As ACCP celebrates Black History Month and reflects on 2021’s theme of “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity,” we are looking inwards to our family of staff and members to ensure our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) remains steadfast and true.
After releasing our statement against racism in 2020, ACCP honed our focus on racial justice and DEI in our programming. We believe DEI is intersectional and crucial to every part of a business. We strive to continuously discover, create, and share as many resources as possible to ensure staff and members are educated and equipped to fulfill our commitments to advancing racial justice. One key asset we’ve developed in this quest is the ever-growing Racial Justice Resource Center which includes educational information specifically designed for CSR practitioners as you engage in DEI initiatives.
As companies began to explore ways to increase DEI efforts, we found that the importance of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) became a key topic of discussion. In our webcast, Driving Change: Understanding and Engaging ERGs, we hosted speakers from Benevity and Accenture to share their insights, roadblocks, and successes. Leaders from these two companies covered a range of topics from how to start an ERG, to how to manage and budget for a multitude of international ERGs.
We also hosted a Racial Equity Dialogue Series for CSR Practitioners with Dr. Nika White. Dr. White engaged early, mid-level, and executive CSR professionals in conversations surrounding racial equity, systemic racism, difficult conversations, and engaging the c-suite. She encouraged participants to choose courage over comfort when working in DEI and to ensure a lens of equality is applied throughout our companies. You can read more takeaways here.
In December, we partnered with CECP, Council on Foundations, and Points of Light to produce Racial Equity: Moving Companies from Promise to Action, a two-day seminar with more than 40 speakers presenting on a number of DEI initiatives. The presentations covered partnering and building trust with diverse communities, breaking down departmental silos, and ensuring equitable grantmaking and measurement to name a few.
In addition to curating content and resources for our members, our staff is committed to educating ourselves on different human experiences. One way we are doing so is through books. Here is a list of favorite books read by ACCP staff in 2020:
Notes of a Native Son – James Baldwin
Decolonizing Wealth – Edward Villanueva
The Niceties – Eleanor Burgess
So You Want to Talk About Race – Ijeoma Oluo
How to Argue With A Racist – Adam Rutherford
Fire Shut Up in My Bones – Charles Blow
Just Mercy – Bryan Stevenson
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent – Isabel Wilkerson
As we continue to elevate our education in 2021, DEI and racial justice will remain a key focus for ACCP. On June 23 & 24 we will offer a DEI Summit. In addition, DEI topics will be part of the curriculum at both our Annual Corporate Citizenship Conference and the ACCP Forum.
We know the work needed to achieve racial justice will be ongoing and have set a multi-year goal to create a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable corporate citizenship sector that will improve the efficacy of corporate commitments to racial equity. We invite all companies to join us in reaching that goal.