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Racial Equity

Two years ago, many Americans were awakened to what marginalized communities long knew — that systemic racial inequities plague our society. This social justice movement – catalyzed by the police murder of George Floyd and the worldwide public outcry that followed – triggered a wave of commitments from leaders in both the public and private sectors.

Leaders from the highest levels of government to the largest U.S. corporations have pledged to do their part to address the systemic racism, disparities and inequities that Black Americans and communities of color face every day. These promises include committing billions of dollars to support minority-owned businesses and underserved populations; more attention and assistance to nonprofits working to advance social justice issues; and a top-to-bottom effort to increase equity and diversity within the federal workforce.

Punchbowl News wants to participate in these ongoing conversations by bringing visibility to the promises that have been made to marginalized communities and the progress in fulfilling those commitments. Through The Punch Up, we will examine where the public and private sectors are meeting the moment, where things have fallen short and how government and industry leaders can work together to break down barriers to opportunity for people of color.

Meet the Cohort

Punchbowl News will bring together eight industry leaders for an open, robust and meaningful dialogue on racial equity. Cohort participants will include experts from the private sector, Capitol Hill, the administration and the nonprofit world, all with executive-level experience and recognized as leaders in their field.

Target has a longstanding commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I). DE&I are part of our core values, shape our culture and drive our business. We’ve been on a journey for more than 16 years to build and refine our DE&I strategy, focusing on: creating an inclusive guest experience, having an 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 here.

What key words embody your work? “Humbling, exciting and paradigm-shifting.”

Melissa Bradley

“There has been a dramatic shift in the conversation around equality — just in the past five years or so. …People want to interact with and work for brands that align with their values.”

Lori Castillo Martinez

“Younger generations continue to understand transformational change and public accountability is needed to change ecosystems from years of antiquated and divisive practices and processes.”

Tasha Cole

“The biggest evolution has been the shift to shared accountability on all things racial equity, diversity, inclusion and wellness. This movement requires commitment and action from everyone.”

Kiera Fernandez

Anna Palmer, Punchbowl News CEO and founder, will facilitate the conversation. She will guide participants through a candid discussion about their career experiences, including hurdles and advancements in their efforts to achieve a more equitable workplace. In order to foster a sincere exchange of ideas and create a safe space for all opinions to be expressed, the Chatham House Rule will apply to the dialogue.

We will present topline themes and broad findings afterwards with the goal that Cohort participants and The Punch Up community walk away with concrete ideas for how the public and private sectors can work together to advance racial equity.

What key words embody your work? “Building, connecting, expanding opportunity.”

Kemba Hendrix

What has changed the most since you started your career? “Broader support for racial equity amidst an aggressive backlash.”

Marc Morial

“The environment [around racial equity] has changed like the weather but the work needs to be constant and without the need for permission.”

Antonio Tijerino

What inspires you? “Closing gaps that prevent individuals from realizing their own American dream.”

Rick Wade

More from The Punch Up

Upcoming Profile

Punch Up Profile

This year, The Punch Up will profile four trailblazers who are leading the charge for change when it comes to racial equity and sustainability. Our first Punch Up profile, highlighting a pioneer in the equity and inclusion space, will launch in late May.

Racial Equity

The Dialogue

The Dialogue will bring together a diverse set of thought leaders on racial equity in the public and private sectors for a facilitated conversation in late June.