SIM Boston Black Lives Matter Working Group Update
SIM Boston leadership would like to share an update about the activities of The Black Lives Matter Working Group and invite all SIM Boston members to get involved in this effort.
In June 2020, Jim Martin, then President of SIM Boston, sent an email communication to all SIM Boston members seeking input on how to improve equity and inclusion within the chapter and to support the Black Lives Matter movement. The SIM Boston Black Lives Matter Working Group (BLMWG) was formed as a result, with Jackie Albrecht as the leader. We began brainstorming possible actions, collaborating using Ideaflip, which can be viewed here. The following SIM Boston Black Lives Matter statement was posted on LinkedIn and our website:
“SIM Boston believes that BLACK LIVES MATTER. A leader’s responsibility is to lean in and be an agent and sponsor of change. As a community of IT professionals, SIM Boston commits itself to creating a forum to share strategies and solutions that advance the diversity of IT leadership and talent in our local communities, including individuals who are Black, Latinx and women or who identify with other under- represented groups. As part of our programs and events, SIM Boston will encourage dialog and interaction on addressing inequities in workplaces and our communities and amplify the promotion of our Outreach Partners."
The BLMWG categorized and prioritized their ideas which were then voted on by the board members at the September meeting. As a result, SIM Boston will focus on three main areas in order to create measurable goals for the Chapter:
- Surface micro volunteer opportunities for our members..
- Offer our membership training opportunities in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)
- Create member diversity in SIM Boston
The BLMWG has been busy planning to achieve these goals in 2021 through the following actions:
The BLMWG will continue to meet every other Tuesday from 5 to 6 PM starting February 9th. If you are interested in joining us, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add you to the invite.
- On February 2nd, as part of our support to DEI and our Outreach partners, we promoted the MA Advantage event, Tapping Tech Diversity through Alternate Talent Pipelines. SIM Boston Board Member Jim Whalen, working with the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC), organized this community event which spotlighted 8 education and training providers focused on developing diverse talent. SIM Boston was one of the event sponsors and Jackie introduced the training & education partners at this online event.
- On April 22, 2021, the BLMWG, in collaboration with the Technology Leadership Series co-chairs, delivered a member DEI training opportunity. This interactive workshop, titled "The Impact of Unconscious Bias at Work", was led by Marguerite Fletcher of Fletcher Consulting, and provided opportunities for attendees to understand and explore the implicit biases we all have.
- An Outreach Tribe will be formed to feature SIM Boston members who have volunteered their time with our Outreach Partners. These members will share their stories and answer questions for any members who are curious about getting involved with our Outreach partners in the informal Tribe Meeting format. Planning is underway for this event and we expect it to be scheduled for May.
- We are working with our Outreach partners to create a list of all upcoming volunteer opportunities for 2021. We will work with the Outreach committee to recruit potential volunteers and match them to the opportunities. Opportunities range from a one hour time slot to review a resume and give interviewing tips to a year long mentoring commitment, and everything in between.
- We have begun the work to stand up a common collaboration platform (i.e., Slack) for our chapter and will dedicate a channel for the BLMWG group to facilitate ongoing discussion.
We encourage you to visit our Outreach partners’ sites to learn more about their work and how you can help: https://www.simboston.org/outreach