A letter from the new Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) director

The past few months have been marked by a call to action that crosses social, political, and professional divides around the country. The faces and names in our news cycles – Jacob Blake, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many other Black people across America – serve as reminders that we must continue to hold ourselves and our peers accountable for creating a safe, inclusive, and diverse community. We as the Board of Directors of the SMPS Oregon Chapter acknowledge that we are part of an unjust system and need to focus meaningful energy towards creating a more equitable future for the A/E/C industry and beyond.

We must do the work to balance the words. The SMPS Oregon Chapter is sharing our commitment to elevate Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) throughout our organization and the built industry by committing to the following actions:

  • Educating our members through a series of programming events that focus on unconscious bias, transformative allyship, coalition building, diversity in hiring, the history of racism and more
  • Amplifying Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) voices by including at least 20% representation on all panel events
  • Supporting Black-owned businesses in operational or event expenses
  • Developing best practices for cultivating a community of change in the A/E/C Industry
  • Working to increase BIPOC membership and board representation
  • Re-evaluating our chapter and committee goals with an equity lens

As Marketing and Business Development professionals, we play a vital role in influencing organizational policies, decisions, behaviors, and outcomes. There is no greater outcome than a society that is free from disparities and racism. We are asking for your willingness to be uncomfortable as we explore our own biases, acknowledge our own discriminatory practices, and participate in difficult conversations. We are not experts, but we are committed to listening, learning, and understanding the experience of the Black community. 

As we start on this journey, we would like to invite our members to join us in helping to create a future that is transformative, socially just, and free from racial inequality. It will take all of us to succeed.

With Respect and Commitment,

  Thy Daniels, Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

 

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