Our DEI Pledge – AMA Puget Sound
We believe marketing has the power to make a difference. As innovators, strategizers, ambassadors and storytellers, we shape narratives that communicate value, create meaning, and establish societal norms.
As stewards of the brand and voice of the customer, we have a responsibility to leverage our platform to foster true belonging within our chapters, communities, and society as a whole. The catalyst of our actions stems from the unjust murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other lives lost due to police brutality. Our inaction and silence in the past have resulted in hurt, exclusion, and harm in ways that we cannot measure, but we are committed to rectifying this and ensuring that our efforts are sustainable and far-reaching.
Achieving equity among all of our communities is our goal, with race being the most challenging obstacle to overcome and the most pervasive part of our history. Collectively, we can tackle the inequities that face many members of our society using the power of marketing to elevate the voices of underrepresented communities of color while celebrating the various differences that make up the complete fabric of our society.
As a chapter of the American Marketing Association and as marketers representing a diverse set of people, industries, and disciplines:
- We commit to recruiting and retaining Black, Brown, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) representation* within our board of directors, leadership teams, volunteers, and membership.
- We commit to increasing Black, Brown, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) representation throughout our products and services, thought leadership, campaigns, programming, and distribution networks.
- We commit to building a pipeline of marketers that reflect the demographics of the populations we serve.
- We commit to partnering with organizations that value and have demonstrated their support to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- We commit to further educating ourselves as to the plight of racial and social injustice and will use our platform to facilitate courageous conversations that promote anti-bias and anti-racism within the marketing community.
- We commit to demonstrating how we are progressing toward our commitments to hold ourselves accountable and make continuous improvements.
Together, we will use the power of our collective voices to outline the roles marketers can play in standing for and delivering on inclusion: the ideals, values, and principles that promote equality, respect, and unity.
*Diverse representation includes but is not limited to: race, ethnicity, religious preferences, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, abilities (seen or unseen), socio-economic status, language, and thought.
What Does DEI Stand For?
DEI stands for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Diversity: The presence of differences that include race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, language, (dis)ability, age, religious commitment, or political perspective.
- Equity: The fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people, while at the same time identifying and eliminating barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups.
- Inclusion: An outcome to ensure those that are diverse feel valued and welcome.
Why Should Organizations Care About DEI?
DEI is the right thing to do for the betterment of humanity, but it is also a business priority for increasing innovation and revenue. Embracing diversity can enrich our lives, both personally and professionally, and is vital to businesses and organizations’ continued success.
Why Is This Happening Now?
Systemic racism and the events that have unfolded across America, particularly the unjust killing of George Floyd, have catalyzed an urgent reminder of the continued change needed in our society. George Floyd’s death is a continuation of the long history of criminalization, dehumanization, and oppression of Black lives in this country since its founding. Too many other Black lives, including Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, are a part of this unjust system. As an organization committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, the AMA acknowledges its responsibility and obligation to stand up for these ideals.
Why Does the Pledge Center on Racial Equity and the Voices of the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Community?
The gaps that have resulted from historic inaction and silence have resulted in institutionalized structural policies, practices, and procedures that continue to yield pervasive and profound disparities faced by people of color. When we look at data across our communities from people’s health to education rates, incomes, or incarcerations, disparities are greatest when we look by race. We prioritized racial equity to recognize our role in this conversation and to take on the root causes of society’s most challenging problems.
Are You Saying That Other Forms of Oppression and Voices in the Diversity Spectrum Are Not Important?
No. The AMA stands against all forms of oppression, including racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, and many others. A focus on racial equity is not based on the intent to create a ranking of oppressions or minimize the voices of the LGBTQ+ community, women, people with disabilities, or low-income households, to name a few. By focusing on race, we recognize that we can impact all communities.
How Does This Relate to the AMA?
In order for AMA to retain its position as a relevant force and voice shaping marketing around the world, the organization must remain connected and engaged in issues, topics and news in the world. Demographics are changing across the country including the local communities and memberships each chapter serves. Each AMA chapter must do better to include and embrace its multicultural communities. A 2020 Marketing Week Career and Salary Survey revealed that a staggering 88% of the 3,883 respondents identified as white, with just 4% identifying as mixed race, 5% as Asian and 2% as black. AMA must do better to move and prepare the industry for an increasingly global economy and workforce.
How Can I Help and Be A Part Of This Work?
Important work is progressing at AMA Puget Sound, but it cannot be the work of some or most of us — we must all be engaged as DEI is a lifelong commitment. This is a critical time that calls on our community and industry to take a deep, honest reflection and make necessary structural changes to dismantle privilege and racism.