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DEI Thoughts - March 2023

By: Dee Mittman | Mar 10, 2023

When I think of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) of the Georgia Chapter of MPI, I think of this Islamic proverb: “A lot of different flowers make a bouquet.” Who does not love getting a gorgeous bouquet of flowers? Watching the closed lilies open to their full bloom, allowing the gardenias to provide new fragrance to your personal space and nurturing the roses so that they stay alive with your weekly watering; I feel all these things explain our chapter and the future of it as it relates to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In its inaugural year for our chapter, DEI has had notable impact for our MPI Georgia Members on educating, being authentic and being present in our purpose.

As communications liaison for the committee, I am so excited to see where our chapter is going and to see our members embrace the journey. We have set the standard for other chapters by having an African American Chapter President who has made sure that all DEI conversations taking place within our committee and leadership occur with a thoughtful approach. The challenges in front of not only the committee, but me individually have been eye-opening and educational.

I have enjoyed seeing our Black History Month campaign go beyond a simple stagnant graphic to educating our viewers on the meaning of Black History Month, why we celebrate this iconic holiday, and commentary from our members as to what it means to them. Black History Month and the education that comes with it should be celebrated year-round. Sharing the many backstories of Black History Month was not unlike sharing research about the Lunar New Year and celebrating the Year of the Rabbit. We have been able to put context behind these celebrations and share that with our MPI Georgia Members through our social media efforts for the chapter. Uncovering this valuable knowledge has allowed me to celebrate these holidays with my own friends and family with understanding and has provided me with the ability to communicate WHY the holiday exists.

So, what does the future of our chapter and DEI look like from my perspective? DEI is just like a flower bouquet I mentioned earlier. It is constantly blooming in different forms, whether in the corporate workspace or your personal space. The need for support regarding DEI in our chapter is immediate. We are working hard to provide education and tools for MPI Georgia Members, hopeful to affect positive change and promote growth. We must also be able to be like the gardenias and add freshness to the atmosphere, constantly promoting forward motion, positive change, and growth.

I hope that through the “watering” of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in our chapter we will see in 5 years that our chapter is like a bouquet of flowers. Colorful, strong, and constantly growing amongst all diversity groups.

 

Author

Mittman, Dee
Dee Mittman
Virginia Beach CVB

 
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