On Monday, Oct. 3, business and community leaders from across the region convened at The Gathering Spot Atlanta for the inaugural ATL Action for Racial Equity Summit. This year’s summit, hosted by the Metro Atlanta ...
On Monday, Oct. 3, business and community leaders from across the region convened at The Gathering Spot Atlanta for the inaugural ATL Action for Racial Equity Summit. This year’s summit, hosted by the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC), highlighted efforts to advance racial equity in metro Atlanta. The signature event showcased region-wide progress across the ATL Action for Racial Equity initiative’s four key areas: corporate policies, inclusive economic development, education, and workforce development. Attendees heard thought-provoking panel discussions featuring prominent Atlanta business leaders actively working to propel racial equity in the region.
MAC President and CEO Katie Kirkpatrick kicked off the summit with welcome remarks that chronicled MAC’s journey to rally the region’s business community and launch ATL Action for Racial Equity. She also discussed Atlanta’s history, recognizing pivotal moments that served as catalysts in the region’s drive toward racial equity and MAC’s efforts to help address the ongoing effects of systematic racism.
Following Kirkpatrick’s remarks, Raphael Bostic, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and 2022 MAC board chair, described the Fed’s commitments to creating impactful change within the organization. Bostic also provided insight into the Fed’s partnerships with local high schools to advance the skills of our younger generation through training and mentorship opportunities.
MAC’s Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) Michael Baptiste updated attendees on the 2022 ATL Action for Racial Equity Assessment, which provides yearly statistics on committed companies’ progress in strengthening racial equity in their organizations and throughout the metro area.
The summit featured four panels discussing essential racial equity topics such as Advancing Black Talent, Championing Inclusive Economic Development, Expanding Access to Quality Education, and Investing in Workforce Development. The first panel was moderated by Denise Reese, managing director at Accenture Atlanta, with guest panelists Harold Franklin, partner with King & Spalding’s Trial and Global Disputes practice; Kim Adams, vice president of human resources, DEI, culture & engagement with Papa Johns; Keyra Johnson, vice president and chief diversity, equity & inclusion officer with Delta Air Lines.
President and CEO of the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs Jay Bailey moderated the Championing Inclusive Economic Development panel with guest panelists Jason Crain, president of Slutty Vegan, Inc. and Mark Wilson, president & CEO of Chime Solutions.
Founding Executive Director of Learn4Life Dr. Ken Zeff moderated the Education panel with featured guest panelists Che Watkins, executive director of Braven; Mindy Binderman, executive director of the Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Student (GEEARS); and Tina Fernandez, CEO of Achieve Atlanta.
Executive Director of the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) Anna Roach moderated the final panel of the day, Investing in Workforce Development, with guest panelists Keith Parker, president and CEO of Goodwill of North Georgia (GNG); Michele Jacobs, senior director of youth development with United Way of Greater Atlanta; and Sarah Miller, principal adviser of community and economic development with the Atlanta Fed’s Center for Workforce and Economic Opportunity.