Below are excerpts from an internal memo from Amy Binder to the RF|Binder team regarding Women’s Equality Day and the 60th Anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech
This past Saturday was Women’s Equality Day, commemorating the adoption in 1920 of the Nineteenth Amendment, which provided women the right to vote. As you know, since our founding over 20 years ago, we have had a deep commitment to building an organization that strongly supports female empowerment and DEI values. I have always had a strong passion and focus on voting rights, and through our Voter Access and Right to Vote Committee, as a firm, we have played a meaningful role in ensuring citizens are able to exercise their fundamental right to vote. Consequently, Women’s Equality Day always has significant meaning for me. As a women-owned and operated company, we are both personally and professionally committed to women’s equality and women’s rights as well as supporting all communities.
This year, this week was even more meaningful than ever as yesterday was the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, which was delivered 60 years ago on August 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. While great progress has been made over the past 60 years, we also must recognize the incredible setbacks as a country that have happened in recent months and years.
To achieve true equity, there needs to be opportunity for everyone. Sadly, in my opinion, the Supreme Court’s ruling on June 29th, essentially ending affirmative action in college admissions, is a huge step back for equal rights. Many agree that this ruling will not only reduce diversity at our colleges and universities but will also reduce the pipeline of diverse candidates for employers. Unfortunately, others are taking aim at hiring programs that seek to establish true diversity at their places of business and are trying to have courts stop these DEI efforts.
Against this background, we want to share RF|Binder’s unwavering commitment to cultivating a workplace rooted in diversity, equity, and inclusion. In the face of this setback at colleges and universities, RF|Binder remains resolute in our mission to foster a culture of inclusivity and belonging where everyone feels valued and empowered, and diversity is celebrated. At RF|Binder, we firmly believe that diversity allows us to be a more thriving and forward-thinking organization. We understand that embracing diversity is not only the right thing to do, but it also fuels innovation, enriches our collective perspectives, and allows us to deliver more creative solutions to our clients and within our firm.
Our dedication to women’s empowerment and DEI starts with developing a diverse pipeline of applicants and is incorporated into every stage of the employee journey. Our commitment remains stronger than ever. With the launch of the 2023-2024 academic year, we are excited to be entering into our fourth year of partnership with Hampton University, an HBCU, where each year we provide two scholarships and mentorship to rising junior or senior students who identify as a woman and are interested in a career in communications. In addition, our Recruitment and Talent Pipeline SJC subcommittee is launching a program to develop relationships with additional HBCUs, as well as, deepening our relationships with minority campus groups and organizations committed to DEI at schools where we recruit. Further, we are looking into professional organizations that will allow us to connect and recruit more BIPOC professionals, as we recruit the best talent at every level of the organization. If you are interested in getting involved with any of these initiatives, want to learn more, or have additional ideas, please reach out to Talent.
As a forever optimist, I do believe working together we can use these setbacks as a catalyst to focus our efforts and continue to make a positive impact. We cannot accept the status quo and need to work together to continue to move forward and make progress.
Thank you all for everything you do.