People holding hands

Statement in Support of Black Lives

After the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks, our nation finds itself, again, at a pivotal moment in history: a moment that necessitates reflection and a renewed commitment to actively stand against systemic racism and injustice. These problems not only undermine our values as a nation but, for centuries, they have destroyed lives and entire communities.

History has taught us what is right and what must be done.

NASWA stands shoulder to shoulder with our staff, members, and partners who have endured the pain and tragedy of generations of systemic racism. Systemic racism has resulted in unequal opportunity for Black Americans across many indicators of social and economic well-being, including workforce development and unemployment.

NASWA commits in word and deed to

  1. Improve our staff training and go beyond EEO compliance to more nuanced issues of racial equity and unconscious bias;
  2. Routinely assess our own practices and policies, remediating any that perpetuate institutional racism;
  3. Work within our policy committees to ensure we continue to develop and promote equitable and inclusive policies on key issues across the national workforce system; and
  4. Expand our member training offerings to include more sessions and workshops on these issues at our committee meetings, conferences and symposia.

We are united in our belief that Black Lives Matter. We believe this is neither partisan nor divisive, nor dismissive of other injustices, but an affirmative statement acknowledging that we have work to do, individually and collectively, to ensure we are promoting equity and justice in our operations and through our work.

To all Black Americans, especially our staff, our members, and our partners and affiliates: We see you. We hear you. We value you. We stand with you. We take actions for you.

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

                                                          - James Baldwin

The NASWA Team



About the National Association of State Workforce Agencies ( NASWA is the national organization representing all 50 state workforce agencies, D.C. and U.S. territories. These agencies deliver training, employment, career, and business services, in addition to administering the unemployment insurance, veteran reemployment, and labor market information programs. NASWA provides policy expertise, shares promising state practices, and promotes state innovation and leadership in workforce development.