Let’s Chat! A Message from IABC Atlanta President Ashley M. Council
Over the past year, we’ve seen and been through a lot: from a global health pandemic unlike any in our lifetimes to the intensified cries for justice amid a racial crisis in America. And, in Minneapolis, we recently witnessed what many have hailed as a first step toward justice and accountability.
The subjects of accountability and justice conjure a topic I’d like to address: diversity, equity and inclusion. To start, I reaffirm IABC Atlanta’s commitment to the global organization’s shared values:
We are a diverse community. We welcome diverse communication professionals of all levels and practices. We embrace diverse viewpoints, encourage conversation and celebrate cultural differences. We believe these differences benefit our community and that we are more enlightened, well informed, and successful when we honor our unique experiences and perspectives.
For any of you who know our chapter’s board members or who may have visited the “About” section on our website, we may appear somewhat homogenous. Though there are some who may challenge that assumption, there are others who accept it. Further, we acknowledge that we can – and must – have more diverse speakers at our professional development events. As I’ve heard it said frequently in recent times, “Diversity is a fact. Inclusion is an act.”
As we move toward becoming a more diverse, equitable and inclusive organization, these two goals are uppermost in our minds (based on feedback from members and board members).
- Create a leadership pipeline that includes one to two diverse candidates for each board role by next year.
- Include at least one diverse speaker on professional development panels.
- Request diverse speakers for 30% of single-speaker events.
To discuss these goals, provide feedback about IABC Atlanta, or to just meet the chapter president, I urge you to join me for a fireside chat on Tues., May 25 from 6:30 – 7:30 PM on Zoom. Details and sign-up are below. I look forward to meeting and speaking with you soon, as we continue to better serve existing and potential members.
IABC Atlanta President
Ashley is a skilled communicator with more than ten years of professional experience. Her career interests and highlights include internal communications planning and execution, project management, digital platforms and content creation. Ashley’s professional career also includes demonstrated success in education, training and curriculum development. In her current role, Ashley manages the content and social engagement strategy for the internal website at Piedmont Healthcare, a not-for-profit healthcare system with more than 23,000 employees. Her work in communications has been recognized with awards from IABC and PRSA. Ashley holds a master’s degree in mass communication from Georgia State University and a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from the University of Georgia. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys traveling and spending time with her nieces and nephews.