Helping companies make the changes that build racial equity

On Dec. 1-2, 2020, Points of Light, The Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals , Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose and The Council on Foundations convened 700 corporate responsibility and philanthropy leaders to accelerate the progress and impact of business efforts to address racial equity, The two-day event titled, “Racial Equity: Moving Companies from Promise to Action” brought together diverse perspectives from thought leaders representing academia, business, nonprofits, and philanthropy.

We are grateful to Bank of America, Charles Schwab, KPMG and USAA for their sponsorship of this event.

 Key take-aways from the event included: 

  • Ending 400 years of systemic racism will be a journey, not a quick fix. Companies and leaders have to approach this movement for change with grace – requiring an open heart and willingness to accept criticism.   
  • Employees are an important litmus test. Listen to and act on the feedback provided by employee resource groups. Companies must learn from their employees’ lived experiences and perceptions. 
  • Companies cannot separate themselves from the communities in which they operate.  Real progress will come from showing up authentically, building trust, and taking cues from what the community says it needs. 
  • Corporate leaders should unlock change. Progress at a company occurs when CEOs commit to creating space for conversation, taking action, and owning and leading measurable change within their company. Diversity in boards of directors and senior leadership teams can hold companies accountable and strengthen the business outcomes from addressing racial equity.  
  • Businesses know how to build markets and advocate for laws and regulations. They now must apply that same imagination and their capacity for innovation to address systemic racism. 

Watch The Conversations On-Demand

Role of Companies in Addressing Racial Inequity

Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, has been outspoken on actions companies can take to address racial injustice. In this conversation with Carolyn Berkowitz, president & CEO, Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals, Walker discusses how corporations have failed Black America and how businesses can put actions into practice to dismantle racial inequity. 

Resources:

Are You Willing to Give Up Your Privilege” by Darren Walker

If Corporations Really Want to Address Racial Inequity, Here Are 9 Things That Actually Make a Difference” by Darren Walker

Role of Companies in Addressing Racial Inequity

Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, has been outspoken on actions companies can take to address racial injustice. In this conversation with Carolyn Berkowitz, president & CEO, Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals, Walker discusses how corporations have failed Black America and how businesses can put actions into practice to dismantle racial inequity. 

Resources:

Are You Willing to Give Up Your Privilege” by Darren Walker

If Corporations Really Want to Address Racial Inequity, Here Are 9 Things That Actually Make a Difference” by Darren Walker

Brands and Racial Justice in America: A Call for Systemic Change

Edelman’s special report on Brands and Racial Justice in America found that silence is not an option and that brands are expected to take a stand on racial injustice. Hear Lisa Ross, COO and President, Washington D.C. Office, Edelman shares the expectations society has on how businesses need to influence, educate and advocate about systemic racism. In addition to other key takeaways, Ross explains how the fight against systemic racism is long-term and significant.

Resource:

Edelman Trust Barometer 2020: Special Report: The Fight for Racial Justice in America

Brands and Racial Justice in America: A Call for Systemic Change

Edelman’s special report on Brands and Racial Justice in America found that silence is not an option and that brands are expected to take a stand on racial injustice. Hear Lisa Ross, COO and President, Washington D.C. Office, Edelman shares the expectations society has on how businesses need to influence, educate and advocate about systemic racism. In addition to other key takeaways, Ross explains how the fight against systemic racism is long-term and significant.

Resource:

Edelman Trust Barometer 2020: Special Report: The Fight for Racial Justice in America

The Internal Reckoning

To earn and keep the trust of employees and customers, companies must first set an example of equitable policies and inclusive culture within their own organization. A journey towards equity must acknowledge uncomfortable truths and identify challenges and opportunities. In this session, Natalye Paquin, president & CEO, Points of Light will moderate a conversation between Lori George Billingsley, Global Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer, The Coca-Cola Company and Nzinga “Zing” Shaw, Global Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer, Starbucks Coffee Company as they assess and acknowledge the uncomfortable truths and challenges of each company’s equitable journey and share lessons learned throughout history and apply them to today’s work.

Resources:

Our Commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity at Starbucks

Free Starbucks online courses, developed at ASU, strive to foster empathy, understanding  

The Coca-Cola Company’s Diversity & Inclusion

The Internal Reckoning

To earn and keep the trust of employees and customers, companies must first set an example of equitable policies and inclusive culture within their own organization. A journey towards equity must acknowledge uncomfortable truths and identify challenges and opportunities. In this session, Natalye Paquin, president & CEO, Points of Light will moderate a conversation between Lori George Billingsley, Global Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer, The Coca-Cola Company and Nzinga “Zing” Shaw, Global Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer, Starbucks Coffee Company as they assess and acknowledge the uncomfortable truths and challenges of each company’s equitable journey and share lessons learned throughout history and apply them to today’s work.

Resources:

Our Commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity at Starbucks

Free Starbucks online courses, developed at ASU, strive to foster empathy, understanding  

The Coca-Cola Company’s Diversity & Inclusion

Accountability: Shifting Measurement and Evaluation

The journey from promise to action in racial equity requires a measure of progress for accountability. How do current forms of measurement need to change to reflect more equitable outcomes inside and outside of companies? Hear Michael McAfee, president and CEO, PolicyLink; Gwen Migita, Vice President Social Impact, Sustainability, Diversity Equity & Inclusion, Caesars; Naomi Morenzoni, Vice President, Philanthropy Strategy, Salesforce weigh in on how companies can begin to hold themselves accountable and what the framework looks like for businesses seeking to analyze their impact.

Resource:

PolicyLink: A CEO Blueprint for Racial Equity

Accountability: Shifting Measurement and Evaluation

The journey from promise to action in racial equity requires a measure of progress for accountability. How do current forms of measurement need to change to reflect more equitable outcomes inside and outside of companies? Hear Michael McAfee, president and CEO, PolicyLink; Gwen Migita, Vice President Social Impact, Sustainability, Diversity Equity & Inclusion, Caesars; Naomi Morenzoni, Vice President, Philanthropy Strategy, Salesforce weigh in on how companies can begin to hold themselves accountable and what the framework looks like for businesses seeking to analyze their impact.

Resource:

PolicyLink: A CEO Blueprint for Racial Equity

Meet The Speakers

Carolyn Berkowitz
President and CEO, Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals

Carolyn Berkowitz is the President and CEO of ACCP. In this role, Carolyn leads all aspects of the association to deliver on its objective – to be the strategic resource for companies and their purpose-driven leaders so that they can be successful in realizing their commitment to sustainable impact.

Under her leadership, ACCP focuses on providing resources and networking opportunities to help corporate citizenship professionals grow their professional skills, stay ahead of industry trends, have access to insights that will help them design and deliver high-impact results for their companies, and networking opportunities to help them build their professional networks.

Carolyn is a nationally recognized corporate social impact leader who has guided non-profits, foundations, and Fortune 500 companies to solve for complex social issues and realize their greatest impact. Prior to joining ACCP, she led Capital One’s Community Affairs team, spear-heading the company’s effort to re-imagine its CSR strategy. Under her leadership, the team developed and executed a $450 million, 10-year strategy to prepare low- and moderate-income people for future success.

 

Prior to her work with Capital One, Carolyn served on the senior leadership teams of America’s Promise, Points of Light Foundation, and the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education.

Carolyn is the co-author of “Employee Engagement in the Community – A Winning Formula,” published in People and Strategy Magazine, Society for Human Resource Management. She was twice named among the “100 Most Influential Business Leaders” in Washington, DC by the Washington Business Journal, and earned the Washington Area Women’s Foundation’s Visionary Award in 2015 after serving as Board Chair from 2013-2015 and Board member since 2006. She also served a five-year term as a member of the Virginia Community College Board as an appointee of Governor Terry McAuliffe and was named by former HUD Secretary Donovan as a U.S. Delegate to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.

Lori George Billingsley
Global Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, The Coca-Cola Company

Lori George Billingsley is the Global Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer for The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC). In this role, she leads the company’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Center of Excellence, all directed to enable a more engaged global workforce, mirror the markets served, and support a more inclusive culture to best position the employees of the company to drive growth.

She has been with the company for 18 years, having spent the last 16 years in a variety of roles with increasing responsibility in the Public Affairs and Communications function. Prior to joining TCCC, Lori had her own public relations consultancy, LG Communications and was a vice president at Porter/Novelli, a leading public relations firm.

 

She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (Vice Chair), Leadership Atlanta, ColorComm, Arete-Executive Women of Influence and the NAACP Foundation. She is a member of Howard University School of Communications Board of Visitors and the Executive Leadership Council.

She received her Bachelor of Arts in public relations at Howard University and her Master of Arts in public communications at American University. Lori is an ordained minister.

Michael McAfee
President and CEO, PolicyLink

Dr. Michael McAfee became President and CEO of PolicyLink in 2018, seven years after becoming the inaugural director of the Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink. His results-driven leadership, depth of knowledge about building and sustaining an organization, and devotion to serving the nation’s most underserved populations made him the obvious choice to lead the 20-year-old PolicyLink as Angela Glover Blackwell transitioned to founder in residence.

During his time at PolicyLink, Michael has played a leadership role in securing Promise Neighborhoods as a permanent federal program, led efforts to improve outcomes for more than 300,000 children, and facilitated the investment of billions of dollars in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty. He is the catalyst for a new and growing body of work — corporate racial equity — which includes the first comprehensive tool to guide private-sector companies in assessing and actively promoting equity in every aspect of their company’s value chain. Michael carries forward the legacy to realize the promise of equity — just and fair inclusion into a society in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.

Michael also understands the urgency of now. The nation is rapidly becoming a majority people of color. In cities and towns across the country many people are embracing the concept of equity and intent on achieving racial and economic equity for all. At the same time, as the word is used more, the concept of equity is in danger of becoming diluted, just another catchphrase of civil society, leaving the true promise of racial and economic inclusion unrealized. Michael is determined that this will not happen.

Michael is ensuring equity does not become watered down. He is turning movement leaders’ eyes toward redesigning the “rules of the game” so that all people in America — particularly those who face the burdens of structural racism — participate in a just society, live in a healthy community of opportunity, and prosper in an equitable economy. He is achieving this by enacting liberating public policies targeted to the 100 million people living in or near poverty, the majority of whom are people of color.

His legacy will lie in his efforts to stand in transformative solidarity with others, collectively charting a course to Win on Equity. He is building a well-planned, well-coordinated, well-executed, and sustained campaign that frees America’s democracy from the oppressive blend of patriarchy, capitalism, and racism.
Before joining PolicyLink, Michael served as senior community planning and development representative in the Chicago Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

While at HUD, he managed a $450 million housing, community, and economic development portfolio where he partnered with local leaders to create more than 3,000 units of affordable housing and 5,000 jobs and to ensure access to social services for more than 200,000 families. Before his public service, Michael served as the director of community leadership for The Greater Kansas City Community Foundation and Affiliated Trusts. He was instrumental in positioning the organization to raise $121 million from individual donors, an accomplishment recognized by the Chronicle of Philanthropy for receiving more contributions than any community foundation in America.

Michael’s commitment to the needs of people of color and those living in poverty extends to his work on the boards of Bridge Housing, Independent Sector, North Lawndale Employment Network, One Degree, and Sweet Beginnings, LLC, each of which is committed to creating opportunity for those among the 100 million economically insecure people in America.

Previously, Michael served in the United States Army and as Dean’s Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He earned his Doctor of Education in human and organizational learning from George Washington University and completed Harvard University’s Executive Program in Public Management.

He is a sought-after speaker on community and economic development, leadership, organizational development, racial equity, and youth development. His articles have appeared in Academic Pediatrics, Cascade, published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia; Community Development Innovation Review, published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; Harvard Education Press, New York Times, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and Voices in Urban Education, published by the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University.

Michael lives in the Oakland Hills with his wife, Maja, and their two Brussels Griffons (Gigi and Griff). He is an avid off-road hiker and practitioner of yoga.

Gwen Migita
Caesars, Vice President Social Impact, Sustainability, Diversity Equity & Inclusion

Working with more than 70,000 team members at 50 domestic and international resorts, Gwen sets the strategy, direction and management goals for Caesars Entertainment’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives including Responsible Gaming, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI), sustainability, community involvement and social impact.

Gwen leads the industry in assessing macro trends and issues that may affect the business and development goals. She is on the forefront of utilizing customer data and spending behavior to show that strong CSR programs deliver purpose and a positive financial outcome. Her work involves human rights, social impact, Environmental Social Governance (ESG), investor research issues and outcomes based on the corporate responsibility strategy.

Gwen is currently the DEI Committee Chair for Sustainable Brands Advisory Board, on the Executive Committee of Sustainable Hospitality Alliance and Trustee Chair of Impact NV. She and her wife Cuc Vu enjoy parenting their budding social justice advocates: Max (7) and Ava (5) in their pseudo spare time.

Naomi Morenzoni
Vice President, Philanthropy Strategy, Salesforce

Naomi Morenzoni is Vice President of Philanthropy Strategy at Salesforce. She leads their strategic philanthropic programs and partnerships. She is the program manager for Salesforce’s Racial Equality and Justice Task Force that seeks to drive racial equality through the 4 Ps: People, Philanthropy, Purchasing and Policy. Naomi is a founding and advisory board member of Pledge 1%, a movement of 12,000+ companies around the globe that are dedicated to making the community a core stakeholder in their business. Naomi has spent her career at the intersection of business and social good with positions at the Google, Global Philanthropy Forum, and Business for Social Responsibility. Naomi graduated from Vassar College.

Natalye Paquin
President & CEO, Points of Light

Natalye Paquin is the president and chief executive officer of Points of Light. She is a visionary and results-oriented leader with a strong track record of performance and transformation in turnaround and high-paced organizations. Prior to joining Points of Light in 2017, Natalye served as chief transformation officer at Girl Scouts of the USA, where she was responsible for strategy integration and was the key face and spokesperson for aligning and unifying the Girl Scouts federation of 112 councils around the strategy. Natalye also served five years as chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania, the state’s largest girl-serving organization and among the largest Girl Scouts councils in the nation. She began her career in the nonprofit sector as chief operating officer of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, after having been a volunteer, helping the center think through its education and new audience development programs.

Natalye Paquin, President & CEO, Points of Light
An attorney by training, Natalye spent more than 15 years in the education sector in legal and executive leadership roles. First as a civil rights attorney with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, and with two of the nation’s largest school districts, Chicago Public Schools and the School District of Philadelphia. She began her legal career in private practice as a litigation attorney.

 

Natalye Paquin, Notes from Natalye

For more than a decade, Natalye has been a director on a corporate board. She currently serves as director of UNIVEST Corporation of Pennsylvania, and is a former director of National Penn Bancshares, which was acquired by BB&T. A philanthropist and committed volunteer, Natalye has served on several nonprofit boards in the arts and education, and is past board chair of the Philadelphia Award Foundation. Recognized for her leadership and commitment to community, she has received numerous awards and has been profiled in several professional magazines.

Natalye Paquin earned a juris doctor from DePaul University College of Law and an undergraduate degree from Florida A&M University. A lifelong learner, she was a national fellow of the Eli Broad Urban Superintendents Academy, has completed executive education programs at Harvard and Loyola University Business Schools, attended the Aspen Ideas Festival as a scholar, and was a distinguished guest of the United States Air Force Judge Advocate General Civic Leaders Tour.

Lisa Osborne Ross
U.S. COO & President of Washington D.C. Office Edelman

Lisa Osborne Ross serves as Edelman’s U.S. Chief Operating Officer and leads Edelman’s Washington D.C. office as President. In this role, Ms. Ross is responsible for overseeing the firm’s U.S. operations and providing strategic oversight to its Washington office. She is known as an in-demand counselor to senior executives at Fortune 500, higher education, and government institutions.

Prior to Edelman, Ms. Ross served as Managing Director of APCO Worldwide’s flagship office for over 2 years, arriving there after a 15-year career at Ogilvy Public Relations. Over her tenure at Ogilvy, Ms. Ross held several titles, including Founder of the Multicultural Practice, Head of the Public Advocacy Group and Practice, and Head of the Public Affairs Division.

Prior to joining Ogilvy, Ms. Ross held several roles in the Clinton Administration. At the U.S. Department of Labor, she served as Communications Director for the Department’s effort to create and promote high-performance workplaces, and later created and directed the Office of Public Liaison under Secretary Alexis Herman. She also served as the Deputy Director of the bipartisan Federal Glass Ceiling Commission, and was a member of the inaugural team of the White House Office of Women’s Initiatives and Outreach. In her early career, Ms. Ross spent time at FleishmanHillard and at the Tobacco Institute.

Ms. Ross devotes considerable amounts of time to her philanthropic endeavors, particularly her efforts to build a better Washington and to empower women. She co-founded and led the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, which has raised hundreds of millions of dollars to fund grassroots organizations addressing the needs of women and young girls throughout the Washington metropolitan area. At Howard University, she helped establish a scholarship fund for students seeking careers in public relations.

Ms. Ross has served on numerous school boards and commissions, including Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School Board of Trustees, Marquette University Centennial Celebration of Women, LeMoyne College School of Communications, Catholic Charities of America, and the Washington Jesuit Academy. In addition, she serves in the board of the PRSA Foundation. She is a member of the Awareness Leadership Council for the Capital Area Food Bank and of the Diverse Leadership Group for the Ad Council.

Ms. Ross has received several awards including PRWeek Hall of Femme (2020), Savoy Magazine’s Most Influential Women in Corporate America (2019), Washington Women Who Mean Business (2018), PR Council Diversity Champion Award (2017), Marquette University Alumni of the Year (2012), Washington Life “Style and Substance” Award (2004), and the Washington PR Woman of the Year Award (2003).

Nzinga “Zing” Shaw
Global Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer, Starbucks Coffee Company

Nzinga “Zing” Shaw is currently the global chief inclusion & diversity officer for Starbucks Coffee Company. She leads the inclusion & diversity (I&D) organization and concurrently serves as a member of the Americas leadership team reporting to the chief operating officer. Zing provides strategic guidance across the enterprise to promote inclusive practices in every facet of the business. She has developed a strategy to embed equity in all programmatic activities, governance and daily administration of the global retail organization. She is focused on building a foundation that will advance this strategy as a core component of Starbucks’ brand, and to drive the business across every global market. The I&D strategy extends to external customers, community partners and to every partner within the workforce. Currently, Zing is helping Starbucks achieve 100% global pay equity by working with experts to develop best practices and tools to address systemic barriers impeding equal pay for equal work. She also co-created a cutting-edge model that ties executive compensation to I&D goals/deliverables.

Prior to joining Starbucks, Zing has been at the forefront of leading organizational change through diversity. She was the first person to hold the chief diversity & inclusion officer position in the National Basketball Association, serving in that capacity for the Atlanta Hawks & State Farm Arena franchise for 5 years. She also served as senior vice president of diversity & inclusion at Edelman, the world’s largest and most profitable public relations/integrated marketing agency. While leading diversity at Edelman, Zing concurrently served as senior vice president of human resources for the southeast and southwest regions. Throughout her career, Zing has worked as a human resources practitioner across a multitude of industries including publishing, sports entertainment, public relations and retail.

 

Zing is a recipient of several industry awards including Sports Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 and Game Changers awards, Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 and Women Who Mean Business awards, The Network Journal 40 Under Forty and Top 25 Most Influential Black Women in Business awards, PR Week 40 Under 40 award, and many more. She was selected by 39th United States President – Jimmy Carter to serve a 3-year term on the Board of Councilors of The Carter Center. Zing is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta, currently serves on the Leadership Council of UNCF Seattle, and is a member of the Leadership Tomorrow (Seattle) class of 2021. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and The Links, Incorporated. Zing is an alumna of Spelman College (BA), the University of Pennsylvania (MLA) and was a study abroad scholar at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

Darren Walker
President, Ford Foundation

Darren Walker is president of the Ford Foundation, a $13 billion international social justice philanthropy. He is co-founder and chair of the Presidents’ Council on Disability Inclusion in Philanthropy.

Before joining Ford, Darren was vice president at Rockefeller Foundation, overseeing global and domestic programs. In the 1990s, he was COO of the Abyssinian Development Corporation, Harlem’s largest community development organization.

Darren co-chairs New York City’s Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers, the New York City Census Task Force, and the Governor’s Commission and serves on The Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform and UN International Labour Organization Global Commission on the Future of Work.

He serves on many boards, including Carnegie Hall, the High Line, VOW to End Child Marriage, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the National Gallery of Art, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the recipient of 16 honorary degrees and university awards, including Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Medal.

Educated exclusively in public schools, Darren was a member of the first Head Start class in 1965 and graduated from The University of Texas at Austin. He has been included on Time’s annual 100 Most Influential People in the World, Rolling Stone’s 25 People Shaping the Future, Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, and OUT Magazine’s Power 50.

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