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Home Court Advantage: Promoting Pro-Level Diversity (August Chapter Meeting)
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August Chapter Meeting

When: Wednesday, August 14, 2019
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Where: Maggiano's, Buckhead
3368 Peachtree Rd.
Atlanta, Georgia  30326
United States
Contact: Jennifer Brinkley
(888) 533-9937

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August Chapter Meeting, presented by Nzinga Shaw, SVP, Community and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Atlanta Hawks & State Farm Arena

Sports legend is made of professional teams and athletes who become champions of their leagues, creating passionate fans who buy into their stories of persistence, resilience and athleticism.  In stark contrast, when a number of sport franchisees came under fire in 2014 for actions that players and owners took off the court, these once passionate fans became angry and disenfranchised.  That is, until the Atlanta Hawks faced off against its toughest pre-season challenge in club history: racism.  Set against the sensational backdrop of the widely reported remarks of LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling coupled with Atlanta being the civil rights capital of the nation, news quickly spread when leaks in the media reported that the Atlanta Hawks were guilty of using discriminatory and hurtful language. This included emails that had been sent by the majority owner that referenced the fan base of the Hawks as being “too black” and the General Manager’s comments from a scouting report saying that one of the top recruits the team was considering had a “little too much African in him.”  Facing damning headlines and blistering commentary on social channels, the Hawks put a plan in place to rebound from the crisis, defend against misinformation and position the team to score points in the court of public opinion. What ensued was a focused, deliberate and sincere effort by the Hawks to win back the heart and soul of “The City Too Busy to Hate.” Soon after this situation, Nzinga Shaw left her position as Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Edelman and was hired as the Hawks (and NBA’s) first Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer. Currently, as an advocate for diversity in sports, Shaw’s efforts enabled the Hawks to undergo important internal changes, protect and grow its fan base and build a stronger bond with the community. It’s too early to tell if the Hawks will win the championship next year in the NBA but it’s clear they have Played it Forward Against Racism with Shaw leading the way.  They owned up to committing a foul, but they also committed to practicing diversity and inclusion moving forward, steps that have already made them an early favorite among fans in Atlanta. Shaw will address the importance of multi-dimensional diversity and provide participants with actionable steps that they can take to incorporate inclusive leadership skills into their strategic business operations.


Speaker Information

Nzinga Shaw is currently the chief diversity & inclusion officer and concurrently serves as the senior vice president, community for the Atlanta Hawks & State Farm Arena organization. She is the first person to hold the CDIO position in the National Basketball Association and for all 122 North American professional sports teams. Shaw serves as a member of the Executive Committee and provides guidance to the leadership team to engender inclusion in every facet of the business. Shaw has developed a strategy to embed equity in all programmatic activities, governance and daily administration of the organization. She is focused on building a foundation that will advance this strategy as a core component of the Atlanta Hawks brand, and to drive the business. This initiative extends to fans, customers, community partners and to every employee within the workforce.

Prior to joining the Atlanta Hawks, Shaw has been at the forefront of leading organizational change through diversity. She served as senior vice president of diversity & inclusion at Edelman, the world’s largest and most profitable public relations/integrated marketing agency. While leading diversity at Edelman, Shaw was also the senior vice president of human resources for the southeast and southwest regions. For the past 15 years, she has worked as a human resources practitioner at ESSENCE Magazine, the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network, and the National Football League. Recently, Shaw was appointed by the NBA to serve on the Global Inclusion Council. The GIC provides strategic guidance and serve as a catalyst for the league-wide diversity and inclusion strategy, drives an inclusive and innovative culture and increases the economic value of the NBA League office and teams. Shaw created and curates Hawks MOSAIC (Model of Shaping Atlanta through Inclusive Conversations) which is a solution-based symposium that brings together local Atlanta leaders and business owners to discuss issues related to diversity in sports. Shaw is also credited with pioneering the Hawks’ Unity Weekend which celebrates the different cultures and backgrounds of fans, players and team employees. The Atlanta Hawks & Philips Arena won the 2017 Cynopsis “Social Good” award for their Unity Weekend efforts.

Shaw is a recipient of several industry awards including Sports Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” award, Sports Business Journal’s “Game Changers” award, Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “40 Under 40” award, Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “Women Who Mean Business” award, The Network Journal “40 Under Forty” award, the Network Journal’s “Top 25 Most Influential Black Women in Business” award, PR Week “40 Under 40” award, AOL’s “MAKERS” award, National Medical Fellowships “Diversity Excellence Leader” award, the Society for Diversity’s “Innovation and Inclusion Leadership” award and the Council of Urban Professionals “Breakthrough Leadership” award. Shaw was selected by 39th United States President - Jimmy Carter to serve a 3-year term on the Board of Councilors of The Carter Center.  She is also on the Board of Directors of Microsoft’s youthSpark initiative, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce (GCC) and the GCC Diversity Council, and ADMAG - Atlanta Diversity Management Advocacy Group. Shaw is currently in Leadership Atlanta and a recent graduate of the Atlanta Regional Commission - Regional Leadership Institute. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and is an alumna of Spelman College (BA), the University of Pennsylvania (MLA) and was a study abroad scholar at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.


Location Information

Maggiano's offers valet parking for $2 and self-parking in their garage which is complimentary. 


Sponsor Information

At Paramount Staffing, we know building successful organizations starts with strong partnerships. Providing staffing and recruiting expertise nationwide for over 20 years, we cherish the long-standing relationships we’ve built with some of Atlanta’s best companies. From small business to Fortune 500, no company can excel without quality talent and sourcing that talent is our specialty Accommodating temporary, contract-to-hire or direct hire placements, we’re confident that our specialized approach will generate the outcome you desire. Paramount Staffing – Building your business. One hire at a time.



Professional Credit Information

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