We have been hard at work implementing bold plans to make our workplace, productions, and community interactions more inclusive, equitable and diverse.
We started from within. Through a double-blind, two-part interview process, a team of 12 employees were chosen to form The IDEA Council. Council members come from all backgrounds and professional specialties and serve as an internal advisory board on all Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) matters. We employed expert facilitators to guide groundbreaking workshops for Black, Latinx and Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) employees and white allies. Called MAKING SPACE, the workshops conveyed tools and techniques to best cope with and heal from racial trauma and explained how to work in solidarity with Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) colleagues. Senior leadership and our Board of Trustees took part in racial sensitivity trainings. These trainings and workshops are ongoing and will be an integral part of our continuing progress.
To integrate DEI into the structural DNA of The WNET Group, we redefined our procurement process, launching a Supplier Diversity Program to access fresh, innovative insights and joined the New York/New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council to help identify minority suppliers. We attended webinars and conferences on diverse philanthropy, the role of inclusive journalism and BIPOC workforce development. We set up regular meetings with DEI professionals in public media, at nonprofits, and in the private sector to share best practices.
Steps towards a more diverse, equitable and inclusive environment must also apply to the content we produce and distribute to our audiences. Our newly launched Exploring Hate initiative confronts antisemitism, racism and extremism across the country and abroad. When the COVID-19 pandemic brought with it a wave of anti-Asian racism, The WNET Group stepped up to curate and distribute education resources to help students contextualize current events and provide teachers the tools to incorporate ethics education in the classroom. We also put ourselves out in the community, hosting town halls and panel discussions to foster civil dialogue about bias and differing perspectives. And to make sure our content is accessible for all, we facilitated and implemented sign interpretation and captioning options on broadcast, digital and social media assets.
The education never ends. We can always improve. To produce and represent the best in public media, we have to reflect the communities we live in. We must represent all of you, and we’re proud. And, with all our ongoing work to better see, hear and engage with the people around us, we will do so even better.
Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer
The WNET Group