American Go E-Journal

AGA President Andy Okun on the AGA’s Statement on Injustice

Wednesday June 24, 2020

As the president of the American Go Association, I too am worried about the ways in which our members are affected by current events like Covid-19 as well as ongoing injustice. I am supportive of the recent efforts by the Board and the Code of Conduct committee to address these crises and proud of our members for their ongoing dedication to improving the community.

After hearing and reading different responses from the community, including letters to the editor in the E-Journal and conversations with different AGA leaders, I feel it is important to once again emphasize the AGA’s position: we welcome all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, gender, age, or other creed. In this moment, it is particularly important to recognize the uniquely difficult experiences of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). We have made strides in the last few years in making our community more welcoming to women; now it is past time for us to make a concerted effort to redress the lack of representation from BIPOC.

I also want to make clear that the AGA sponsors and runs the E-Journal as a journalistic publication covering the Go community, and as such gives the E-Journal maximum flexibility to apply its own journalistic ethics and to cover all points of views, even when the AGA may not agree with some of the sentiments expressed. We will work to make clear when something published in the EJ is intended to be a statement of the AGA and/or its leadership, since some readers may not be fully aware of the distinction between the E-Journal and the AGA, leading to confusion, for which we deeply apologize.

We as an organization always have room to grow, particularly in regards to being welcoming to people of color, and the recent dialogue has served to emphasize that. Many members reached out to thank us or share their support after the publication of our statement on injustice; we could not do it without you. We appreciate your patience as we learn from our mistakes and as we evaluate how we can do a better job of handling issues like this in the future.