Letter from Leadership: Board Chair, Paula Hammond, and Executive Director, Sara Stickler
Dear WTS Community,
It has been a historic month.
A global pandemic has created a financially straining and logistically challenging environment for our industry. Protests held throughout the month call for change to the systemic racial injustices that especially impact Black and African American communities. On June 15, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that LGBTQ+ employees could not be discriminated against based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. On June 18, the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
As the world reflects upon societal inequities, WTS must continue to be an organization that embraces intersectionality, and an appreciation for the many aspects of each of our identities. Our mission to achieve equity and access in transportation does not immunize us from bias and prejudice, both conscious and unconscious. That is why we are building upon our previous efforts to ensure that we continue to make tangible changes and progress towards a fully diverse, inclusive, and equitable industry:
Diversity and Inclusion Initiative to Form Strategic Goals
Diversity and inclusion has always been at the core of WTS, the Diversity and Inclusion Initiative aims to form strategic goals and actionable solutions to attain equity and access. The Initiative is led by the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the International Board and will be coordinated with our Chapters.
Collaboration with Industry Allies
WTS International has formalized agreements with Industry Allies including the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), American Public Transportation Association (APTA), American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARBTA), COMTO National, and the Transportation Research Board (TRB). This month, WTS Hosted an industry conversation on pandemic recovery priorities that touched on both mobility and social needs that must be met through innovation and inclusivity. WTS will continue working collaboratively to achieve our mission and engage with Industry Allies and Corporate Partners.
Persistence and Transparency
WTS International is committed to transparency as our organization takes steps to expanding opportunities for elevating our education as well as finding additional ways to be a part of the solution. Please check back with the Diversity and Inclusion Initiative on the WTS website for progress updates.
WTS will meet this moment of change and progress—together.