FRIDAY, APRIL 28, 2023
Virtual Doors at 8:00am
Program will begin at 8:30am
Please join us for our third Equity in Black & White Summit - Trust in Equity: The New Standard of Excellence. For over 80 years, the Greater Washington Urban League has been on the frontlines of the fight for equity. For equity professionals no matter the industry or specialty (ESG, JDEI, CSR, CRA, etc.), the continuing question is how to go beyond the metaphors and effect enduring systemic change. As important, how do we do so in ways that honor and build trust with communities that are subject to the traumatic consequences of unrelenting structural racism.
The League’s Equity Summit will be held on April 28, 2023. This fast-paced program is purposely designed to equip executives with practical, peer-tested tools that promote racial justice within corporations. This event is exclusively for sponsored participants to cultivate meaningful, non-judgmental participation.
We aim to raise $295,000 for the Summit to ensure the League’s ability to secure nationally recognized equity experts and remain a trusted voice on the frontlines. Convening leading authorities provides participants with invaluable insights and winning strategies.
If you're an executive or emerging executive looking for worthwhile advice on how to build trust with employees and their communities via authentic equity initiatives, we encourage you to support us as a Summit Sponsor.
Session 1: Performative Allyship vs. Trust Building
Reignited by the tragic death of George Floyd, many organizations proclaimed their commitment to racial equity. Some viewed this declared allyship as genuine support for marginalized groups, others saw the absence of authenticity that would end with disinvestment within a year or two.
This pattern is well known to the Black community. Repeatedly, organizational leadership claims to want to bring about equity after a tragic occurrence while failing to make the necessary reparative and structural changes. This in part explains the distrust Blacks have in organizations’ willingness and ability to change the status quo.
According to the 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer report, the three most distrusted persons are government leaders, journalists, and CEOs. Executives must lead in breaking the cycle of distrust by going beyond performative allyship.
During this session, our experts will share their knowledge and research on how you can build a more trusted brand through equity efforts.
Equity Impact Award
The Equity Impact Award is bestowed upon corporate partners who have not only championed equity as a value but have also employed strategies that have resulted in game-changing investment and allyship for marginalized communities.
As the Mid-Atlantic region's leading health insurer and community champion, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst) prioritizes initiatives that positively impact our communities' health outcomes while advancing a more affordable, accessible and equitable healthcare system. To do this, we must address all aspects of health, including socio-economic factors outside of clinical intervention, that make our communities better and more equitable for all.
We are proud to be a longstanding partner with the Greater Washington Urban League as we work together to increase opportunities for underserved communities. Through economic opportunities, education, workforce development and more, we are creating a healthier and more vibrant region that will span generations.
To truly build trust in equity, organizations need to partner with a shared mission and vision for the future. CareFirst looks forward to many more years of partnership with all leading the charge.
Session 2: Restoring Black Wealth: Getting the Financial System Right
Racial wealth gaps are not new problems. Rather, they are historically rooted in inequalities manifested all throughout our financial systems. Black communities, systematically kept out of the wealth system, repeatedly experience persistent patterns of loss and mistreatment.
Despite decades of legislative efforts and capital infusions, the financial system still routinely underserves and discriminates against Black families. Black owned CDFIs have dwindled to from 40 to 21 nationwide. The ever-widening wealth gap continues to lead to loss of financial security, diminished life expectancy, and hope. This is certainly correlated to the high levels of Blacks that remain unbanked by choice.
Can our financial institutions be trusted to guide our economic systems beyond gestures and rhetoric? Are banks really incented and positioned to end predatory lending, denial of access to capital and price gouging?
Join us and hear from financial executives who are working to get it right share strategies on how they are using an equity lens successfully to restore and preserve Black wealth. All participants should leave knowing that financial inclusion, no matter your industry, is critical to improving economic opportunities and outcomes for Black families and the nation as a whole.
Session 3: Trust in AI: The Importance of Equity in Technology
While Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a powerful tool advancing the speed and precision of engagement and decision making, technology created by people is inherently biased. There is ample evidence that technology inflicts harm, especially on historically disenfranchised groups. In fact, AI is known to exacerbate racial and other inequities.
With the undeniable absence of diversity in representation at all levels of employment and influence, bias infused AI data sets and algorithms are embedded in our judicial, financial, health, employment, food, environmental, transportation, and education systems.
If the lived experience and voice of underrepresented communities are not accurately and fully accounted for in AI, entire generations will suffer the consequences across all aspects of their lives. To be sure, negative experiences such as Census undercounting, mortgage price gouging, criminal profiling and unfair employment disqualification are driving consumer distrust and, in some cases, necessitating a severing of relationships with organizations.
Our expert panelists will share their expertise on AI and highlight the responsibilities decision makers need to make to bring about equity in their own AI efforts.
Session 4: Bundling DEI and ESG: How to Maintain Progress in Equity?
More and more, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) priorities are being bundled or merged with Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) efforts as a business strategy. Combined, they cover a broad spectrum from the climate crises to diversity in the workplace. Risk managers are increasingly focused on corporate sustainability efforts with environmental issues at the top of the list. DEI professionals are keen on driving cultural change with shifting leadership representation at the top of their list.
Both bring value to the bottom line. Yet, many wonder if fusing the two dilutes the authenticity of DEI investments. This is especially concerning given the absence of equitable diverse representation in the C-Suite even after seven decades of investment.
Companies getting DEI right have an advantage in ESG and vice versa. Join us to learn from our panel of experts as they share strategies that help maintain a measurable focus on DEI while strengthening ESG performance.
Session 5: Equitable Spend with Black Owned Media: A Moment or a Movement
The history and contributions of Blacks in America is still intentionally omitted in media and even banned from libraries across the nation. Alternatively, concentrations of racist stereotypes and dehumanizing portrayals of Black people remain common place. Change needs to happen on both sides, advertisers and clients alike.
In comes, Black-owned media companies which are vital to ensuring that Black stories are shared and told authentically with self-affirming imagery. Though without the economic engine of equitable advertising revenue, Black-owned media companies’ viability continues to be compromised. This was supposed to change with all the post-2020 commitments by the largest media agencies.
Not unexpectedly, some of these promises are now ringing hollow. Black culture holds huge sway and yields great profits, but it is imperative that we create an equitable ad ecosystem.
Join our experts as they delve into the world of ad buying and outline equitable investments you can make that are culturally affirming through Black-owned media.