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Good Wednesday afternoon.
Welcome to a special edition of Punchbowl News focused on The Findings — our half-day equity summit at MLK Library in downtown Washington last week. The Findings was the culmination of our year-long focus on racial equity and sustainability as part of The Punch Up platform. Our goal: break down barriers between the public, private and nonprofit sectors to create a meaningful dialogue.
It was an amazing day with moderated conversations and thoughts from our cohort members, in addition to a keynote address from Arndrea Waters King, president of the Drum Major Institute and wife of Martin Luther King III. We also engaged in working sessions with leaders in this space, facilitating conversations with impactful prompts like, “What gives you the courage to continue even in the face of uncertainty and setback?” and “What would be one small, yet powerful, step that could further bring together the private, public nonprofit sectors in this work?” And we closed out the day with a conversation with musician Adam Met of Planet Reimagined and Kristy Drutman of Browngirl Green.
Afterward, we had a diverse group of makers showcasing their eco-friendly products on sale for purchase. A big thank you to Seragyi, Soapbox, Kuzeh Pottery and Frères Branchiaux Candle Company. Check out this reel of the makers in their own words.
And don’t miss our special edition podcast recapping all of the highlights from The Findings: listen here.
We’re already thinking about next year and how we can grow and improve The Punch Up. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you or your company are interested in getting involved.
We hope you enjoy this special edition!
— Anna Palmer
PRESENTED BY TARGET
Target’s purpose is to help all families discover the joy of everyday life.
That purpose is underscored by our commitment to positively impact both people and planet. Through our sustainability strategy, Target Forward, our vision is to co-create an equitable and regenerative future together with our guests, partners and communities.
Arndrea Waters King on MLK’s legacy
As the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech approaches, Arndrea Waters King said Americans need to go beyond commemorating the civil rights leader and instead emulate the ideals he championed.
In a keynote conversation at The Findings, Waters King called on Americans to re-read King’s notable works to “understand what Martin Luther King Jr. was really talking about.”
“He did not give his life for any one of us to take those things lightly,” she added. While the 40th anniversary of the creation of the federal holiday will be observed next year, Waters King said she feared some in the United States merely see MLK as an “idol” instead of a civil rights leader whose ideas are prescient today.
Here’s more from Waters King on how MLK should be honored:
“It’s not correct to idolize Martin Luther King Jr. because an idol is something that you put on a shelf and you take off once a year and you dust it off and you put it back away. It’s time that all of us and this nation and world live up to the ideals of Martin Luther King Jr…
“What I firmly believe is when Dr. King was delivering ‘I have a dream,’ he wasn’t just merely talking about his four children. Those are really placeholders for each one of us and all of our children.”
Waters King also said she and her husband, Martin Luther King III, are committed to raising more than $100 million by 2024 to go directly to 40 organizations helmed by Black and Brown Americans.
Waters King credited some of the groups with working to defeat Republican secretary of state candidates running in the midterms who campaigned on restricting access to the ballot. She said these nominees “would have continued to roll back the rights of Black, Brown [Americans] — and actually democracy and all Americans.”
— Max Cohen
The long path to improving racial equity and environmental sustainability
Leaders from the business world, government and nonprofit sectors joined us on stage at The Findings to discuss meaningful ways to advance racial equity in the workforce and the progress being made in building a more sustainable future.
Kemba Hendrix, senior adviser to the director at the Office of Personnel Management; Rick Wade, senior vice president of strategic alliances and outreach at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and Lori Castillo Martinez, executive vice president and chief equality officer at Salesforce, explored the importance of having a “growth mindset” and making the business case for racial inclusion.
Wade shared some personal advice on how industry leaders can create small, incremental change in their spaces and the importance of being intentional when trying to understand people from different backgrounds:
“You may never be able to walk in my shoes, but be willing to try them on… And it’s such a small step that we [can] take by just speaking to the person on the left or right, in front of us and behind us.”
Afterward, we were joined by members of our sustainability cohort: Laura Haynes Gillam, senior policy adviser at the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee; Carla Walker, director for environmental justice and equity at the World Resources Institute; and Caitlin Haberman, senior professional staff member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
The sustainability cohort discussed the Inflation Reduction Act and the “long game” of the environmental justice movement. Gillam talked about working through challenges when it comes to environmental legislation and the progress that she has seen through small steps:
“Chairman [Tom] Carper always says, ‘When you know you’re right, never give up.’ He has never given up, his staff has never given up, our other colleagues have never given up. And when there’s obstacles, we’re like water, we just find another way.”
– Donna Baeck
PRESENTED BY TARGET
Target has a longstanding commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
DE&I are part of our core values, shape our culture and drive our business. We focus on creating an inclusive guest experience, inclusive work environment, ensuring we have a diverse workforce and leveraging our influence to drive positive impact on society. Learn more about our DE&I Goals.
Climate leaders discuss the power of storytelling in their work
Heather Caygle sat down with Kristy Drutman, founder of Browngirl Green, and Adam Met, a musician and founder of Planet Reimagined, to discuss the intersection of environmental justice, storytelling and the role that the media can play in bridging that gap.
Drutman described the experiences that eventually pushed her to create Browngirl Green and the Green Jobs Board, a platform for companies and nonprofits to post jobs grounded in sustainability and other elements of environmental justice:
“I was frustrated because I would see all these climate journalists and people, even on the Hill, talking about climate, but again, it still felt so disconnected, especially from marginalized communities talking about environmental justice and so on and so forth. So I decided I wasn’t going to wait for those institutions – I was going to build my own platform.”
Drutman also said it was important for activists and business leaders dedicated to addressing climate change to recognize just how much work it would take not only to make progress in this area, but to incorporate the experiences and desires of the marginalized communities most vulnerable to a warming planet in that effort.
“They’re not going to give us a seat at the table,” Drutman said. “We’re going to build the table ourselves.”
Met talked about the need to understand the ways that different platforms can vary when it comes to storytelling, saying that the kinds of approaches that may work well in one outlet could fall short in another.
Using different platforms and methods of storytelling can bridge the gap between academic research and the audience across multiple generations, Met added.
“Partners are absolutely key for this kind of storytelling. We work with places like iHeartRadio, who give us PSA space. We reach about 100 million people a year through iHeartRadio.
“But it’s not just telling the same story to iHeart Radio that we’re telling on MTV, that we’re telling to Rolling Stone and all our different partners. It’s about figuring out the right way to communicate effective stories for the platforms that we’re reaching.”
– Brendan Pedersen
The Punch Up Profile: Sandra Douglass Morgan
For Sandra Douglass Morgan, being the first Black female president of an NFL team is just one of many barrier-breaking roles she’s held in her career. Morgan was also the first Black chair of the Nevada Gaming Control Board and first Black city attorney in Nevada.
Now, as Las Vegas Raiders president, a significant part of Morgan’s job is making sure the football organization meets its goals to be a “good community partner” on everything from racial equity to sustainability.
Read the full profile. And here are some highlights from our conversation with Morgan:
Morgan said the Raiders organization is fully committed to sustainability, which includes everything from turning food scraps into livestock feed to converting cigarette waste into reusable energy.
Morgan hopes to significantly expand on those goals in 2023, with the health and safety restrictions put in place during the pandemic now lifted.
“This is the first time there’s no restrictions, so we really have an opportunity in 2023 to include environmental best practices…
“That’s going to be my goal for not only our Raider games, but for our private events, to let people know that we’re trying to establish best practices and hopefully implement them in 2023.”
Morgan also reflected on being the first Black woman to serve as president of an NFL team – just the latest “first” in her trailblazing career.
“As we, whether it be as women or people of color, go into new areas in management or in executive roles, it’s very rare to see someone who looks like you in that room,” Morgan said.
“But you take that and you want to pave the way so that others can go behind you,” she added. “This is something that’s broader than me, it’s something that the Raiders have done and breathed and lived and supported since 1960 when the team was actually founded.”
And check out our other Punch Up profiles:
Adjoa B. Asamoah, senior adviser for racial equity at the Department of Housing and Urban Development
Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League
Daniela Fernandez, CEO and founder of the Sustainable Ocean Alliance
Ingrid Irigoyen, associate director, ocean and climate, for the Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Program
— Heather Caygle
PRESENTED BY TARGET
Target established its Racial Equity Action and Change committee in 2020.
REACH accelerates our DE&I goals for Black team members, guests and communities and has helped Target support progress, including: spending more than $2B with Black-owned businesses by 2025; using sustainably sourced cotton from Bridgeforth Farms; and establishing Target Scholars to support students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images.
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