A Legislative Perspective: Alan Williams

In attendance at the Foundation’s Millennials Master Class was Florida Representative Alan Williams, Democratic Whip and Chairman of the Florida Caucus of Black State Legislature. Although he has been an attendee at past Cable Shows, this was his first time witnessing the Millennials Master Class up close. “It was great,” he recounted. “This class is helping to prepare the telecommunications industry by ensuring diversity and longevity by educating the youth in our communities. There is always more work to be done, but it was great to see the Walter Kaitz Foundation making great strides in the right direction.”

Alan Williams
Alan Williams presiding at the Florida Caucus of
Black State Legislature

Continuing the Work

Williams left this year’s Master Class feeling inspired by the work of the Foundation in furthering diversity in one of our nation’s most prominent and profitable industries. “The power of one conversation can change the world,” he remarked. “The Walter Kaitz Foundation gave these students a venue to be inspired; you could literally see the light bulbs going on in their heads. The level of engagement was phenomenal. The students were challenging the presenters and the presenters were challenging them right back.”

As a fellow telecommunications professional, Williams offered one nugget of advice to these inspired young individuals: “Always remain relevant. When you leave bread open it becomes stale. The same is true for your career. Ensure that people will want to hire and keep you by knowing your industry inside and out, furthering your education and have the willingness to take some risks.”

Besides providing a setting where young adults can interact with the industry’s top professionals, Williams believes one of the significant achievements of the Millennials Master Class and the work of the Walter Kaitz Foundation, is to ensure that people of color are represented in all aspects of the industry. “They are paying dividends for now and well into the future. Upcoming generations will be able to look back and credit the Foundation for furthering the diversity that they are beneficiaries of.”

Practicing What You Preach

Williams does not just talk “diversity,” but practices it every day. As a member of the legislature, Williams believes everyone should have access to our government including our blind and deaf population. Inspired by an advocate for the Florida’s Governor’s Commission on Disabilities, Williams utilizes a bilingual business card, with both Braille and English. “If we can make sure to have ramps, wheelchairs and even pavements, we can make sure individuals who have limited or no vision have the ability to communicate with us. Without their voice, the public has no vision.”

Williams gets it and knows that diversity will only become more prevalent as our nation moves forward. “Let’s work on it now, not tomorrow. Tomorrow could be too late.”