July 28, 2021

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – What’s All the Buzz?

That title describes a training session we administer for clients utilizing our firm’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) consulting services.

Cornerstone is one of the few government relations firms in the country to provide DEI consulting. While this practice is new for us, as a firm, our team members have years of experience related to DEI initiatives and training.

Our DEI team includes Charles Carithers, Liz Halloran, Shanetta Paskel, Delora Sanchez Ifekauche and Camille Scales Young. We are excited to bring a multitude of experiences and diverse backgrounds to this team for the betterment of the clients we serve, including Fortune 500 Companies, small businesses and startups, trade associations, nonprofits, and colleges and universities.

So, what is all the buzz?

You have probably heard the phrase diversity, equity, and inclusion more in the last few months than ever before. Political unrest, racial injustice, discriminatory crimes, and many other instances of division have rocked our country to its core over the past year. Because of these events and increasing awareness of the inequities in our society, many organizations are focused on addressing these issues through diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. At Cornerstone, we believe this work is exceedingly important and strive to assist our clients in meeting their DEI goals.

We know that when something impacts you personally, it impacts you professionally.

With our DEI service offering, we have the privilege of sharing training sessions, virtually and in person, that discuss issues surrounding diversity throughout the U.S. We have been able to discuss unconscious biases that are intentionally and unintentionally exhibited in our personal and professional lives. We have assisted clients with recruiting efforts to diversify their employee base, including helping to jumpstart internship programs focused on providing opportunities for minority students. Our team promotes the awareness that comes with embracing diversity, with the hopes that our efforts will bring about positive changes in the way people treat each other when they look beyond the face and truly begin to see who you really are.

Our team takes the time to do a diversity audit of our clients who engage with us. We analyze existing demographics within organizations, helping them determine needs, set goals, and implement a plan to achieve them.

We have seen firsthand the benefits of comprehensive DEI strategies, including employees and employers being exposed to different cultures, creating a deeper pool of potential employees and strengthening retention rates overall. Some clients’ goals run deeper, like helping their employees work more cohesively and respectfully, while other clients seek ways to acknowledge more diverse holidays and designations. We curate and guide specific sessions with our clients and their workforces to support their DEI goals. Sometimes these sessions involve fruitful and meaningful group conversations and discussions, other times, they are fun activities – like a cooking class that details the history behind the menu and other activities, such as cultural celebrations, informative diversity acknowledgments and historical recognitions.

We look forward to growing this offering and seeing the positive impact DEI has on our clients and their communities. Give us a chance to tell you what the buzz really is. You will benefit from what we share, learn some new things about your colleagues and, hopefully, be more aware and respectful of the differences that make us all who we are as individuals. All of this knowledge can help us be better citizens and better colleagues and better professionals.