The late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, in part, "everybody can be great...because anybody can serve.” It’s one of the many great tenets which embody the life and legacy of Dr. King – and one adopted by Turner Business Resource Groups (BRG) – being of service to employees. In early December, Turner Diversity and Inclusion hosted the second annual Business Resource Group and Inclusion Leadership Summit and Awards. The event, held at The Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, brought together Turner BRGs and the executive committee to identify key initiatives for 2019 and to formally recognize how BRGs have propelled Turner’s business forward.
During the summit, Turner recognized the hard work and dedication of these groups with the first-ever Diversity & Inclusion Impact Awards. Winners of the awards exemplify remarkable commitment to diversity and help grow a culture of inclusion that supports Turner’s overarching diversity and inclusion goals in the areas of workforce, marketplace, and community. Check out the winners below:
- Black Professionals at Turner, New York won the People & Culture Visionaries Award after commissioning a custom banner for Black History Month, which hung in the Time Warner Center lobby. The banner was the shape of the United States, but created through names, places, and phrases that aligned to Black History Month.
- Tracy Barash and Valerie Immele won the Employee Development Initiative of the Year Award. The women worked tirelessly to develop a peer-to-peer mentoring program for women at the VP level or higher. No program of this type has operated at Turner, thus creating an opportunity to support women at this level on a broad basis.
- Turner Parents, Atlanta took home the Most Innovative Business Activations Award. This group partnered with Cartoon Network and Boomerang’s research teams to host a day of testing on the Boom OTT app and CN Games with Turner parents and their children.
- Turner Disability Group, Atlanta received the Top Recruiting Initiative Award. The BRG increased attendance in the Bender Virtual Career Fair for people with disabilities by 34% and hosted and partnered with the Georgia Tech Excel Program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Plus, they onboarded Ultra Testing, a firm that provides highly flexible, high quality software testing services for individuals on the Autism spectrum – a potential pilot is in the works with GTO.
- TurnOut New York won the Philanthropic Spirit Award. This chapter hosted a screening and panel discussion of the documentary “Trans Military,” which explored the issue of transgender people serving in the United States military.
- Eric Needham and Alfredo Claro won the Philanthropic Spirit Award for TurnOut Atlanta. In 2018, Turner became the title sponsor of Out on Film through the work of TurnOut. Needham and Claro worked tirelessly programming, planning, and executing what has been referred to as one of the best events for the non-profit group.
Attendees of the summit were also treated to a keynote address from DeRay Mckesson, civil rights activist and organizer of Black Lives Matter and Campaign Zero – a ten-point policy plan for police reform in the United States. McKesson shared his learnings on what it means to be a grassroots organization that significantly impacts systemic headwinds and how Turner’s BRGs can leverage his insights.
Jennifer Coleman, manager – Business Administration and Turner Uno Chair, New York said his presentation had a huge effect on her.
“I find myself bringing him up in many conversations. I took away that there are many on-ramps to the work of social justice, equity, and creating inclusive environments. This really struck me as a key factor in bringing people along in the journey for increased diversity and inclusion and really the only way to bring us past tolerance and acceptance and into true celebration of differences.”
Sarah Colley, VP and Associate General Counsel and Turner Women co-chair, Atlanta, also left the summit with powerful advice from Mckesson.
“One of the most impactful statements to me was his advice to understand the limits of empathy. It was revelatory to hear him articulate that empathy cannot be the only lever in ally-ship and changing behavior because it’s only effective if the people can see themselves in the other group’s position and the power dynamic is shared.”
McKesson’s speech was reminiscent of another one of Dr. King’s quotes: “We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” We’re confident the Turner BRGs will continue their commitment to work together for the better of our employees.
To find more information on Turner’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, visit: www.turner.com/diversity.