The ACS has a long-standing commitment to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion, from early initiatives in the mid-20th century through more contemporary actions.
In 2001, the ACS Board of Regents published its first diversity commitment statement, which was updated in 2018. Two years later, the ACS Committee on Ethics and the Board of Regents issued a call to action that recognized racism as “a public health crisis, resulting in health care inequities” and asked "members of the organization to treat all patients—regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual preference—with compassion, skill, and fidelity,” as summarized by Immediate Past-ACS Executive Director, David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS.
Also in 2020, ACS leaders promptly moved to ensure that their stated commitments had corresponding actions to produce intended outcomes. The ACS Board of Regents appointed a Task Force on Racial Issues, which issued its report and recommendations in November 2020. A key recommendation was creation of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.