Our voice is BUILDing
A special message from our Executive Sponsor, Marcus Glasper.
Thank you all for your support of the newest business resource group – BUILD (Blacks United in Leadership and Diversity). This group had its formation beginnings one year ago – in June 2019 – when a group of approximately two dozen dedicated state employees came together around a passion to fulfill a critical need toward enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in Washington state government. BUILD held its kickoff event in October 2019. Since October, a lot has occurred including:
· our general membership meetings and formation of our subcommittees;
· building our membership and communication channels with our website and other mediums;
· preparing our fundamentals map;
· participating in the Washington State DEI Summit;
· hosting key events such as our Black History Month program and “The Black Experience” Human Workplace Event sponsored by Results Washington and co-hosted by Renee Smith;
· having our Governor issue the first Juneteenth Proclamation; and
· much, much more.
We have done a lot in this short time, but there is much more to do in creating a strong organizational foundation. With just about a year under our belt, we are still in our infancy toward creating a solid infrastructure that is sustainable and helping to ensure we are supporting the Governor’s vision toward a more equitable and diverse workforce. BUILD is currently in the midst of key activities that will help us with that infrastructure such as maturing our processes, working on structures for our subcommittees, working with the Governor’s Office on needs that will help support all of our business resource groups, yearly programming, and our website.
It is critical that we have consistent leadership as we work on these infrastructure activities and for these reasons, I have asked Megan Matthews if she would consider staying on as our interim Chair for one more year and she has graciously agreed. Beth Winstead has also agreed to continue serving as our Administrative Liaison. Unfortunately, an increase in work responsibilities has reduced Phil’s capacity, necessitating that he step down as co-chair effective June 30. We thank Phil for his outstanding leadership and he has agreed to remain in an advisor role to help where needed. To that end, I am pleased to announce that Edwina Martin-Arnold has agreed to step in as interim co-chair until the next year’s general election in the Spring of 2021. Edwina just began in a new role as the Chief of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion within the DSHS Office of Diversity and Inclusion. We are honored to have Edwina’s talents to help lead BUILD over the next year and we look forward to her contributions.
I look forward to what’s yet in store for Blacks United in Leadership and Diversity.
Marcus Glasper, Executive Sponsor
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