As we have passed the 3-month mark of AMA New Jersey’s 20/21 board year, it is a good time to reflect on the progress made so far. We have learned a tremendous amount in such a short time about ourselves, our organization, and our community. The unprecedented circumstances of 2020 have been challenging and unpredictable; but also full of moments of learning, strength, unity, and growth.
In the midst of a pandemic that restricted the ability to connect in person, we did like many organizations and companies and pivoted our strategy to continue providing ways to Connect, Advance and Inform in a virtual environment. Our goals and priorities shifted, and we learned to adapt to continue to bring value to our audience.
As you may already be aware, AMA New Jersey has made a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Our goal is to incorporate DEI into the very foundation of our organization because it is the right thing to do. We take this journey with the hope that using our platform, we can do our part to create an inclusive environment that empowers and amplifies the voices of those that often go unheard.
The Power of our Collective Voices
Our members and prospective members participated in an open forum in August, An Invitation to Conversation: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Marketing, with the goals of:
- hearing insights on how to support marketers in their DEI efforts
- learning different perspectives, educating ourselves, and creating strategies for change, and
- starting a conversation that would lead to further discussion, implementation, and action.
The discussion was educational and enlightening. We learned that for many people, finding the right place to start is the most difficult part. We also learned that there are companies out there who are making efforts to be intentional in their DEI initiatives and although they do not always get it right, they are learning from their mistakes and triumphs. Another important outcome of the open forum was a sense of common purpose and understanding. This conversation has helped to fuel our strategic plan with tactics to keep us on track with fulfilling our goals.
A Grassroots Effort with Powerful Impact
Over the past few months, AMA New Jersey has been part of a grassroots effort along with several other AMA chapters across the nation: AMA Austin, New York, PDX, Sacramento, and Triangle, to develop a pledge stating our commitment to DEI. We chose to focus this pledge on the BIPOC community (black, brown, indigenous people of color), to take on the root cause of society’s most challenging problems which, as a result, will have the ability to create an equitable society for all.
Chapters across the nation have begun to adopt and implement the pledge including AMA New Jersey. We have been taking an internal look at our processes, recruiting, membership, programming, partnerships, and communications. In addition, AMA New Jersey has representation on the Professional Chapters Council DEI Committee which is a committee dedicated to bringing support to AMA chapters and our communities around DEI initiations.
Watch our DEI Pledge video here.
Our Continued Journey
AMA New Jersey will continue in our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are a resource for marketers in need of a support system and a place to grow professionally. We invite you to connect with us and reach out and share your feedback, comments, suggestions, ideas, and feelings. Your voice is a critical part of this journey and your input is invaluable.
We will also continue to hold events to continue this dialogue, learn from different perspectives, and make a change in our society for the better. Our next event, Breaking Barriers to Representation in Marketing Leadership, will discuss the importance of representation within leadership teams and how to ensure their voices heard and impactful in decision making. Join us on October 27thto hear from our panelists about their experiences.
Author: Kendra Clarke