More Than $1.4 Million Raised at 35th Annual Walter Kaitz Foundation Dinner
Last night's annual Walter Kaitz Foundation Dinner in NYC raised over $1.4 million, and was full of inspiring speeches and celebrations. Every year, industry executives, leaders and innovators come together at this dinner—which serves as the culmination of the industry's Diversity Week—to honor the organizations that implement strategies to diversify the workplace and advance opportunities for women and people of color.
The Walter Kaitz Foundation has a long history of furthering diversity initiatives throughout the industry. Through surveys, grants, sponsorships, and partnerships, the Foundation is committed to recognizing the achievements of women and multi-ethnic professionals, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of organizations when it comes to prioritizing equity and inclusion, and setting goals and policies to improve workforce diversity industrywide. The Foundation uses the funds raised at the dinner to support organizations and programs that offer mentorship, professional development and enriching experiences for women, youth, and people of color.
The evening kicked off with remarks from new Kaitz Executive Director Michelle Ray and included host Pamela Silva Conde from Univision, guest speaker Miss. America 2.0 Nia Franklin, and rising leaders from the industry—Comcast's Danielle Phillips, AMC's Grace Chung, and SundanceTV's Sowon Sawyer.
And of course, the audience celebrated the night's award winners. The Diversity Advocate Champion award went to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America for their work and reputation in empowering youth nationwide, and was accepted by President and CEO Jim Clark. TV One was honored as this year's Diversity Champion for the network's programming focus, campaigns and internal mechanisms that advocate for equity and inclusion. Founder Alfred Liggins accepted the award and spoke about the network's mission to reach and expand opportunities for people of color.
NCTA President & CEO Michael Powell concluded the dinner with gratitude towards everyone involved in supporting the prosperity of the industry through their contributions towards diversity initiatives.
The dinner came at the end of a week packed with panel discussions and presentations during both the WICT and NAMIC conferences, which included keynotes from CNN Tonight Host Don Lemon, NBCUniversal Chairman Bonnie Hammer, and MSNBC Live Anchor Stephanie Ruhle. Breakout sessions examined strategies behind creating diverse stories for the screen, how to increase employee engagement and innovation through implementing diversity and inclusion tactics in the workplace, and fostering an inclusive corporate culture.
The next Walter Kaitz Foundation Dinner will take place on September 18, 2019.
*Photos provided by Getty Images for The Walter Kaitz Foundation