The Black Lives Matter movement has been around for 6 years and counting to bring global awareness, reform, and an end to systemic racism, violence, and law enforcement brutality against black and brown people. The organization was created due to the loss of too many lives for far too long including George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. The PCMA Capital Chapter stands with and supports these efforts to bring change, justice, equality and an end to the discrimination, violence, and brutality here in the United States, as well as globally.
Systemic racism is present in all aspects of society, and all of us must actively participate to change this within modern culture. PCMA, and the PCMA Capital Chapter are committed to advancing initiatives that ensure our diverse industry community embraces a culture of respect, inclusion, engagement, accessibility, and equality. This message provides some history, current, and future initiatives designed to ensure we have a welcoming and safe community that provides opportunities, empowerment, and education to all our members.
Within the PCMA Capital Chapter we initiated a Strategic Planning Task Force in 2019 to asses the strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats the chapter faced and needed to address in our 2020-2022 strategic plan. After surveying both members and professionals outside the chapter in a cross section of demographics it was clear that we needed to ensure that we had goals to address not just diversity, but the inclusion and engagement of all of our members. This resulted in the development of separate and specific goals on Diversity and Inclusion being built into the strategic plan to integrate into our organizational culture. This was also incorporated into the Chapters Vision statement.
At our first Board of Directors meeting of 2020 we launched the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force to dive deeper into the strengths and weaknesses of the Chapter in these specific areas. At our May board meeting the task force presented and the board approved a working mission statement to set the purpose and goals for its work. You can find that statement on our website here. This is only the beginning and you will be seeing new resources as we actively embrace these values.
In 2018 PCMA launched PCMA Ascent, as a resource to promote inclusion and diversity across the business events industry. Ascent is designed to empower those who might have found their gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, or disabilities to have created unfair barriers to their success in our industry. This resource is also designed to educate and motivate industry decision makers to ensure diversity and inclusion policies are embedded within their organization and work cultures.
As a member of the LGBTQIA community, the Business Events Industry and PCMA have been critical parts of my personal journey building my confidence to grow, serve, and lead as an openly gay person. As the President of the Capital Chapter I strive to ensure the same opportunities of belonging and empowerment are available to all our members.
The Capital Chapter and PCMA will continue the work to improve and ensure that we embrace our diversity. Movements like Black Lives Matter help create change, and ensure these initiatives remain a priority as we work towards systemic equality.
We welcome all of our members to get involved and activate your experience and contribute to our progress. If interested in volunteering for any of our committees and programs please sign up here and we will follow up with on current opportunities!
Thank you for being a part of PCMA, the Capital Chapter, and the global business events industry.
John Rubsamen, PCMA Capital Chapter President
Senior Director of Meetings and Events, Americans for the Arts