Delta continued to elevate the conversation on equity by convening a panel of our partners during the recent 51st Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. in Washington, D.C. The first time Delta has participated in this esteemed gathering of policy experts, community leaders and Members of Congress, the panel featured leaders from Goal Setter, OneTen, Responsible Business Initiative for Justice (RBIJ) and the Organization of Black Aviation Professionals (OBAP).
“It was a uniquely intentional conversation with partners we are working with to disrupt inequitable systems,” said Ashley Black, Managing Director of Equity Strategies in the Office of Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “We were honored to host this conversation with an audience of influential and action-focused conference attendees to invite them to join us, and each of our partners, in this work to connect people to equitable outcomes.”
Delta’s “Equity is the Motive: Corporate Partnerships DrivingOutcomes with Impact” panel featured:
(left to right: Ashley Black, Managing Director of Equity Strategies – Delta Air Lines, Maurice Jones, CEO – OneTen, Justin Biassou, Board of Directors – Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, Tanya Van Court, CEO – Goal Setter, Ashley Furst, Senior Program Manager – Responsible Business Initiative for Justice.
Delta is actively engaged with each organization to accelerate measurable change in the way we do business — from reimagining our talent strategies and hiring practices to inspiring the next generation of aviation professionals — and we are influencing other corporations and organizations to do the same.
Taylor Collins, Delta Board Council representative for Reservations and Customer Care and Eric Hendrick, Director, Pilot Outreach, Recruitment and Selection also participated in the conference engaging with key government and other stakeholders.
During Delta’s panel, Biassou put it simply that “without OBAP, and support from Delta, I wouldn’t be here.”
A little over 20 years ago, Biassou participated in a “Dream Flight” with the ACE Academy in Atlanta where students with an interest in aviation flew Delta to Washington, D.C. to explore the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum. At the age of 12, his journey to the cockpit had begun. He earned his private pilot’s license at 17 going on to become a multi-engine instrument rated pilot. Now a Member of the Board of Directors for OBAP, he noted that “the mentorship, training and career mapping was simply not going to happen for me if not for OBAP and we have to keep changing that, expanding this industry, for more young people.”
Tanya Van Court made her point about the critical need for financial literacy with a jaw-dropping recount of stock options she once received early in her career plummeting from close to $1 million in value to $20,000 within months, and the fact that she had no idea how or why that happened.
“You don’t know what you don’t know,” she said about then realizing that even with her education and credentials, she was woefully ill-equipped to understand let alone harness financial opportunities beyond a salary. “I was determined to not let that be so for my children, and for so many other children growing up without access to the knowledge necessary to identify and overcome inequity that prevents building generational wealth.”
Tanya, a former executive at Nickelodeon, went on to found Goal Setter, an education-based financial services app focused on a “whole family” approach to teaching saving and investment principles. Last year, Goal Setter launched “One Stock. One Future,” an initiative to invite Fortune 1000 companies to make one million Black and Hispanic and Latino youth shareholders. Delta provided 1,000 shares of stock last October.
ALC is CBCF’s leading public policy meeting on issues impacting African Americans and the global black community. This year’s event returned to an in-person gathering, after being virtual for two years, in Washington, D.C., and featured more than 100 policy sessions and special events hosted by the CBCF, Members of Congress and sponsors.
“Our inaugural sponsorship with the CBCF was an honor and we will we continue to find the best forums to tell the Delta equity story through our partners,” said Cherie Wilson – Vice President, Government Affairs – Sustainability and chief organizer of the event. “But to be clear, Delta is committed to more than conversation. We are making tangible investments that drive outcomes with measurable impact on the workforce and within communities. We want to do the real work.”