A Message on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion from CEO, Russ Klein

Jun 7, 2020blog, News

Earlier this week, the CEO of the AMA published a statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Below is a transcription of this important message: 

The American Marketing Association (AMA) is heartened to learn that the Minneapolis police responsible for the killing of George Floyd (whether the primary actor or those who stood by and did nothing) have been arrested and will be tried for their crimes. It is not a time for passivity. As good as it might make us feel about ourselves, positive intentions, altruistic motives, and empathetic sentiments are not enough. As MLK Jr. so elegantly asserted, “Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.”

Let’s also remember these monsters are not the best of us. Nor are the interlopers who have exploited George Floyd’s tragic death to do harm to the people and property of the very underserved, impoverished communities for whom peaceful protestors are taking a stand.

The AMA mission to support meaningful careers and communities in marketing, which in turn spur economic growth and social progress that raise the standard of living for everyone. An explicit commitment to the values (and behaviors) in service of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is inherent and fundamental to the AMA mission. As much as this dark moment in our history has shocked the sensibilities of every American, the AMA did not need to be awakened to the insidious rot of racism in our society. We acknowledge while we have had many initiatives in place, we can do more, be better, and redouble that commitment particularly in light of the public outcry and impassioned expectations to see more from institutions and their leaders.

George Floyd’s funeral can be a rebirth of accelerated advancement toward a newly created future, defined by the inherent values of DEI, into which we can usher today’s marketers and tomorrow’s marketing hopefuls. We will continue to work closely with our AMA community leaders across industry, academia, and colleges and universities in that pursuit. No matter your race, gender, disabilities, the way you love and choose to be loved; if you believe in the super-powers of responsible marketing to contribute to a better world, then the AMA community is for you.

Godspeed to the friends, families, and victims who have suffered so greatly at the hands of the very people entrusted with their safety, protection, and civil liberties.


Russ Klein || CEO

American Marketing Association

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