USF Muma College of Business Certificate: Session 6: Community & Outreach
[MUSIC PLAYING] [MUSIC PLAYING] [MUSIC PLAYING] Good evening and good day, and welcome back to module 6 of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace Certificate. I hope everybody is doing good. And we have a great program for you today. Now, we've been getting a lot of questions about quizzes. People want to pass these quizzes and want to graduate.
So let me address these questions, if you don't mind. Yes, you can access all quizzes via academiacentral.org. And also, all quizzes are due May 19, 11:59 PM Eastern Time, all quizzes. Please make sure, you must earn a 70% or better on each quiz. So you have to pass each quiz at 70% or better so that you can obtain the certificate and the badge.
Yes, all seven quizzes, please. We have also received a number of inquiries about future sessions for this program. Would we offer it again? Will there be others? I can assure you we are, as we speak, thinking exactly what is next and trying to digest your wonderful feedback. No decisions have been made.
But our commitment to you, we have your email, and you will be the first to know if we have future programs similar or different from this one after this certificate. Also, many of you asked us different questions about the Muma master's program, MBA program, PhD, DBA, and other graduate certificate. This is why we decided to hold a virtual information session on May 12, 5:30 PM Eastern Time. And you will see there the web link for you to learn more about the program.
And you're all invited to this wonderful virtual information session. All right, as we promise you, every week, we will retain, I will present to you some of the great gems, great quotes from last week, quotes that resonated very well with many of the 135,000 of our participants. And we saw it mentioned on social media.
So let me go through some of them that also I really like. I love the first one. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
My advice to you, go together. Don't go fast. Also, lead with data, follow with passion. It's OK to have passion, but make sure you're using the facts.
Of course, people analytics, as our wonderful Dr. Triparna de Vreede told us last time, people analytics start with the question. But also please be transparent with the question you're trying to answer with the data and what the data you are using.
And let me share with you another secret we have at the Muma College of Business. What we say is, be careful because if you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything you wanted to, so be careful about that. Also, create a culture of courageous conversations. Just the whole purpose of this certificate is to be comfortable with the uncomfortable.
So let's work on that amazing culture of courageous conversations. Last but not least is the micro-steps that can lead to the big changes. Now let's go back to our certificate, that wonderful journey. Yes, we are in module 6. So only one more to go.
I know, it's like everybody, oh, no, yes, but the good news is we have an incredible module for you today. It's about the community outreach. How do you work with your stakeholders, your partners, your suppliers, other community leaders so that you all make the community better, but also you help your own DEI effort in your own organization. Great, great concept. But before that we have an amazing opening segment where our good friend, long-time friend, Steve Griggs, the Tampa Bay Lightning CEO, is going to talk with our visionary mayor, the City of Tampa mayor, Jane Castor, about how important it is to have a diverse community, not just for the quality of life of everyone in the community, but also to attract and retain businesses in a city or in a community. Let me tell you a little bit about our wonderful mayor.
I think we have one of the best mayors. Mayor Castor is Tampa's very first ever openly gay mayor and only the 37th open gay mayor in the country. She is a true visionary. She really cares a lot about her city. She cares about the citizens.
But also, she is so committed to make our city a city where no one is left behind, a city where people are treated with justice, equity, and inclusiveness regardless of who they are. And actually, as you can see here, even in her swearing ceremony on May 1, 2019, she emphasized the importance of diversity, equality and opportunity for all. Her dream is to have a city where no one is left behind.
After that we have, yes, another great panel. It's like, how can things could get even better? Yes, they get better. And we really have an amazing panel that will discuss how to make sure that your corporate social responsibility activities align very well with your DEI effort and initiative so that, again, you move along through that wonderful journey.
So then comes the instructional segment, and back to popular demand, our wonderful Dr. Doreen MacAulay. Also, Dr. Janelle Wells will also be with us today and also Dr. Corey Posey, who, the three of them, will talk to us about the community outreach, as I just mentioned, and the importance of working with stakeholders, with community leaders for the good of the community and the good of the organizations, too.
I think we're going to have an incredible, incredible module 6. Welcome back, and I cannot wait to see you next week. Remember, next week, we're going to do the graduation, so be ready. But for now let's go to module 6. And my good friend, Steve Griggs, the floor is yours. Thank you.
Well, thank you very much, Moez. We appreciate it, and welcome to module 6. My name is Steve Griggs. And I'm the CEO of the Tampa Bay Lightning. I want to thank USF Muma College of Business. And obviously, this is the diversity equity inclusion certificate.
And I want to thank all of our friends at Jabil for helping us with this. Dr. Moez, again, thank you for everything, and to Elizabeth Frazier and my team, who's done an incredible job in putting all of these modules together. We've done module 1 through 5 so far. There's 140,000 participants that are involved in this program from 39 different countries. So I can't thank you enough for all being a part of this.
And with module 1 through 5, we've been on quite the journey. The journey of not only for yourself, but for your family and also for your businesses. And we've gotten everything through organizational structure and recruiting.
And now we get into community outreach. And we talk about DEI not only inside our organization, but outside our organization and how it's going to affect our workforce and affect our community. And I think it's really important, as we move forward here, that every single organization builds a strat plan that needs to be focused on DEI inside and outside the organization.
And our organization here at the Tampa Bay Lightning, we've been fortunate we worked for Jeff Vinik for the last 10 years. And CSR has been a big part of our organization because we're a forward-facing organization. We have an incredible fan base here. But as of May 29, we started our DEI roadmap and have really committed not only internally, but externally to the DEI outreach and every business needs that have this type of model.
And we'll build better companies. We'll build better communities. And speaking of community, I have the great pleasure of interviewing today Mayor Jane Castor from the great city of Tampa Bay. She is the 59th mayor of Tampa. She was the first female chief here in Tampa. She spent 31 years with the Tampa Bay Police Department.
She is also a great friend, a great fan of the organization. We've had the great pleasure of raising the Stanley Cup together. And we have an incredible city here in Tampa. And it's a diverse city.
It's a great city. And I'm just so glad that we could have you here today and have a conversation and really talk about a wide diversity, equity, and inclusion. It's so important not only to the businesses here in this city but then the whole city as a community in general in order for us to attract great businesses and retain great businesses. And welcome.
It's so great to have you here. Thank you, Steve. It's wonderful to be with you. And as you know, I always say I love to hear you say organization. But yeah, the votes, it was wonderful to raise that Stanley Cup.
And it's going to be just as joyous to be able to raise it again. So very exciting to have the Tampa Bay Lightning as one of our sports franchises and probably the best ownership and best run sports franchise in the entire world, definitely in the United States. So it's great to be here with you, my friend. Well, thank you. As Moez like to say, it's always about a win-win-win partnership.
So our partnership with the city is win-win-win. And let's dive into a couple of questions here and talk about this great city and the benefits that we see with the diverse workplace and community. It creates a great quality of life. But how do we attract and retain businesses in the Tampa Bay Area that want to be about diversity and inclusion? Mm-hmm. Well, it is critically important. And it goes back to my days at the police department.
And the diversity, equity, inclusion was critically important at the police department that that organization mirrored the community that they serve. And now that same theory and position has come with me to the mayor's office. And our city, they are identified by our diversity and the way that we embrace that diversity. And so we have to ensure that not only are we maintaining but building upon the day by day, all of the groups that I talk to, businesses through the EDC, through the chamber, they all look at Tampa based on our quality of life, based on our diversity, based on the opportunities that they find here in this wonderful city. So it's critically, critically important that we pay attention to the DEI as we move forward and as we continue to grow as a city.
And that really is the focus of my administration. It's the reason that I ran for this position as mayor, born and raised in Tampa and 61 years old. And this city is going to change more in the next 10 years than it has in my entire lifetime. So we have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create the city that we all want to live, work, and play in. And it is critically important that we stay laser focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion while we create that city we're going to pass off to the next generation.
We here at the Lightning, we're a hockey team, and we have about 200 employees. And so for us, we've been working on it for 10 years, but it's all about the strategy to attract diverse employees here, because it has to reflect our fan base. And it has to reflect our community.
So really, that's been a big, big focus of ours. But I think great companies attract great diverse people. And that's where we're really working hard on. When we talk to a lot of the variety of stakeholders here in the community, and we talk about their DEI efforts.
Talk about some of the businesses and the private entities and non-profits, and I think about the great people, where I've met ministries and feeding Tampa Bay and the Jabil and USF and Florida Blue. They're just a great company that really leaned in into this community. Mm-hmm. Yes, without a doubt. And another reason that Tampa is the greatest city in the nation is that everyone, we like to celebrate.
I tell people that if you give us two weeks' notice, we'll have a parade in your honor. And then look at during this time of pandemic, so much negativity and struggle during the past year. But we had so much to be proud of not just in our sports wins with the Stanley Cup and the Super Bowl and almost the World Series, but we also had celebrations in that when we struggle, we all come together as well. And there wasn't one company that I reached out to, including the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Buccaneers, and the Rays, that didn't assist financially in providing relief for our community. So it is critically important that all of the organizations within the City of Tampa and frankly in the Tampa Bay Area understand their responsibility when it comes to their civic duty.
And that is an aspect that we discuss over and over. A couple of the things that companies look for when they move here, and I would offer that the larger organizations and even a lot of the smaller businesses move their companies, their organizations here to the City of Tampa and to the Tampa Bay Area based on not only the quality of life, but that diversity, the education, educational opportunities, the workforce availability, that there is the skilled talent out there. But they also move here so that all of their team members can have that experience of living in a very diverse community that is embracing and celebrating that diversity each and every day. So you named a couple of the companies. And we could go on and on and on for hours talking about the great companies that are here in the Tampa Bay Area.
And one of the things that people talk about attracting those organizations and companies to the City of Tampa. And I do that, I know you do that on a regular basis, playing the part of the cheerleader. But really, the companies that will do the attracting for us are the companies that have moved here and realized what a great community it is. And I know that the Lightning organization has been involved in that the entire time I've been the mayor. So very exciting time in our community. For the last five or six weeks, we've really discussed through the certificate program diversity, equity, and inclusion with the Black community, the Asian community, the Hispanic community.
But there is other diversities out there that we need to discuss, which is the LGBT neurodiversity, gender, age, disabilities. Mm-hmm. All those voices need to be heard. They're all important.
Tell me about some of the best practices as a city that we've been able to do to get those voices to be heard and to get those different backgrounds because they're so important to our entire community. Yes, and that is I couldn't underscore the significance and importance of that any more than you just did. And one of the things we have to start with is looking at diversity, equity, and inclusion within each of our organizations.
And as the City of Tampa, I always say this, as a chief of police had the same philosophy that I brought into the mayor's office, and that is we are all a sum total of our life experiences. And we have to have those experiences around the table, especially when decisions are being made that will affect our entire community. And so with that thought in mind, we have it, the City of Tampa, we have four administrators. And three of the administrators are women and women of color. I mean, we have paid attention to our entire community, as you have stated, very diverse.
And we have to not only listen, we have to listen to hear, to hear those life experiences and to also hear what the needs are, because you have those assumptions. I'll give you an example from the police department. We changed the way we police back in 2003. As police officers, we thought what the community needed was to be protected from rapists, robbers, and murderers, which is true.
But very few people are victims of those types of crimes. So when we sat down and we really listened to the community, what they wanted was not to have to be a victim of theft, to have their cars broken into, stolen, or their homes. So we changed our philosophy, pivoted basically our business model, and as a result, reduced crime by over 80%. That's what we're looking at now with the administration here in the City of Tampa, is ensuring everyone's voice is heard. And you have to do that in a variety of ways.
There's not just one size fits all. For example, I can't build my staff in a very diverse fashion and inclusive and equitable way and say, OK, check that box, I'm done. I have to ensure that we're reaching out to the entire community to every corner, every neighborhood to make sure everyone's voices are heard and everyone feels included. That is critically important, that people feel they are part of the community and their voice matters. And that position stays true in an organization. And it stays true all the way to the neighborhoods and the individual residents within our community.
And when I look at the EDC, I look at Tampa Bay partnership. I look at the chamber. As business advocates, the pillars of each one of them is really inclusion.
They're attracting business, but inclusion not only attracting but every single company that is already here is they keep pushing on to them under those members how important it is that inclusion and those voices are heard. And Bob Rohrlack and Craig Richard is doing an incredible job of making sure that's an important piece of this community not only internally but externally, as well. So when you think externally and you talk about benchmarking, comparing us to other metropolitan areas, and we're out there recruiting, what are those companies looking for from a DEI realm perspective? And what's really important when they think about Tampa Bay? Well, one of the things that those companies are looking for, and we have had working with the organizations that you just mentioned, the chamber, the partnership, and the EDC, we have put a great deal of thought and effort into this one area here.
What are those organizations? What are the needs? What are they looking for when they're scouting a new location? And first and foremost is they want the community to be safe. And so we have done the work for one of the safest cities in the nation for our size. They also are looking at those issues the administration is focusing on, the workforce. Do you have the skilled workforce for the jobs that they're bringing into your community? And this is where our educational systems are critically important with USF, University of Tampa, Saint Leo, HCC, making sure that we are providing that skilled workforce for the future.
And we're doing a good job with that. That's one of the areas of focus in the City of Tampa workforce development. I hired a director for that position. We've never had one before. And we are working on all levels from the skilled trades all the way up to medical, financial, technology, looking at all of those areas that we can provide that skilled workforce.
Next is housing affordability, making sure that anyone who comes to our city will be able to live in the neighborhood that they choose. And that's critically important for our residents currently, as well, is that we cannot have families priced out of particular neighborhoods. That's one of the lessons that I learned on one of our chamber benchmarking trips to Austin, is that Austin has a very low minority population, around 7% African-American. As I said before, our city is defined by our diversity and the celebration of that. So the last thing that we can afford to do is to have families and individuals pushed out of the city because of rising home prices.
So we are laser focused on that particular area, as well, and then transportation. Transportation is a difficult one. Nothing moves quickly in transportation.
And I always say that in the South, when people talk about mass transit, what they really mean is, I want everybody else off the roads so I can drive my SUV by myself down the highway. But we are working on the transportation issues, as well. But mostly it is safety, it's education, it's work force availability, and then our housing options. And we're laser focused on all of those areas. Well, thank you, Mayor. As we go through this journey of DEI, it's an individual journey.
Companies are going through this journey, and cities are going through this journey. And as I like to say is, my wife always says, if you know better, you do better. And I think we continue to want to do better. So to everyone today, I hope you enjoy the module on community outreach. I think it's just an incredible program.
And I thank everybody at USF for pulling this together. You have the ability to build your strat plan now inside and out through your organization. So Mayor, I thank you. I can say you're the mayor of Tampa Bay. There you go. I want to thank everyone.
Enjoy tonight's module. Thank you. Come to Tampa. It's the best. Thank you so much, Mayor Castor and Mr. Griggs, for such a great discussion.
Hello, everyone. I'm Braulio Colon. And as we have seen in our previous modules, increasing diversity and creating a business model that embraces equity and inclusion is multifaceted, and it requires a comprehensive approach. We've discussed the importance of all of us undergoing a process of self-discovery and awareness. And we've gained insight on how companies can examine and confidently lean in to their own DEI journey. It's on this journey that we'll discover DEI should not just be an internal company initiative, but it should also include an intentional focus on external community engagement and outreach.
And that outreach should be designed to partner with community to address societal equity gaps and to make meaningful impact. These outreach efforts and programs should be informed by company stakeholders. And when we think of stakeholders, we should acknowledge that a company's primary stakeholders expand beyond investors and include employees that serve the company and the community members that surround it. In today's climate, the demand is very high for corporate external engagement, service, and action, particularly through a DEI lens. Much of the source of that demand are our very own employees, who view employment as a pursuit tied to more than a paycheck.
Another source are consumers, who view that their purchasing decisions are decisions that are connected to their individual mission and values. And finally, another key source for that demand for action are community leaders and influencers who carry the legacy building broader community vision and goals. Today we're going to have a deliberate discussion about how businesses are supporting diversity and inclusion in their community. We'll explore how companies are thinking about the alignment of DEI initiatives with their CSR goals and employer branding. We'll discuss the importance of co-designing DEI strategies so that they are in alignment with both company and broader stakeholder values. We'll look at partnership development and the role community organizations play in delivering the community impact outcomes that ultimately determine success.
And finally, we'll discuss the importance of corporate board membership and employee volunteerism in helping to drive our DEI community outreach vision, direction, and outcomes. We are so fortunate to be joined today by two locally based companies here in Tampa, Jabil and Bloomin' Brands, as well as their partner nonprofit community organizations Feeding Tampa Bay and the Urban League of Hillsborough County. I think you're going to find that the makeup of this panel will help observe real-life examples of what's worked and also what we've learned that can provide areas of opportunity for improvement in how we approach and execute on community partnerships through DEI.
I'm so excited to introduce our panel today. And by the way, you can find their full bios on the USF DEI website. Joining us starting with Sheilina Henry was group vice president at Bloomin' Brands; Stanley Gray, interim director for the Urban League of Hillsborough County; Bruce Johnson, executive vice president and chief human resource officer at Jabil; and Thomas Mantz, president and CEO of Feeding Tampa Bay. Welcome to all of you.
And thank you for taking the time to be a part of our discussion today. I first want to start off with just acknowledging, I mean, we are recording tonight's discussion the day the verdict was rendered in the Derek Chauvin case. And obviously, there is a lot of emotion tied to the verdict today of guilty on all three counts. I think most of the country would acknowledge that that was doing the right thing from the jury perspective.
And we have to talk about it. What does this mean? What is the emotion, the outcome, the verdict really mean to our nation and our world? And it's important to get a business perspective on that. So Thomas, I'm going to ask you as-- I'm sorry, I'm sorry, Bruce, I'm going to go to you, I'm going to go to you. As an executive at Jabil, a global company, what's your reaction to what happened today? Yeah, this is certainly something that's galvanized the nation, and it's certainly galvanized our employees.
And it's something that we've talked about internally to our company when the incident first occurred. And it's something that we continue to talk about. And interestingly enough, our topic today is the engagement of business and community. And again, what we have now is an engagement opportunity between business and community. In this particular case, it's not necessarily a lesson to be learned. It should be the beginning of something that's substantially changes how we operate within this company and how we treat each other.
And while, again, the verdict may be is satisfying to some, I doubt that it's satisfying to many in that we have a long, long way to go before we get to a place where each and every individual is comfortable being where they are, when they are, and who they are. And that's really the intent. And we've got a long way to go. So programs like these certainly begin the process. But we need to get some greater traction behind the efforts and collaboratively between business. And again, you see business now becoming more and more frequently on political and social issues.
And I believe that that's the right course, not leaving it up to the politicians, not necessarily leaving it up to the special interest group, but businesses being engaged and being involved as leaders within the community. Thank you so much for providing that perspective. And I think it's well stated.
We're going to go ahead and shift to our discussion around the DEI community outreach approach in business and some of the lessons we can learn today as being a part of this wonderful USF certificate program. Sheilina, I want to start with you, Bloomin' Brands has publicly provided its voice in support of ending systemic racism and to becoming a more inclusive organization. And one of the commitments your company has shared is around partnering with organizations that really align with that statement to ending racial justice.
Can you speak to that approach Bloomin' Brands has recently taken in the area of community partnership and development? Absolutely. Thanks for the introduction. I'll tell you that similar to the way this program is shaped, the certificate program is shaped. We started internally. And our internal mission is to create a more inclusive organization.
But that was really personal to our CEO, David Deno. Deno is a Minnesotan. So when he saw that video, he connected to what's happening in his hometown and his community in a different way than some of us.
And that has driven the organization to [INAUDIBLE] and act intentionally different than we had in the past. And as you mentioned, his passion for addressing systemic racism has cascaded throughout the entire organization. For the past 33 years, Outback Steakhouse has been a community pillar in Tampa Bay. And that carries throughout the country. Everywhere we have restaurants, our proprietors are connecting with the local community organization.
But what had to be different for us this time was similar to other organization committing dollars to help and support the Black community. We didn't want to just write a check. We wanted to make sure we give our proprietors an opportunity to connect locally with organizations. And now that the National Urban League had a footprint that master the geography of our restaurant, but more importantly, now the National urban League now use align with ours. And their mission to provide jobs, education, and an entrepreneurship mindset to the community perfectly aligns with our principles and beliefs, which are about proprietorship.
So with that, in the process, I partnered with our director of community outreach, Elizabeth Watts. We met at several organizations with around 40 local affiliates. And then I was inspired by my 15-year-old, who said to me, mommy, I just joined the National Urban League of Hillsborough County. And in my research, I was like, I haven't seen local affiliate in Hillsborough County. But as soon as she said that, I reached out to this gentleman on the screen, Stanley Gray. And I learned that he was leading the effort to reach the Urban League of Hillsborough County.
And that's when it made the decision for me. In our own backyard we can make an impact. In our community, we can help to get this organization off the ground. And I became personally committed to supporting Stan in his effort. We found that this has been a successful partnership not just because across the country we're feeding volunteers who are helping the homeless, we're feeding voters who are trying to get to the polls and volunteers who are helping voters get to the polls. But we are also doing hiring events and giving people an opportunity to start a job with us, and learn how to run a business, and be on the pathway to proprietorship.
That's really what makes this partnership is we are lying on our values, we have a geographic footprint that matches. and right in our own backyard we can make an even bigger splash by supporting Stanley and his efforts to the Hillsborough County chapter. That's great.
Thank you, Shellina, for sharing that background and context on how Bloomin Brands has really engaged in the community. Stanley, I want to shift-- I want to ask you, as a military veteran and businessman, your career truly has bridged service and business. And more recently, you've helped lead a community dialogue about the need to do more to ensure economic equity for African-American and minority communities. Shellina mentioned very well that this connection to her company and the aligned values. Can you speak to the role business has played in this effort that you've led? And more specifically, can you add to what Shellina has said about the partnership with Bloomin Brand? Well, I think that Shellina's really covered all the bases, probably two or three times.
But one of the things that you really have to look at when you look at the mission of the Urban League, and that is to bring or assist with the attainment of economic equity. And if you're a realist about it, the first thing that you have to understand is that many people have lost hope, and there's this little circle of hopelessness. So what you have to do is figure out a way to break that. And what we've decided to do is that we don't work with any company that does not pledge to help people get to $21 an hour, which is a living wage, within two years. Now, that's not a guarantee.
That's not like step promotions or step increases. You have to do the work, you have to attain the skills, and you have to perform. But we found that there are a lot of companies and organizations that have that ability within our community, but they're not doing it. Now, we've also decided that we are going to be an organization that is going to be focused on relationships with our community partners, and organizations, and companies.
And the reason why is that we're going to produce something that everybody in the community is going to have a benefit from. Why wouldn't you want to have a homegrown, well-trained and well-worked workforce as opposed to being reliant on government grants and the likes? So the relationship with Bloomin' Brands really works perfectly for us. Because one is our philosophies match up, our temperaments match up, and our ultimate goals match up. And we have probably two or three within the community, but I'd like to stand up and give them a shout out because they were the first. And it's not about money.
I mean, granted, we want your money. I'm not going to lie about that. But it's not about that. It's more about helping us with funds to operate, but also helping us find opportunities for people so they can buy their own homes. They can buy their own electricity.
They can buy their own food. We are a collaborative hands-up organization, and organizations like Bloomin' Brands, they help us execute our mission in the manner that we want to do. That's great. Stanley, one of the things that I've heard you describe, and I kind of want you to dive a little deeper if I can ask you, is you talk about this importance of having a commitment on both sides in a partnership and community outcomes and the impact that that takes place in the community. Can you talk more about that shared commitment on not just the aligned values, but on actually the outcomes of the work? Well, I'll give you a real good example.
Our whole giving process, we call it performance-based giving. And when we approach a potential partner, we have five areas that we work in-- employment, education, medical, housing, and judicial. And what we do is we say, which one of these areas would you like your money or your fund to be committed to? And then what we do is we come up with some goals and objectives collectively. Now, we ask for a three year give.
If we don't execute to what our commitment is, that is the Urban League of Hillsborough County commitment, we don't expect the commitment to be executed in second and third from our partners. And I think that that's a very realistic and fair way to look at this. Thank you for that. Thank you for that. Bruce, I want to head over to you again.
You are leading a manufacturing solutions company that has over 260,000 employees across the globe. So that means that capacity, that footprint, that reach has huge potential in terms of community outreach. So here in Tampa, I know in our previous planning sessions we've talked about how you're really focused on closing the socioeconomic gap in our community and in mobilizing your employees around that. Can you talk a little bit about that approach, and then your partnership with Feeding Tampa Bay as a key partner in helping to deliver on that mission? Be glad to. I first want to-- most of my career has been credited by borrowing others' ideas.
So the first thing I want to do is invite Stanley to come out and meet with Jabil so that we can learn more about the program. So Stanley, you have an open invitation to reach out to us here on St Pete, on the other side of the bridge. I think what I'd like to talk about first is we're not doing things differently here than we do any place else in the world. And so we believe there are four foundation areas that we concentrate on. We want to do well financially, because we're a publicly traded company, and we have shareholders that have an expectation.
But we also-- we want to do good in the communities in which we live and work. And it's an and proposition. And by the way, that proposition is beginning to resonate with the investment community, with bankers, with shareholders. We certainly have the full support of the board to make certain that it's just not about making money. It's, in fact, a purpose-driven organization. And so that's the first piece, and that's imbued everywhere around the world is when you join our organization, doing well financially and doing good in the community is part of what we do.
We're also committed to decentralization of decision making. So we trust our employees to make business decisions each and every day no matter where they are, and we trust our employees to understand what's going on in their communities and to get engaged in their communities with their issues. By definition, we're a diverse company because we're in every geography. But there are unique circumstances in each community, and we don't want to dictate that.
Thirdly, we want to be a lifetime employer. We want this to be the last place you ever work. And we marry that, again, to our community engagement. We want partners that we have long term relationships with. Not just now. Not particular-- we will do things on occasion that are one time, but our genuine interest, very similar with Shellina, is not simply giving money.
It's sweat equity. And by the way, we're a manufacturer, and we have great skills. We got people that can put things together. We've got people that can really assist businesses and assist communities meaningfully. And then the fourth area of the foundation, really, is we don't have a budget. We're not going to dictate that you have a certain amount of money to spend each and every year.
We believe that there's merit associated with every request that we get, and it really begins from the bottom up. It begins with our employees being passionate about what's going on in their community, approaching us for that level of engagement. And that really sometimes surprises people that we don't have a budget. Now, I don't want to say we have limitless money, because everyone that's on this call today will come and call us.
We say no more than we say yes. In the case of Thomas's organization, Feeding Tampa Bay, it's a relatively easy decision for us. We try to guide our employees in terms of the community engagement between education, health, and environmental consciousness. We're a manufacturer.
We want to leave this planet better than what we've inherited it. In this particular case, in our community we've got 2,000 people that live all across Tampa Bay. They're not all in Pinellas or Hillsborough County. They're everywhere. And when we recognized that there was an opportunity where we had folks, we had 1.7 million of our neighbors
as a result of COVID and economic issues that were going on that had food insecurity. We always look for the partners that have similar values very similar to what Stanley and Shellina have done. In this case, we had an organization that, again, high integrity.
You know what's going on. They were certainly looking for money, but they were looking for sweat equity and they were looking for leadership. And those are the three areas that we like to contribute to. And again, we want to make a longer term relationship with an organization.
And by the way, and Thomas can certainly talk to this himself, this is not just handing out meals to the 1.7 million of our neighbors. And that's how we think about it. Stanley talked about hiring people local. That's what we do. We want people to be local.
We want to hire local people. We want them to stay local, and we want to move them up in our company. And so we're a lifetime community advocate. We're a lifetime employer, and it plays very well to an organization that also has stretch and reach outside of the immediate Tampa Bay area in terms of their affiliation with Feeding America. Thank you for that, Bruce. Thomas, you know, as Bruce mentioned, you're on the front lines of fighting hunger, right? Feeding Tampa Bay is committed to that.
Much of the resources and support that Feeding Tampa Bay receives comes through the development of business partnerships, and you have many corporate partners. So can you talk to us about your experience in developing those partnerships, and what's worked well, and what hasn't? Thank you, and thanks for having me on the panel tonight. I'm excited to be here and listening to my colleagues speak.
Inspires, I think, all of us, and reminds us why we do what we do. So Braullio, when we think about our work at Feeding Tampa Bay we believe that the provision of food which we do as well as the provision of resources in the form of training-- job training, other benefits and services about the creation of equity. They allow the folks that we serve to find a place of equity in the communities they live by providing resources that otherwise their household wouldn't have. So fundamentally as we think about our work, that's at the core of what we do. And everybody has used the same word, and I want to use that word again now, which is this is about community.
We all live in this community. We all care about this community. We were all fortunate to find ourselves in this community. And again, as Bruce just said a moment ago, as we think about something like the pandemic, but we also know it's true of the issues that came out through the Chauvin trial that were mentioned earlier.
This is all about the neighbors that we have, the friends that we live next door. In our vocabulary, there is no them, there's an us. And the reality of what we're trying to do is find a way to create a community that benefits all.
We fundamentally believe that communities are made stronger not by the top but by the bottom. If you lift the folks who are struggling the most up further, it lifts the entire community. And I think talking about values-- and Bruce mentioned this about his corporation which I think is incredibly important.
That is their giving theology is driven by their colleagues. And I think that sends such a strong message to everybody around how we approach good partnership. And so to answer your question specifically, what good charities do is we allow organizations and corporations, as we often say, to connect with their best selves. All the corporations that we would talk today-- Bloomin' Brands, and Jabil, but many, many others-- really want to have an impact in the community. And when we do our job well, we provide pathways to make that happen.
So as Bruce mentioned, we would have a multi-platform relationship with someone like Jabil. They provide us funds, which of course, is helpful, but they provide us volunteers. And they did that during a very difficult time with Jabil, but they also give us the opportunity to give voice to our cause.
One of the greatest challenges all of us in the nonprofit arena have is getting a loud enough voice to stand up and say, this issue matters. We need folks to come alongside, and will you help us with that? And Jabil being willing to do that, to give the power of their voice to our cause, lifts our work in ways that we couldn't otherwise do it. So if you're familiar with churches, it's time, talent, and treasure, but it's also the gift of voice. And so as we think about all of our partners, we want for them to believe strongly in the cause that we're here to support, and we want them to be committed to our community. I loved the way that the Urban League was talking, and Stanley was talking about that they have certain standards by which they want to conduct themselves and their partnerships. Because when we look at food insecurity and we look at equity, we look at the work that we do, we think about it with three different groups of people-- those we serve with, our colleagues; those we serve alongside, our partners like Jabil; and those we serve.
And when we look at a lens of equity, we need to make sure that everybody in those relationships have a place of equity, and that all the relationships we're in with those folks care about equity. Because ultimately, and you've heard this a couple of times today, what we all understand is that good commitment and partnership starts with similar values. And I feel 100% comfortable in saying that Jabil, Bruce, and I all have the same values, which is a desire to make sure that our community is better, a desire to make sure that our neighbors who need a hand up get it, a desire to make sure that we work collaboratively and collegially to make sure that the community we choose to call home is the best place that we all could dream up. Thomas, thank you for that.
I want us to go a little deeper now as we think about what's ahead. What are some lessons that we've learned? What are some things that we can be doing better as a business community and as community partners? And Shellina, I want to start with you, because I think there's some lessons learned within the Bloomin Brands philosophy and approach to community partnership, and I'd love to hear from you. What are some of those lessons? Are there discussions happening right now internally that are really aimed at being better, getting more targeted with how you partner? Absolutely. I want to reflect back to 2020.
As we're in the middle of two pandemics, you have organizations turning their Instagram into black squares, and making commitments of huge dollars, and specifically saying we want to provide financial support to the black community and communities of color. But everyone's reaching out at the same time. But one of the lessons we learned is as we're reaching out and the other organizations are reaching out, there is a vetting process.
As Stanley mentioned, he has a standard for corporate partners, and we have to be patient in that vetting process. Just as much as we were intentional about finding organizations that align with our values, organizations like the Urban League are out there looking for people who align with their values. And so you cannot get tired in this work.
If you are going to be committed, you have to stick it out for the long haul. And sometimes, it takes a few sessions to really find out, do we have the right synergies? Is this going to be a successful long-term partnership? We were committing to five years of partners across the country, and who are we going to select? Because this is supposed to be a marriage, not a dating relationship. So I think there is intentionality in how we go about finding those partners, but we also have to be patient with the process and give organizations the opportunity to vet you as well as the other hundreds of corporations reaching out to make sure they have the right connections. Thank you, Shellina. That's a great point. I want to build on that a little bit, because you talked about being intentional.
You talked about vetting and being very focused on who you partner with. And you had a tone about-- you really touched on readiness. You touched on this idea of being ready for partnership.
And Stanley, I want to go to you, because the last several years there's been a huge emphasis on racial justice, and colorism, and this idea of we need to do more as a business community in helping our black neighbors. And so from your perspective, I can only imagine that you saw a wave of interest coming your way to the Urban League because the Urban League is the Urban League. And how many new relationships came your way versus established relationships and those trusted relationships? Can you speak to how you navigate this wave of interest from new relationships to those that are trusted and long term? Well, I guess I'm going to add a little reality to this. One of the things is the Urban League actually went out of business about 18 years ago. And the manner that it did so, it really upset a lot of people. And when I'm saying a lot of people, it's more people within the African-American community.
The Urban League really didn't have a lot of strong business relationships. I'd probably say 70% to 80% of their capital came from grants. And as I indicated a few minutes ago, that is not something that you really want to do. One of the real challenges that we have, and I'm just going to be very blunt, is that a lot of times the organizations are companies that aren't really committed to true growth and true equity and equality.
What they do is they take the easy way, and that is they go listen to the loudest voices within the African-American community. And a lot of times, those loudest voices, they really don't have the interests of the whole African-American community. They have the interest of themselves.
Well, if you're not really committed in a relationship that's measurable, the easy path is to listen to the loud voices. And the loud voices usually complain, but they never talk about what they can't have, but they tell you what they don't have. The organization that we are building, we're not in that mantra at all. And again, as Shellina indicated, we think it's a marriage.
So we need to both vet each other. Because we're not looking for-- now granted, I would like somebody to just give me a lot of money with six or seven figures, but the truth of the matter, that's not going to happen. I would like it, but the truth is I really want somebody who could give us some committed funds and could commit their employees to be a part of the solution.
Because see, we're looking for this as a long term, not as a short term. And I'll be very truthful with you. There is a lot of corporate guilt money out there, and I can tell you we've been very disciplined by not going after it. Excellent.
Really appreciate that point, Stanley. Bruce, when you think about Jabil and even earlier, you provided an invitation for Stanley to come over and have a discussion on how Jabil might be able to support and align missions. What are the discussions taking place within Jabil around being better, doing more, being more focused? I mean, can you speak to some of those conversations and maybe some specifics on where you see opportunities? Yeah, there's a lot of advantages to being a large company, and there's a lot of disadvantages to being a large company. And when you have 260,000 employees in over 30 countries, somehow they can be defined as employees and not individuals.
And so we're having a focus, we're having discussion, we're doing surveys. It begins with, again, one of our core values, which is respect for the individual. We demand and we expect everyone in the workplace to respect their colleague. They don't have to agree with their views.
They don't have to do the same activities. They can be as different as they'd like to be. And in that, I think, we do a fairly good job. What we really want to migrate to is we want everyone in our organization-- we believe that we hire the whole person. But when you're at work, you sometimes think at home. And when you're at home, you sometimes think of work.
And again, we're engaged in the community with your family. So we'd like to believe we hired the whole person. And we want that person to be authentic in who they are. And most importantly, we want 260,000 individuals to say that I feel comfortable at work. I can be me. And I can be accepted, and I can be respected, and I can be given the opportunities to advance my career should I choose to be irrespective of any type of differences that we have.
And we've made a real effort at that. We've listened. We've got a diversity council from folks around the globe. And again, that's very intriguing when you bring people in from Asia, and Europe, and different people of color, et cetera in this diversity council.
Because again, not everyone is equally aligned on what their agenda is. What's most important for us is listening to our audience-- listening to our single biggest competitive advantage, which are the people that actually work with us each and every day. And so if you listen to the employees, whether it's engagement in the community or whether it's enhancing your work environment in the DEI area, I think you're well served. And there's no resistance from our leadership team to listen, but perhaps there's been too many assumptions that we need to correct on a go-forward basis. Thank you for that transparency, Bruce, and that acknowledgment that there's more work to do.
We've got areas that we can improve on, and I think that speaks to all of us and all of our organizations where we work. Thomas, you know, whether you're for profit or non-profit, the commitment to DEI is in both sectors. And so, Thomas, can you speak to some of the conversations you've been having within your leadership team around diversity, and equity, and inclusion on areas that you see of opportunities for improvement? Yeah, and I think it's a great question. Because I think as everybody has said, I think Shellina said this at the beginning, which is important.
We had a saying internally, no sneaker commercials. We weren't going to go out and issue some sort of statement that said we understood, we're committed. We thoughtfully did not do any of that. What we did was we had already had a culture partner on board, but we also brought in a DEI partner, and we spent six months listening to our colleagues starting to institute training programs to help us better understand. And I would say in many ways as an organization that is really committed to the idea that every human being we serve and serve with has a dignity and value that is esteemable and worth caring about and committing to, the reality is we had some work to do, as well.
And we wanted to spend some time listening, understanding. I heard stories from some of our colleagues in circumstances that they had been in when they went to a particular place and delivered food. And the way in which they were treated, or some of the stories of their own personal circumstances that talking about them now, you can't help but feel emotional and think no human being in this world should go through that. And it really helped reframe our conversation internally. And so we have been building out like every other good organization to make sure that we have practices and programs over the longer haul. Because if we're going to be honest and true in the community, we have to be honest and true in our organization.
So we had work that we had to do and will need to do. And so from that, I think if you're watching this module, the very first thing you have to understand is that if you're not who you think you are or say you are, there's no way that you can be who you think you are or say you are in the community. And I think for us, that was a watchword and has been a watchword as we move forward. And I want to tie one other piece to this, which is what Stanley mentioned. There is a huge difference in our world between a donor and a partner. A donor simply wants to use you perhaps to make a donation, but they want to use you or your cause to say, hey, I'm going to give you some support.
But partners step into the moment with you, they step into the cause with you, they step into the opportunity with you. And as Shellina in the Urban League talked about, they have a long term relationship where they're both very committed to what they're doing. I would think Bruce and I feel the same way, but I think that's what we hope that corporations do, that community citizens do. That everybody says, let's step into the causes we care about and make sure that we invest. Because again, I'll use another church reference. If you want to know what you care about, look at your datebook or your checkbook.
Because those are the two ways you know what you're committed to. And I think for all of us when I would look at somebody like Jabil, I would say that if they looked at their checkbook or their datebook, they have a significant degree of commitment to the issues that we care about. And then turning the question back to us, I feel strongly that we're doing the hard work necessary to make sure that we can be the organization that every one of our colleagues stands up and says, I'm proud to work here, and I'm proud to do this work here. Braulio, if I could, I just want to add some emphasis to this.
Because I looked at the demographics of the audience that's listening to us today, and I want to make certain that people recognize, this is not just a US problem. We have our own issues here. It's not just a race issue.
It's not a gender issue. There are issues all around the globe that need to be addressed, and engagement becomes very critical. Stanley, go to you.
Well, to follow what Bruce just said, I think that history repeats itself. And I would offer everybody who's listening on this to read the book Cast because it'll give you a real broad perspective of the challenges at hand. And it's not something that we alone in the United States experience, but unfortunately we've kind of written the book on discrimination in the United States.
And I'm not trying to get anyone all riled up about it, but if you read this book and then don't believe everything that the author says, I want you to go do your own research, especially the first 100 pages. You'll see that there's opportunities at hand to really maximize the whole entire workforce. I mean, as a nation, how well are we going to continue to do where we are right now throwing away 30% to 40% of our workforce? We're writing them off. We can't continue to do that.
So Stanley, I appreciate that, because it adds some balance to this idea that the US has played a role in the leading the world in its consciousness, if you will, as it relates to race. So a lot of folks look to the US for our leadership on issues, and in the race area I think it's fair to say we've dropped the ball. It's way out of bounds, right? And we've got a long way to go, and I think it's the US responsibility to help lead the world again. But in this case, lead the world on race relations and racial equity. We have that opportunity as a country, but it takes business leadership, as well.
We're not going to be able to do that from the ground up. We need business leaders to come alongside us. Again, I think that you're right.
It takes business leaders, but the business leaders have to start asking some questions why is it the way it is. And I'm just going to throw you a couple examples. I graduated 44 years ago from the United States Naval Academy. My class today still has the largest African-American male class that ever graduated from Naval Academy.
Up to two years ago, we were the largest African-American class male or female that graduated from the Naval Academy. There's no excuse for that. I served in the United States Marine Corps. I was the first African-American reconnaissance company commander. The second one was 30 something years after me, and he looks just like me. For those of you who do not understand the word colorism and the concepts of it, I'm telling you a whole lot.
I think that we as a business community have an opportunity to set standards and go forward. And I do believe that with collaborative, focused, and committed relationships, I think that we have an opportunity to be a model. And I'm not just saying that to say that. I really believe that we can.
[INTERPOSING VOICES] Real quick, today's verdict really basically said that we're going to hold you accountable if you are in a state of misconduct. I think that when you look at all these things, this just shows you that we have the right temperature to get right on this subject. Absolutely. And Stanley, it takes leadership. Shellina, before I go to you, I just want to acknowledge it takes leadership, right? And leadership within our organization is critical.
We have our board governance structure, we have our executive leadership structure. And when you apply the lens of race and gender on the boards that we're seeing across the country, on the steam for executive leadership that we're seeing across the country, there there's a lot of work to do there. And I think it's with that diversity at that level that begins to help inform and bring additional acumen, if you will, to an organization that will help bring out some of the solutions. Shellina, what are your thoughts? You just dropped a lot there, so there's a lot to unpack. So give me a minute I wanted to jump off of Stanley's comment, but it ties back to what Bruce was saying.
If we're going to shift this workforce, we have to listen to our people. And I continue to be inspired by the generation that follows the millennials, and I have a couple in my household. And the reason I'm inspired is because they are challenging systems, and they are breaking processes. But also in 2020, this young group of 18 and under was the first group where the majority population was people of color. They are black, hispanic, and so get ready.
There is a shift coming in this country. So we need to prepare ourselves now for a workforce that looks very different five, 10 years from now, and put ourselves in a position to engage them, and make sure that there is space for them to truly be their best self, as Thomas said. But when you talk about board seats, I really appreciate you saying that. Because I'm on a board of a nonprofit out of Chicago because I have a passion for helping young black girls like me who grew up on the streets of Chicago in the south side in the neighborhood of Inglewood. And there could be a very different story that I would tell about myself if there weren't for community organizations like the Urban League, like the Girl Scouts even, who would look at us and say, we want you to be a part of this organization.
But there are too many people chasing titles. And when I think about my relationship with Stanley, it would be very easy for me to say, hey, I want to sit on your board of directors. I'll have something to put on my resume-- something to tell people about in my organization. I tell Stanley, I would rather sit on the advisory board wear my sweat equity, my talent, my skills as a community organizer, as a logistics person and operations leader can be most effective in activating the next generation. And I think that we need more people with the heart for this work and less people chasing a title, and recognition, and resume building.
Well, we have just a few minutes left. Thank you, Shellina. I completely agree. There's a lot of work to be done, and I think we all have an opportunity through partnership and through constructive dialogue and trust building to really make that happen across all sectors in all industries. I just want to thank everybody. But before we close out, I want to ask Bruce and Thomas, any final words, since we kind of went around the horn a little bit.
Any final words on what we've been discussing? Well, I would just ask that the folks that are listening to this do something. There's 140,000 people on the call. If 140,000 people do something, that begins to make a dent.
And again, in our company, every voice makes a difference. And to Shellina's point, the new generation coming in, they really believe their voice makes a difference. And so go out and do something. Make something happen. Listen to your employees. They'll let you know where you should be engaged.
Thank you. Thomas, last word. I would just say that great communities are built by great, committed organizations and people.
And that's if you want to live in a great community, get involved. Thank you. Great final statement. Thank you everybody for participating in this panel. Shellina, thank you. Stanley, thank you so much.
Bruce, appreciate you being here. And Thomas, thank you so much for your time. This has been great. Giving back to our local communities has been a core element of Jabil's culture since the company was founded in 1965. And now, over 50 years later, our belief is even stronger that we have a responsibility to make a difference in the communities where we work and live.
But what makes Jabil uniq