04/20/2023 | by Sarah Borchersen-Keto

Championing change related to diversity, equity, and inclusion matters requires organizations to actively commit people and resources to the task, to clarify that change is everybody’s responsibility, and to build coalitions wherever possible, says Adjoa B. Asamoah, an advocate of racial equity and an award-winning social impact strategist.

Asamoah, a keynote speaker at Nareit's REITwise: 2023 Law, Accounting & Finance Conference, developed the legislative strategy for the CROWN Act and leads the movement on behalf of the CROWN Coalition to end race-based hair discrimination.

Speaking on the Nareit REIT Report, she described the CROWN Act as a “blueprint for championing change,” and added that it has been “groundbreaking on so many fronts and really shows that people can have a role in creating the society that they want to live in.”

Turning to how organizations can use the CROWN Act as a blueprint for change on the DEI front, Asamoah stressed that without a true commitment of people and resources, lofty mission statements and visions are just paying lip service to the goal.

Asamoah said that when thinking about championing change within a complex organization, “I just want to reiterate and underscore the need for all members of an organization, or even an industry, to really just realize that it is everybody's responsibility and not just the responsibility of those at the top.”

At the same time, she noted that coalition building is “truly invaluable. It is one of the things that can really add force to your movement.” She stressed the need to leverage your own network, but to also think about who else may care about the issue. “I truly encourage people to think about finding commonality with other people to strengthen your position when you are trying to champion change,” she said.

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