Update on NAGC’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts

NAGC Board of Directors

In the summer of 2020, NAGC issued a statement denouncing systemic racism and supporting racial justice. This was followed by an enhanced vision statement and action plan to guide the Association’s efforts to confront systemic racism and advance equity, Championing Equity and Supporting Social Justice for Black Students in Gifted Education: An Expanded Vision for NAGC.

Over the subsequent months, the Board of Directors, staff, and several groups within NAGC engaged in conversations, reflection, education, and outreach around this “Expanded Vision” and plan of action, and related initiatives. We were conscious of our own need to listen, to understand, and to engage in self-evaluation as an organization, as well as to provide resources and outreach in service of our members and the broader field. Our activities to date fall into the following categories:


  • In late 2020 and early 2021, the Board hosted a series of virtual town halls and listening sessions with varied audiences, including existing groups of volunteer leaders within NAGC, the broader membership, and other stakeholders. More than 300 individuals participated in seven different town hall sessions designed to share information and provide an opportunity to hear from members, volunteer leaders, state and local leaders, and other community members.
  • Committees, Networks, and SIGs were invited to highlight and share their efforts, plans, and questions related to pursuing equity, inclusivity, and anti-racism. Many ideas on possible next steps for NAGC were suggested, including multiple recommendations from the Diversity and Equity Committee.

Awareness, reflection, and self-evaluation

  • The Board and staff have been conducting ongoing and substantive reviews of NAGC policies and procedures to determine the degree of inclusion of equity and inclusivity. Several changes were implemented including:
    • Creation of a new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policy
    • Revision of the NAGC Standards of Conduct
    • Revision of the Non-Discrimination and Affirmative Action Policy
  • Meetings of the Board of Directors have included regular emphasis on equity issues and consideration of how all aspects of the Association are connected to the Expanded Vision. These have included formal Board meetings as well as committee meetings and smaller group meetings around specific tasks.
  • NAGC staff have participated in several workshops focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Community building within NAGC

  • There have been multiple efforts within networks and committees and in cross-cutting groups of NAGC members to develop and disseminate initiatives and resources related to building equity and inclusivity more broadly in the Association and in the field.
  • NAGC Engage, NAGC’s new community platform was launched to provide opportunities for network leaders and members to connect and multiple Networks and SIGs have begun to use this space to share ideas and resources related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Many of these connections are continued conversations from the NAGC Town Hall meetings that followed the release of the Championing Equity statement.
  • Demographic information was collected and analyzed as part the member needs survey conducted in 2020. Efforts have been taken to ensure that the diversity of NAGC’s membership is reflected in all communications and marketing efforts.


  • The 2020 Annual Convention and the 2021 Leadership and Advocacy Conference each had a strong focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion with special sessions and featured speakers addressing these major themes. Plans for the 2021 Annual Convention have also included a primary focus on equity, with approximately one-third of the presentations featuring topics that are related to diversity and equity.
  • With over 350 attendees, the National Symposium on Equity for Black and Brown Gifted Students in August represented a substantial and focused effort to address issues of equity and anti-racism. Members of the Diversity and Equity Committee, the Special Populations network, and other engaged members offered their expertise and vision to plan the Symposium.

This update highlights specific efforts from the Board of Directors, NAGC staff, and other groups within the Association, but it does not capture the full magnitude of efforts our members and leaders have made to pursue equity as part of their NAGC work and in their own communities. We acknowledge that many are deeply involved in these efforts, and that there is considerably more work to do.

As we have talked with members and leaders, several key themes have emerged:

  • Communication: Members have expressed a strong desire to learn more about NAGC’s activities and developments in the field regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion. As future actions are planned, information will be shared regularly with members. In addition, we will explore ways to highlight the work of members and leaders who have focused on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Language: Many have acknowledged the need to examine and clarify the language, terminology, and definitions we use to discuss diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice.
  • Evaluation: The Expanded Vision for NAGC includes bold and far-reaching ideals as well as concrete action steps. We recognize that goals and outcomes need to be identified as well as a means to evaluate progress in our journey.

Moving forward, we will continue to seek out input from members and leaders to ensure we are taking the appropriate steps in our journey. Our efforts need to be incorporated into all aspects of our work, and we are committed to expanding efforts to diversify NAGC’s membership and the field of gifted and talented education, making leadership pathways more accessible, raising awareness and consciousness among members, and continuing programs focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion such as the National Equity Symposium held earlier this year.

In March 2022, a new strategic plan for NAGC will be developed, and we envision diversity, equity, and inclusion to be a central component of that new plan. As we prepare for the strategic planning process, additional opportunities for input and feedback will be created for members and leaders both prior to and following the development of the strategic plan so that we can ensure that all levels of the Association will be continually engaged in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.