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MPI Philadelphia DEI: Will you dance with me?

Shawn_Clary 2022

By: Shawn Clary, CMP | Aug 5, 2022

MPI Philadelphia is dedicated to serving the diverse needs of its membership, suppliers, speakers, and guests through intentional and thoughtful engagement. Individually and collectively, we are responsible with the desire of understanding and commitment to being diverse, equitable and inclusive.

We can define DEI as

DIVERSITY is simply the exercise of accepting all people from a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds, including different genders, sexual orientations, race, physical disabilities etc.

EQUITY is principally a natural right to be included in the receipt of something that is equitable, or free from bias or favoritism.

INCLUSION is just that. It’s having equal access to opportunities and resources that otherwise might be excluded or marginalized because of race, ethnicity, gender, disability etc.

More simply expressed by one of our industry colleagues: “diversity is being invited to the dance; inclusion is being asked to dance”.

MPI PHL’s DEI Committee’s mission is to design new procedures that ensure access for everyone in the Philadelphia area meetings industry. We are continuing to review and improve our existing Chapter policies to build on our mission. The Philadelphia Chapter doesn’t have a goal post per se to measure achievements; but this journey has grossed some proud moments.

  • Regularly celebrates observances recognizing various cultures
  • Partnered with PHL OIC Hospitality Program 10-week program as mentor (led by Jamie Cooperstein, Hospitality Consulting LLC)
  • Developed mentoring program outline and checklist
  • Panelist on July 2022 Joint MPI program
  • Moderated a diverse panel discussion of university, public and wedding meeting planners
  • Sourced diverse speakers for the winter MPI PHL Education Institute
  • Invited to participate on PHL OIC Hospitality Program inaugural Council
  • Participant on the MPI Global DE&I Committee.

To truly understand our mission, see real and sustainable change, and to leverage the full potential of our Chapter, we must go beyond old operational practices that exclude diversity, equity and inclusion in the day-to-day.

MPI Philadelphia’s goal is to shift mindsets, behaviors, and practices so that everyone can have the opportunity to attain their full potential. This starts with not just being invited to the dance, and then subsequently dancing. It also entails you to think a step beyond and try a simple do-si-do (ie engage with others on the dance floor). In other words, say hello to your usual crew of colleagues. But then, challenge yourself to seize something unexpected and new with an, unfamiliar face.

MPI Philadelphia, with greater diversity, we can be more resilient and innovative. 
We challenge you to diversify your dance card.

Shawn Clary
Director, DEI
MPI Philadelphia Chapter



Shawn Clary, CMP
Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at MPI Philadelphia

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