As the Walter Kaitz Foundation begins another year, I am struck by something I heard during a session at this year’s NATPE conference. One of the presenters offered that when hiring he looks for people wearing the ‘WE’ jersey not the ‘ME’ Jersey.”
This statement resonated with me because harnessing the power of WE is what the Walter Kaitz Foundation does well. Together with our partners EMMA Bowen, NAMIC and WICT we have made a measurable impact on diversity and inclusion in the media and telecommunications business. The mission of our collective organizations is to be a catalyst for increasing diversity in our industry and that extends to women, people of color, LGBTQ, veterans, and those with disabilities.
Each fall, The Kaitz Dinner brings together leaders from across the media and telecommunications industries to build significant support for the advancement of inclusion and diversity throughout our businesses, raising millions of dollars in the process. Those funds ensure that the programs administered by our partner organizations remain robust and assist in cultivating those diverse leaders who will drive innovation in our businesses and making an impact.
We take great pride in our long-standing partnership with the Emma Bowen Foundation and are proud to support their 30th Anniversary celebration slated for this July in New York.
Through our partnership with WICT and Kaitz we will be producing the next iteration of research designed to identify strengths and weaknesses, set goals and policies, and measure progress toward improving workforce diversity. That research includes both the NAMIC AIM (Advancement Investment Measurement) and the WICT PAR (Pay Equity, Advancement Opportunities, Resources for Work/Life Integration) reports. This year’s report will be released during Diversity Week this Fall in New York.
WKF is proud of the programs we’ve created that drive diversity and inclusion in front of and behind the camera. Our partnership with groups like National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), Writers Guild of America West, the Center for Digital Media and Innovation at George Mason University, SkinsFest, showcasing Native American Cinema, and of course our programming and production partners have driven the success of our Hollywood Creative Forum the past 10 years. For 2019 we are forming even more relevant partnerships to better serve the needs of all our constituents. We will update you on our plans for the Hollywood Creative Forum 2019 shortly.
Additionally, the Walter Kaitz Foundation continues its partnership with organizations that provide data-driven reports on various aspects of diversity in entertainment and consumer services. Those include the UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report produced by the team under the leadership of Darnell M. Hunt, PhD at UCLA’s College of Letters and Science. Their 2019 report will be launched later this month and we will be sharing those insights with our industry.
We are also excited to welcome new partners to our growing WE collective. This year the T. Howard Foundation is our newest diversity partner. Their mission is to promote diversity in media and entertainment by increasing the number of diverse and underrepresented groups and underserved communities within the industry. Their work with college students will ensure a robust pipeline of talent continues to flow into our industry.
As you can see, at the Walter Kaitz Foundation we boldly embrace the power of WE. There is an African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.” WKF and all its partners are committed to going far together.