Fourth Quarter 2018

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2019 Diversity & Inclusion Conference

 

THINK BIG, act small:
Practical applications to reach your D&I goals

The Intersection Between Racial Equality and the Importance of Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

presented at our 2019 conference
by Guadalupe Velazquez

Formerly with the City of Columbus, as theirM
New American Initiative Coordinator








AT THIS YEAR'S DIVERSITY & INCLUSION CONFERENCE
FEBRUARY 12, 2019

2019 Event Schedule

More information coming soon!
  • 8:30 AM Speaker Courtnee Carrigan, CEO at Raising the Bar Performance Group 
  • 10:00 AM Workshop on Tangible Acts in D&I: Siobhan Boyd-Nelson, Development Director at Equality Ohio
  • 11:45 AM Monthly Meeting and Buffet Lunch
  • 12:15 PM Keynote Speaker: Guadalupe Velazquez
  • 1:30 PM Panel on Making HR a Safe Space:
    Moderator: Gretchen Hammond, CEO Mighty Crow Media
    Lisa Callander, EAP Director, City of Columbus
    Brian Schweitzer, Community Outreach Director, Recovery Village Columbus
    Alan Proctor, President and CEO, Social Ventures Columbus
    Linda Coleman-Branham

Guadalupe A. Velasquez is a local advocate, volunteer and community leader for the Hispanic/Latino and Immigrant communities in Columbus. Currently serving as the Director of Programming and Education for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Columbus and lead advocate for the Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs, Guadalupe Velasquez is building a legacy of change and action for local organizations.

Among her many community posts and affiliations includes her service as member of the Huntington Community Advisory Council, the West Side Community Task Force, and the Grass Roots Leadership Development Planning Committee. Velasquez also serves as the Marketing Consultant for La VERDAD Hispanic Marketing Solutions and board member and legal committee co-chair of the Latino Empowerment Outreach Network (LEON). Near and dear to her heart is the time she spends tutoring for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio Norton Middle program.

In 2005, Guadalupe Velasquez received the Advocacy Award from the Latino Empowerment Outreach Network for her outstanding leadership in the community.

PRICING:

All Day Conference 
Student $50.00
Member $100.00
Guest $145.00

Lunch Meeting & Keynote 
Student $15.00
Member $25.00
Guest $50.00
For sponsorship or exhibitor opportunities, please contact BusinessPartner@HRACO.org
 
Learn more about the Diversity & Inclusion Committee at http://www.hraco.org/?page=10

This isn’t Goodbye -

 

Jennifer Robinson, MBA

HRACO Board Member, D&I
HR Manager, Franklin County Public Health

 

 

I’ve been trying to write this message for a while since I knew the end of the year was coming, but I’m stumped. As the exiting Diversity and Inclusion VP, I am struggling to find the right words to describe what this role and this committee have meant to me. I am so proud of everything we’ve been able to accomplish in three years, and I know there are great things are on the horizon. (Shameless plug --- D&I Conference 02/12/19!)
 
We’ve been bold enough to try new things, and open enough to admit when some of them didn’t work out as planned. We have had such talent on the committee, with our colleagues and our speakers – people with a true passion for inclusion work on a daily basis. This role has afforded me a lot of wonderful conversations at the crossroads of Human Resources and Inclusion - the incredible intersection where we come together and make change happen! It seems almost unfair how much I’ve learned in these years just by being NEAR these amazing people. 
 
I love that inclusion work is something where there is always more to learn about best practices and new ideas for our workplaces, our community, our association and even about myself, my perspectives and opinions. I don’t believe I’ve ever met anyone in this field who feels they are done learning, or are unwilling to learn from mistakes and do better next time.
 
More than anything, I want to take this time to say THANK YOU – to the Board for supporting me, the committee members who work tirelessly, the HRACO membership who attend our events while sharing great ideas for the next one, to those that we met through networking events that opened doors I never thought possible.
 
I leave this role in very capable hands – Babiya Polk is a powerful force by herself; Together with the D&I committee, I am so excited to see what they’ll accomplish in 2019 and beyond.

Welcome our New D&I Leader!


Babiya Polk 

Aflac, Independent Sales Representative
 
Hello, my name is Babiya Polk and I will be taking over as the HRACO Board Member for Diversity and Inclusion, and leading the committee starting in 2019. As a woman, single mother, immigrant, and minority, diversity and inclusion has always been a passion for me. While I have been able to overcome many obstacles that have been placed before me in my own life and career, and can even feel some pride for those achievements, I long for the days when the “firsts” are a thing of the past. As such, my focus will be to help design a program that will enable forward-thinking businesses to break down those walls and give everyone an equal seat at the table based upon the merit of their work and the content of their character.
 
My mission would be impossible without the efforts of those who have come before me; both in the overall cause of Diversity and Inclusion, and in the specific running of this committee.  Of particular note in this context is  Jennifer Robinson. She has set this committee up for success in a huge way and I cannot thank her enough for the tireless work and endless hours poured into this shared passion of ours. 
 
Because no one person can do this alone, I welcome any and all input into how we can take our initiatives to the next level. Know that I am a facilitator and champion of the cause, not a dictator. I will endeavor to be a suitable steward of the committee, the HRACO organization’s interests, and the overall cause of Diversity and Inclusion. 
 
Let’s work together to make the world just a little more inclusive!
 

SAVE THE DATE!

February 12, 2019


HRACO Diversity and Inclusion Annual Conference


The Boat House at Confluence Park
679 West Spring Street
Columbus, Ohio  43215


Keynote Speaker:
Guadalupe Velazquez



CLICK TO REGISTER!
 

February 7, 2019

NBC4 Champions of Diversity Black History Month Job Fair
 

Crowne Plaza Columbus North - Worthington

GET MORE INFO AND REGISTER!

Meet your 2019 HRACO Diversity and Inclusion Committee!


Babiya Polk,
VP of D&I, HRACO Board Member
Lisa Beaty
Scott Brown
Roland S. Gonzales
Carol Gregory
Laura Jurcevich

May 6 and 7, 2019

National Conference on Diversity, Race & Learning


The Ohio State University, Columbus

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
 


May 23, 2018
 

National Diversity Council Annual Ohio Women's Conference


Columbus Ohio


CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
 

Best New Artist: Chloe x Halle 
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella

Grammys president: 'A consciousness like there never has been before' for diversity


By , USA TODAY
Dec. 7, 2018
 

Woman is the word of this year's Grammy Awards. 

Five of the eight nominees for album of the year for 2019 are women: rapper Cardi B ("Invasion of Privacy"), folk-rock singer Brandi Carlile ("By the Way, I Forgive You"), R&B newcomer H.E.R. ("H.E.R."), genre-bending Janelle Monae ("Dirty Computer") and country star Kacey Musgraves ("Golden Hour").

Drake ("Scorpion"), Post Malone ("Beerbongs & Bentleys") and the Kendrick Lamar-curated "Black Panther" soundtrack round out the category for 2019, which included just one woman last year (Lorde, for "Melodrama").

Female-driven hits by Lady Gaga ("Shallow," with Bradley Cooper), SZA ("All the Stars," with Kendrick Lamar) and Maren Morris ("The Middle," with Zedd and Grey) also dominated major categories, each honored in both record and song of the year. And in best new artist, six of the eight nominees are women, including widely predicted hit-makers Dua Lipa and Bebe Rexha, as well as fresh faces Jorja Smith and Margo Price. 

More: Full list: Who's nominated for the 2019 Grammys?

More: Do you know H.E.R.? The R&B artist is up for five Grammys including best album

More: 2019 Grammys snubs: Beyonce and Jay-Z, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and more shockers

It's a welcome and wholly necessary course correction following intense backlash to the 2018 ceremony, where best new artist Alessia Cara was the only woman to win in a major category. The Recording Academy faced further scrutiny for comments made by president Neil Portnow after the show, when he said that more women need to "step up" and make music if they want to be recognized

Portnow believes there are a variety of reasons why the 2019 nominations skew female, despite Kendrick Lamar leading the pack with eight total.

For starters, the four major categories (album, record and song of the year, as well as best new artist) have all been newly expanded from five to eight nominees, making room for a broader range of artists and genres to get acknowledged. The Recording Academy has also made concerted efforts this year to diversify its voting body of roughly 12,000: reaching out to women and people of color specifically about becoming new members while requiring longtime members to re-qualify based on recent work. 

"Not only for us, but society in general and in the entertainment industry, there is a consciousness like there never has been before and it's a very important one," Portnow says. Diversity and inclusion are "important issues that need attention and focus, and I would certainly think that our voters have that as part of their mindset."

Portnow will be stepping down as Recording Academy president following this year's show, which takes place Feb. 10 at Los Angeles' Staples Center. He will have held the position for 17 years when his contract is up in July, although a successor has not yet been named. 

"It's important to have new thinking and move the agenda of this organization forward," Portnow says. "Our membership needs to continue to be relevant and diverse, because we need the next generation of music-makers to care about what we do. I think we're on a good track to do that." 

Trailing Lamar in the nominations are Drake with seven, and Carlile and producer Boi-1da with six apiece. After receiving two Grammy nominations for her breakthrough "Bodak Yellow" last year, Cardi B is continuing her hot streak with five nods, including record of the year for bilingual hit "I Like It" with Bad Bunny and J Balvin. 

Coming off two Golden Globe nominations Thursday for "A Star is Born," Lady Gaga scored four Grammy nods for her rousing duet "Shallow" with Bradley Cooper from the movie, whose soundtrack was released after the Grammys' Sept. 30 cutoff but will be eligible for more awards next year. She was also recognized in best pop solo performance for single "Joanne," featured on the album of the same name. 

The Grammys will air on CBS Feb. 10 (8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST). Performers have not yet been lined up, although Portnow says that viewers can expect an appearance from Dolly Parton, who will be honored as MusiCares Person of the Year for her charitable work with the Dollywood Foundation. 



The dismal cost of economics’ lack of racial diversity


By Eshe Nelson December 16, 2018, from Quartz

On June 5, 2017, Raphael Bostic became the 15th president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. This also made him the first African American president of any regional Fed in the US central bank’s 100-year history.

The Atlanta Fed is the main seat of the Federal Reserve’s sixth district, which covers all of Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, as well as parts of Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Bostic’s role is to study trends in the economy, and oversee monetary policy activities and bank regulation in the region. This year he also became a voting member of the Fed’s main interest rate-setting body in Washington DC, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).

The symbolism is stark. The states of the sixth district were at the heart of the country’s civil rights movement, culminating a little over half a century ago, in the Civil Rights Act affording black Americans the same rights as their white peers.

Progress since has been achingly slow. The gulf between the economic lives of black and white Americans is still staggeringly wide. For example, average household wealth for a black family is about $17,000, one-tenth of white household wealth. In some respects, racial inequality has gotten worse.

Bostic isn’t the first black person to be a member of the powerful FOMC, which sets US interest rates thereby influencing everything from government borrowing costs to mortgages rates. The first was Andrew Brimmer, a sharecropper’s son from Louisiana, who was educated in racially segregated schools. In 1966, Brimmer was appointed by president Lyndon Johnson to an eight-year term on the Fed’s board of governors.

In the intervening 43 years, just two other black people have served on the FOMC, both men—Emmett J. Rice and Roger W. Ferguson Jr. Two other men of color, Narayana Kocherlakota and Neel Kashkari, both of Indian descent, have served as heads of the Minneapolis Fed. That makes six non-whites out of a total of 235 people who have served on the Fed’s Board of Governors or been president of a regional Fed since it first met in 1914. It’s worth adding that just 16 women have ever been on the rate-setting committee, which is made up of the members of the board and a rotating schedule of regional Fed presidents.

This lack of diversity at the very highest echelons of economic policymaking reflects a similar lack of diversity across the economics profession as a whole. It’s one that leads to a lack of attention to issues that specifically affect minorities in everything from economic research to the macroeconomic models used to understand the world to public policy decisions. But it also deprives economics, in general, of its best chance to serve the public most effectively. A narrow pipeline of economists has created a profession vulnerable to groupthink. Lacking the widest possible range of perspectives, life experiences, and expertise, the profession stands to miss crucial information, and make poor decisions. This is a charge that was laid on the Federal Reserve after the 2008 financial crisis.

The symbolism is stark. The states of the sixth district were at the heart of the country’s civil rights movement, culminating a little over half a century ago, in the Civil Rights Act affording black Americans the same rights as their white peers.

Progress since has been achingly slow. The gulf between the economic lives of black and white Americans is still staggeringly wide. For example, average household wealth for a black family is about $17,000, one-tenth of white household wealth. In some respects, racial inequality has gotten worse.

Bostic isn’t the first black person to be a member of the powerful FOMC, which sets US interest rates thereby influencing everything from government borrowing costs to mortgages rates. The first was Andrew Brimmer, a sharecropper’s son from Louisiana, who was educated in racially segregated schools. In 1966, Brimmer was appointed by president Lyndon Johnson to an eight-year term on the Fed’s board of governors.

In the intervening 43 years, just two other black people have served on the FOMC, both men—Emmett J. Rice and Roger W. Ferguson Jr. Two other men of color, Narayana Kocherlakota and Neel Kashkari, both of Indian descent, have served as heads of the Minneapolis Fed. That makes six non-whites out of a total of 235 people who have served on the Fed’s Board of Governors or been president of a regional Fed since it first met in 1914. It’s worth adding that just 16 women have ever been on the rate-setting committee, which is made up of the members of the board and a rotating schedule of regional Fed presidents.

This lack of diversity at the very highest echelons of economic policymaking reflects a similar lack of diversity across the economics profession as a whole. It’s one that leads to a lack of attention to issues that specifically affect minorities in everything from economic research to the macroeconomic models used to understand the world to public policy decisions. But it also deprives economics, in general, of its best chance to serve the public most effectively. A narrow pipeline of economists has created a profession vulnerable to groupthink. Lacking the widest possible range of perspectives, life experiences, and expertise, the profession stands to miss crucial information, and make poor decisions. This is a charge that was laid on the Federal Reserve after the 2008 financial crisis.

The symbolism is stark. The states of the sixth district were at the heart of the country’s civil rights movement, culminating a little over half a century ago, in the Civil Rights Act affording black Americans the same rights as their white peers.

Progress since has been achingly slow. The gulf between the economic lives of black and white Americans is still staggeringly wide. For example, average household wealth for a black family is about $17,000, one-tenth of white household wealth. In some respects, racial inequality has gotten worse.

Bostic isn’t the first black person to be a member of the powerful FOMC, which sets US interest rates thereby influencing everything from government borrowing costs to mortgages rates. The first was Andrew Brimmer, a sharecropper’s son from Louisiana, who was educated in racially segregated schools. In 1966, Brimmer was appointed by president Lyndon Johnson to an eight-year term on the Fed’s board of governors.

In the intervening 43 years, just two other black people have served on the FOMC, both men—Emmett J. Rice and Roger W. Ferguson Jr. Two other men of color, Narayana Kocherlakota and Neel Kashkari, both of Indian descent, have served as heads of the Minneapolis Fed. That makes six non-whites out of a total of 235 people who have served on the Fed’s Board of Governors or been president of a regional Fed since it first met in 1914. It’s worth adding that just 16 women have ever been on the rate-setting committee, which is made up of the members of the board and a rotating schedule of regional Fed presidents.

This lack of diversity at the very highest echelons of economic policymaking reflects a similar lack of diversity across the economics profession as a whole. It’s one that leads to a lack of attention to issues that specifically affect minorities in everything from economic research to the macroeconomic models used to understand the world to public policy decisions. But it also deprives economics, in general, of its best chance to serve the public most effectively. A narrow pipeline of economists has created a profession vulnerable to groupthink. Lacking the widest possible range of perspectives, life experiences, and expertise, the profession stands to miss crucial information, and make poor decisions. This is a charge that was laid on the Federal Reserve after the 2008 financial crisis.

Donald Trump appointed Richard Clarida as vice-chairman and Michelle Bowman to another open position on the board. Powell approved the appointment of central bank insider John Williams to lead the New York Fed, the most powerful of the regional central banks, continuing a 108-year tradition of white male leadership.

Regional Fed presidents are chosen by search committees made up of board members, but their recent choices have focused minds on the opaque recruiting process for these top roles. These important positions have to be filled from the top of the economics profession where the pool of non-white people is sparse. A Freedom of Information request by Bloomberg to the Richmond Fed found that when they were looking for a new president they reached out to 70 community groups focused on diversity and inclusion but it delivered “minimal direct results.”


The culture of economics

Half a century ago, the American Economic Association, a prestigious 133-year-old society dedicated to encouraging the careers and research of economists, set up the Committee on the Status of Minority Groups in the Economics Profession in response to concerns that minorities were underrepresented. These concerns are just as relevant today. Estimates suggest that less than 8% of full-time faculty in university economics departments come from ethnic minorities. The numbers go on in this manner, persisting across all academic stages of economics from undergraduates to doctorates. About 15% of economic bachelor’s and master’s degrees awarded in 2016 went to minorities, and just 10% of doctorates.
 

Over the past 20 years, the proportion of Hispanics earning degrees in the US, and specifically economics degrees, has risen as their population has increased. Not so for African Americans. The black proportion of the US population has remained relatively stable over the past two decades, at about 13%, but the proportion of black students studying economics has fallen over this time, from 6.4% to 5.1%, even as it increased for other subjects. (The proportion of black students taking STEM subjects has stagnated at about 7%.) Of the 539 economics doctorates awarded in 2017 to US citizens or permanent residents, just 18 went to African Americans, according to data from the National Science Foundation. Though the economics profession is bigger than just the ranks of PhDs, it is a good measure of trends in the field.

Cecilia Elena Rouse is the Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and served as chair of the AEA’s committee on minority groups for nine of the past 13 years. She said the profession is finally waking up to the fact that women and minority groups are making gains in other fields, but not in economics. And it shows that the problem can’t be because they don’t have the right math or technical skills. “There’s something about the culture of economics,” she said.

As a prominent black female economist, Rouse is not one of many—just 52 black women earned economics doctorates between 2006 and 2015, according to the New York Times citing data from the National Economics Association. This is barely more than the 46 black women who earned them in the previous decade, according to the same research. In the past 15 years, more than twice as many people have visited the International Space Station.
 

The trickle of black people in America earning doctorates in economics is precisely why Raphael Bostic and Cecilia Rouse are in such small company. This problem can be traced back to Econ 101, the popular introductory economics class in college, according to Ebonya Washington, an economics professor at Yale and currently co-chair of the AEA’s minority committee. “Our problem in economics is the perception of what economists do and are,” Washington said. “For undergraduates, they are thinking Wall Street, they are thinking stocks and bonds. They are not thinking if I’m interested in education policy actually a background in economics would be a very good thing.”

Economics’ image problem spilled into wider public view last summer when the senior thesis of Alice Wu, then an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley, laid out the rampant sexism in the economics profession. It sparked countless columns on why there aren’t more women in economics and testimonies from female economists who have persevered in the profession, despite facing routine humiliation, harassment, and aggression. Mary Daly, the new head of the San Francisco Fed, recently told an audience in London about one of her first major presentations at the central bank. Daly, who despite dropping out of college at 15 went on to earn a doctorate and joined the San Francisco Fed’s research team in 1996, said that after the presentation a senior male leader at the bank said to her: “That was amazing—I didn’t expect that. You’re such a little, tiny woman. Who knew?"

Far from just building up a pipeline of diverse economists, there also needs to be a fundamental change to the culture of economics, Daly said. So far, it has failed to be inclusive. Since the very public PR disaster Wu’s thesis created for economics there have been some high-level changes. In April, the AEA set up a new Committee on Equity, Diversity, and Professional Conduct. Daly said the Fed’s board of governors hired an outside consultancy to teach them how to run “safer” meetings and policy discussions so that all voices can be heard.

Changing the narrative

Andre Perry, a fellow at the Brookings Institute in Washington, DC and an expert in education policy, is exploring a different approach to research about race and economics. Right now, too much of the research he sees within the broader economics profession on race embodies what he describes as a “deficit narrative,” which focuses on the disparities between white people and people of color. This approach can create assumptions that somehow black people are to blame for their lack of equality, he argues.

The prevailing narrative about inequality doesn’t inspire much hope or aspiration because the aggregate numbers are so bleak. In addition to the disparities in household wealth, the median household income for whites is almost double that of blacks, while the homeownership rate is 30 percentage points higher. Perry believes the deficit narrative can portray black communities as in need of being saved or not worthy of investment. His latest research aims to encourage investment in black communities for the simple reason that they are assets worth investing in. “There are aspects in these communities that investors need to build upon, for all the other reasons why people invest,” he said.

Perry’s research discards comparisons to white people and focuses on what’s happening in majority-black cities in the US. He found there are 1,200 places in the US with a majority African American population. About 700 of these are small rural locations but the rest are larger cities and almost all of them are on the east coast or in the south. In 124 of these places, the median household income for a black family is higher than the national average for all races. He’s also mapped out the areas with a high proportion of black residents with STEM degrees, for example in Atlanta, around Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia, and the areas surrounding New York City.

There is evidence that racial bias has deterred investment in majority black areas. While the federal policy that led to the segregation has officially ended, in reality segregation still persists. Perry’s latest research with other colleagues from Brookings found that owner-occupied homes in black neighborhoods are undervalued by $48,000 per home, on average. Homes in neighborhoods where the population is 50% black are valued at roughly half the price as homes in neighborhoods with no black residents. A white woman in a town just south of Atlanta has been so distressed by the lack of business investment into her majority black town that she’s been leading a movement to create a breakaway municipality of whiter wealth (she says it’s because she wants a Cheesecake Factory to open there).

The areas aren’t worthy of investment simply because they are majority black, but being majority black is part of the reason why they have been starved of investment. Perry’s approach is a win for companies looking for people and places to invest in. And it’s a win for underserved black communities that can use the investments to revitalize and grow their cities. “While we have a greater ability to look at differences across racial lines, we haven’t advanced our ability to see assets in black communities,” Perry said.

Perry grew up in Wilkinsburg, a small city adjacent to Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. More than 60% of the population is black and less than 40% of the households in Wilkinsburg own the houses they live in. “I want to make a case for Wilkinsburg,” Perry said. “There are a lot of positive things in it. This city does not get the capital investment of other cities, quite frankly, because it’s majority black.”

Even though the research Perry is undertaking is rare, we can occasionally catch glimpses of a future of economics that is more diverse and gives more consideration to inclusive ways to sustain economic growth and global well-being. Many students are demanding to learn more about the real economy and less about abstract theories. Raj Chetty, an economics professor and expert in economic mobility, offered a course at Stanford called “Using Big Data to Solve Economic and Social Problems” and drew more women and minority students to his global, socially minded approach than the total number of students who signed up for Stanford’s introductory economics class.

But before this promising future is reached there’s still the present to contend with. As Bostic of the Atlanta Fed noted in a speech in September, there are fewer than 25 African American economics doctoral students on the market for junior academic economic positions in the US this year. Twenty five. In the whole country. This obviously cannot make even a dent in the longstanding shortfall, he said. A lot still has to change.

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