The National Academies

ACRP 11-08(21-02) [Final]

ACRP Insight Event--Issues on Systemic Racism

  Project Data
Research Agency: HMMH
Principal Investigator: Katherine Preston


The Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) provides practical solutions to challenges faced by airport industry practitioners. Not all challenges lend themselves to applied research or to published solutions due to their dynamic or unsettled nature, lack of maturity, or because the state of knowledge or practice is still evolving. Nonetheless, the airport industry would benefit from a deeper understanding and dialog on many of these challenges even if an immediate solution is not practical. Established in 2015, ACRP Project 11-08, ACRP Insight Events convene airport-industry leaders and subject-matter experts (SMEs) in various fields to encourage discussion and promote broader and deeper insight on topics of significance to airport operators.
Consistent with the National Academies, the definition of a convening event, such as an ACRP Insight Event, is intended to create a communal environment that fosters dialogue across sectors, institutions, and industries. Insight Events are selected by the ACRP Oversight Committee (AOC).  Expectations are that each event will take place within 12 months of AOC funding authorization.  The Transportation Research Board (TRB) will seek approvals from the Executive Committee of the Governing Board (GBEC) of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and will follow established TRB guidelines for the conduct of each event.
ACRP research cannot produce policy recommendations, or advice to federal agencies or to Congress. ACRP applied research projects publish contractor-authored reports. ACRP Insight Events are convening events of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and we may publish summaries of the events. ACRP can’t publish recommendations from an Insight Event. The sole purpose of an ACRP Insight Event is to gather airport-industry leaders, and SMEs in various fields to encourage discussion and promote broader and deeper insight on topics of significance to airport operators and their stakeholders.
An ACRP Insight Event may result in webinar-style video recordings, web content, podcasts, infographics, or meeting notes. Other products, such as event summaries, a forum or workshop in brief, or proceedings, are possible through an Academies report review and then published by the National Academies. Guidelines for such products are strict and rigid.
Although ACRP Insight Events do not produce solutions themselves, they illuminate issues that need attention. Each ACRP Insight Event will have topic experts on the planning committee to design and develop activities for the event. Usually, planning committee members are selected based on each individual’s expertise, but other considerations may be a factor. Government officials and industry associations may serve in ex officio capacity on planning committees.
Among other outcomes, ACRP Insight Events may lead to opportunities for further work that are appropriate for ACRP research projects. For example, the activities of an ACRP Insight Event may result in one or more ACRP problem statements, which may lead to funding an ACRP applied research project, legal study, or synthesis of practice.


Airports, by their very nature, bring people from various places and backgrounds together. Many airports desire a more inclusive and diverse workforce, including from their tenants, that reflect the diversity of their community. Yet airports are struggling to achieve this goal, even after many years of promoting inclusion and diversity. Airport managers need to understand the concept of systemic racism and the influence it may have on their decision-making.  

To help airports and their stakeholders address this issue cooperatively and collectively, ACRP will conduct an Insight Event on Systemic Racism.  The purpose of the convening event is to provide a candid, safe, and positive environment for conversations on this critical issue and to share challenges and success stories.

The event was held April 12 and 13, 2022.  A summary of the event is provided in Transportation Insights 1.

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