In 1968, the United States was grappling with a number of tumultuous social and cultural changes. After the passage of civil rights legislation, a group of public administration scholars met to reflect on the implications of the social and environmental
circumstances for our discipline. At the Minnowbrook I meeting, social equity was introduced as a concept that should be embedded as a value in public administration.
Fifty years later, in 2018, a re-examination is needed in order to achieve the original goal of including social equity as a central principle in public administration. As a discipline and practice, we have failed to anchor social equity to the foundation
of public administration and thus a call to action is warranted. Our call to action is clear and intentional—focused on ways to intersect and integrate social equity in the research, teaching, and practice of public administration.
Below are a set of principles that seek to move public administration toward making social equity an embedded value and practice in the field:
In light of the current state of affairs across the globe, those who make up the field of public administration, both practitioners and scholars, must engage in intentional, active and ethical efforts in order to serve and safeguard all people, especially
the most vulnerable in our society. No longer can we engage in functional activities that do harm, nor can we passively stand on the sidelines. We know the path that we must take. This is a defining moment that will reveal what we value. To paraphrase
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence and lack of intentional action of our friends.
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