept all members as long as they act appropriately. As of this year, AANR no longer favors couples over singles. Each individual, whether they are married or single, are equal in AANR’s eyes. It is a small thing, but it is a statement.
Here is an example of how one of our regions took a proactive stance in promoting non-discrimination. On April 15, 2018 the AANR-NW Board unanimously voted to reaffirm the AANR Non-Discrimination policy. Then, each of its clubs were given the opportunity to endorse the following statement:

AANR-NW reaffirms the AANR non-discrimination policy by-laws,
Section I Article IV A, “AANR welcomes all people willing to conform to
its principles and standards, regardless of age, gender, marital status,
religious beliefs, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.”
To AANR-NW this includes welcoming all single, partnered and married
people of all gender identities, ethnicities, sexual identities, ages, sizes,
religions and physical abilities.

Those clubs that have committed to this policy are listed on the AANR-NW website: http://www.aanr-nw.org/aanr-nw-welcomes-all/, As new clubs join the region, they are given the opportunity to join the list. By having this public list, individuals can decide where they want to spend their time and dollars. Whenever someone asks if they would be accepted at a club in the region, they can just be directed to the website.
This is just one example of how one of our regions was able to be proactive in AANR non-discrimination.
What more can be done? If you are in an area where a club has discriminated against you or if you are in an area where there are no clubs, let us know. Perhaps we can help you start a travel club. We can find people to help you. For help contact me at karen.lahey@aanr.com

Posted by karenlahey

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