It’s heartbreaking that more than 50 years after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the riots in the streets that followed, our black brothers and sisters still are not safe in America. 

Yesterday, I participated in a protest march for the first time since 1970. I was proud to walk with my three grown children and thousands of fellow citizens – including cops and clergy – in our home town of New Canaan, CT. It felt right. But it also felt like not enough.

It felt right because we were taking a stand for peace and justice, joining our voices with so many others demanding change, including the march’s organizer, our friend, Fatou Niang. 

It felt like not enough because marching, speaking out, standing up, and being counted actually will not change anything. If we truly want peace, justice and equality for all, we must drive real change in our institutions and everyday lives. 

Here are the other things I am committing myself to do:

  1. I will continue and increase my support for two organizations in my community that are working to ensure that diverse children receive the help they need to learn and grow and to be accepted into college: Horizons National and Future Five.
  2. I will support financially and with my time and efforts and vote for candidates who are committed to police reform, prison reform, sentencing reform, and promoting economic opportunity for all.
  3. I will continue to offer my help to diverse students entering the strategic communications profession, especially but not exclusively those at the two institutions where I have formal responsibilities, Elon University and The Ohio State University.
  4. I will continue to support the LAGRANT Foundation, which provides scholarships and internships to ethnic minority students in advertising, marketing and public relations.
  5. I will continue to support the Page programs that help diverse professionals succeed and advance in their careers, the Diverse Future program and Leaders of Tomorrow.
  6. I will rededicate myself to the success of the Diversity Action Alliance, which we have created to increase DE&I in all public relations and corporate communications organizations.
  7. I will continue to work to advance DE&I in Page membership and in the Page staff, where I am proud of our extraordinarily talented and diverse team. We can do even better, and we will.
  8. I will be even more attuned to listening to my black friends and other voices, and to examining my own unconscious biases to ensure that I’m seeing the full truth that others experience and express.

I have heard many discouraging words recently, and I can appreciate the frustration. I share it. But I have heard many encouraging words, too, and I choose to cling to hope and pledge to do my part to bring full equality for all to reality in America and around the world.

*Edited on 6/9/2020 to include LAGRANT Foundation on point 4.