IMDiversity announces the release of Diversity Employers Magazine,40th Anniversary Issue, a special edition commemorating the company's 40th anniversary publishing year.
- By Stewart Ikeda
This magazine was originally envisioned as a special commemorative edition of THE BLACK COLLEGIAN Magazine. Concluding our company’s 40th anniversary publishing year celebrations, it would wrap things up with a retrospective of our best features and milestone moments, largely chosen and recalled by our founder, publisher and company CEO, Preston J. Edwards, Sr. It turned out to be something else.
The transformation of THE BLACK COLLEGIAN into this new publication was motivated by the needs of our expanded job seeker audiences, employer clients and career center partners, and by changes in the job market, workforce demographics, and technology. It would coincide with Preston’s announced transition into his retirement, as he steered us through the last of three planned anniversary issues. It felt like the end of an era.
But there is something appropriate to the timing of this issue. Falling as it does now, amid spring’s renewal, at the end of the academic year, it feels like both an end and a beginning, a graduation and a commencement.
As one might expect, this edition contains seasonal features emphasizing entry-level, student and recent college graduate jobs. But the issue contains more. As incoming editor, I’ve found both inspiring and sobering our two special, retrospective features, with Preston’s selections arrayed like gems commemorating some major moments and figures from our publishing past.
In a “Best of THE BLACK COLLEGIAN: 1970-2010” package that is in many ways deeply personal, he samples some of the themes and events that have driven him and influenced the publication’s character over the decades. Excerpted are unblinking examinations of the legacy of slavery and racial segregation; philosophical explorations of African American traditions and the values underlying a good life; and profiles of groundbreaking Black achievements and “firsts” in virtually every industry and sphere of American life – right up to the election of the first Black U.S. president.
“Straight Talk from the Top” collects frank discussions with CEOs of major organizations about the vision and strategies that helped them become, in many cases, the national diversity leaders they are today. Conducted across three decades, the interviews show the evolving notions of workplace diversity. They illustrate employers’ movement beyond regulatory compliance and narrowly defined race categories in the 1980s to the strategic integration of diversity and inclusion as a fundamental business value – a necessity of long-term global competitiveness and sustainability.
As incoming publisher Preston Edwards, Jr. observes in his Publisher’s Message, such employers have come far in diversifying their workplaces. One ascending the corporate ladder today, he writes, “will see more women, African Americans, Latinos, Asians, indigenous peoples, gays and lesbians, Muslims, people with disabilities, older workers, veterans, among others” at all levels.
In “Today’s Workplace: The Times They are a-Changing,” Chris Campellone concurs, but also notes that in a period of high unemployment, it is “Blacks and Hispanics who are shouldering most of the burden, with rates that are far outpacing those of Whites and Asians,” and women still make 81 cents on the male dollar. As far as we’ve come, we’ve still a long way go.
Explored in these features are questions likely to remain relevant in future editions of DIVERSITY EMPLOYERS: What are the hallmarks of those employers that are most proactive and successful in reaching their diversity goals, to the benefit of their organizational mission? What resistances and obstacles must be overcome? Indeed, what does “diversity” mean today, and tomorrow – the approaching era of the so-called “minority-majority” America, the post-Obama America?
The continued exploration of these questions and our company’s founding values will serve to guide the staff of DIVERSITY EMPLOYERS moving forward from this, our commencement.
-- Stewart Ikeda
FEATURES IN DIVERSITY EMPLOYERS SPRING 2011