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Corporate Diversity ARTSBlog Series

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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In this series from Americans for the Arts, four ARTSBlogs approach equity, diversity, and inclusion, with the arts as a contributor towards resolution. Below are excerpts from the ARTSBlogs. Click on each title to be taken to the full blog.

 

1. “Diversity + Inclusion = A Winning Strategy” by Floyd Green

 

We [Aetna] value art so highly because it brings a different perspective to traditional “training.” It helps to connect our employees to ideas in a creative and organic way. Not everyone responds and processes training in the same way. In order for everyone to get to the finish line, we have to meet people where they are. The arts allow this to happen, and will take them on the journey to where they want to be. The more we use the arts, the more we’ll reach innovation and imagination; the more people are able to come together without fear, be safe and comfortable, and express how they’re feeling.

Full ARTSBlog here.

 

Floyd W. Green, III is Vice President and head of Community Relations and Urban Marketing for Aetna, Inc. and is also on the Board of Directors for Americans for the Arts.

***

 

2. “A Win-Win Culture: How Inclusivity Drives Innovation in the Business World” by Elizabeth Thys and Yazmany Arboleda

 

“Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.”

 

This blog highlights the idea that cultivating a diverse and inclusive culture is a win-win for companies and shows three ways that diversity and inclusion drive innovation:

 
  1. Employee Resource Groups: Based on the company’s internal LGTB Employee Resource Groups, Clorox’s Burt’s Bees® launched its first LGTB-targeted product. Miriam Lewis, Principal Consultant, HR, noted that “inclusion equals innovation.”
  2. Knowledge Management
  3. Diverse Employee Perspectives

 

Full ARTSBlog here.

 

Elizabeth Thys is CEO and co-founder of limeSHIFT and Yazmany Arboleda is a New York-based public artist who lectures internationally on the power of art in public space.

***

 

3. “Am I What You’re Looking For?” by Catherine Heitz New

 

In 2016, we were inspired by an innovative collaboration between Wells Fargo and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA). As part of their 12x12 series, SECCA featured an exhibition of works by photographer Endia Beal entitled Am I What You’re Looking For?, which portrays young, black women as they contemplate their identities in the often-competing contexts of self and career. Endia Beal is a North Carolina-based artist, educator, and activist, who is internationally known for her photographic narratives and video testimonies that examine the personal, yet contemporary stories of minority women working within the corporate space.

Full ARTSBlog here.

 

Catherine Heitz New is Chief Advancement Officer and Deputy Director of The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.

***

 

4. “Driving Diversity Through Board Service” by Alexandra Hallock

 

In what ways does your organization wish to deepen board diversity?

 

That was one of the critical questions we asked while ramping up for the most recent round of BoardLead. BoardLead is the primary program of Cause Strategy Partners, LLC that strengthens social good organizations by recruiting, placing, training and supporting talented professionals from top companies for high-impact board service. Through a partnership with The New York Community Trust, BoardLead Arts NYC was created to help small to medium sized nonprofit arts organizations elevate, diversify, and transform board leadership. Goldman Sachs, Google, and MasterCard partnered with BoardLead to make board placement opportunities available to high potential and diverse employees.

Full ARTSBlog here.

 

Alexandra Hallock is a Consultant of Cause Strategy Partners, a purpose-driven social enterprise that believes in harnessing the power of business for social good.

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