Diverse comms agency leaders from The Change Agencies comment on state AG attacks on corporate DEI initiatives

by | Jul 21, 2023

The Change Agencies, the national network of multicultural and LGBTQ owned and operated public relations and communications firms, shared comments in response to news reports about efforts by state Attorneys General to “warn” private companies about their pursuit of DEI programs. As multicultural and/or LGBTQ business owners and communications counselors, we have the following perspectives on these news reports and their impact: 

“Creating DEI, ESG and Citizenship reports for global companies over the last decade, I’ve been excited to see many global corporations building diverse workforces — despite extreme political agendas — and celebrating the historic success of the results of affirmative action in their reports,” said John Avila, principal of Avila Creative, an LGBTQ- and Minority-Certified creative design firm in Chicago. “These leaders aim to showcase their inclusive cultures to employees, job candidates, customers, suppliers and the community to attract top talent, customers and investors and, ultimately, drive innovation and growth. These companies will continue hiring diverse employees and celebrating their success despite attempts by political leaders to stop them.”

“Coordinated partisan political attacks on corporate DEI programs should be condemned for what they are, organized bigotry,” declared Ben Finzel, owner of LGBTQ-certified public affairs firm RENEWPR in Washington, D.C. “We live in a diverse, multicultural society and attempts to deny that reality by threatening legal action against companies that acknowledge that fact is both bad business and bad policy. I hope the companies being targeted and the public at large will see these attacks for what they are: a misguided effort to block responsible business practices.”  

“My conclusion is this: Attorneys General should be focusing on prosecution, rather than acting as DEI police. They’re killing economic development,” stated Kristelle Siarza, owner and CEO of Siarza, an Asian- and woman-owned communications firm in Albuquerque. “According to the non-partisan nonprofit, the Center for American Progress, some projections show that by 2030 the American workforce will need to fill a whopping 83 million replacement and new jobs. With a majority of babies born in the United States being children of color today, it’s clear that people of color will play a major role in shaping the American workforce. In fact, it’s expected that by 2030, 54 percent of new workers will be people of color. These changing demographics really highlight the need for an agenda that prepares the workforce of the future economy.”

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