The past few months have been a tidal wave of activity. Like most, we pivoted our strategy with the advance of COVID-19 and found new and improved opportunities to deliver on our mission. As we closed out our fiscal year in June, we ended on a solemn note. Coupled with the pandemic, racial injustice struck a mighty chord within our nation, and we, as a chapter, wanted to do our part to find enduring ways to fulfill the promises of this great nation. That starts with open dialogue and mutual understanding, and there is nothing more powerful than the stories and experiences of our colleagues, as told through their eyes.
On June 19, we invited you to discuss the role marketers can play in diversity, equity, and inclusion, and let those conversations shape our thoughts. As the national organization, AMA was just getting started with their DEI efforts, so it would take time to formalize and implement. Therefore, in partnership with the Triangle and Sacramento chapters, AMA New York spearheaded a grassroots initiative for local chapters to find a path that would let us take action right away.
In less than thirty days, this ad hoc volunteer taskforce crafted the AMA DEI Chapter Pledge. The Pledge contains five commitments that focus on centering and amplifying the voices of our black, brown, and indigenous communities. AMA New York signed the pledge and incorporated its tenants into our strategic plans for the fiscal year starting July 1.
But our work doesn’t stop there.
The National Board of Directors formed its first DEI committee and appointed Chris Cole as the new Director of DEI and Community Relations. As President, I now serve on the Professional Chapters Council DEI Committee and serve as the Chair of the Community Relations subcommittee. I am also Co-Chair of the Pledge Taskforce, whose purpose is to support chapters in adopting and implementing the pledge commitments.
On a local level, inclusiveness is our objective, and amplification of BIPOC voices is our goal. Our commitments and mission will permeate throughout our board of directors, volunteers, membership, partners, speakers, and events. We will learn from our successes and challenges, and with the AMA DEI Chapter Pledge as our lever, our population’s intersectionality will shine through.
We have ambitious goals and a genuine desire to spearhead transformational change, but this is only the beginning of a journey that should have started long ago. We will keep you posted as things progress but actively welcome your opinions and feedback. I am proud to be surrounded by wonderfully talented volunteers whose diverse perspectives and dedication to our mission drive our chapter forward. If you would like to get more involved as a volunteer or partner, please reach out.
Thank you to our entire community for supporting AMA New York through our transition and yours. As a non-profit organization, the New York spirit has always been core to realizing our goals. Together, we will make incredible progress.