We Stand Together: NACE Announcements on Racial Injustice, Inequality, and Equity

August 5, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, Rayshard Brooks, and so many others have demonstrated the effects of more than 400 years of ongoing racial injustice faced by the Black community, and the resulting protests and public outcry have been felt around the world. On behalf of the National Association of Colleges and Employers, we want to emphatically state to our Black colleagues, members, and friends: We hear you; we are here for you; and we will move forward together. We believe Black lives matter!

Through the work of our profession and association, we are in a position to make change happen, and together we must. Over the past several weeks, we have engaged in thoughtful dialogue; sought input from our community; and reflected on systemic racism, inclusion, and equity and our place in addressing these issues. We want to be clear: We value every demographic of our membership, but this moment is about how Black lives matter to us. There is much that we can all do individually, as employers and colleges, and as an association too. Therefore, we are constructing a deliberate plan of action to support the Black community and our Black colleagues. This is not a one-time effort; we will engage in a process that will require ongoing work and look to you to help us in that.

Our plan, which has been and will continue to be informed by our members, prioritizes Black anti-racism in every aspect of our association. The commitments are a direct result of the NACE Board of Directors engaging in multiple strategic conversations; listening to our members through roundtable events, our online community, town halls, member-led programs, and individual conversations; and by reviewing promising and leading practices.

Specifically, our plan includes and we are committing to:

  1. Amplifying the voices of our Black colleagues, particularly through proactive collaboration with our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and Affinity Groups to garner valuable insights and leadership. Additionally, we will ensure each of our committees and task forces is charged with evaluating and enacting equitable and anti-racist practices.
  2. Advocating on issues of equity and anti-racism in higher education and workforce development, ensuring that we are actively and consistently identifying opportunities for change.
  3. Partnering with organizations and forming coalitions that align with our commitment to achieve greater impact.
  4. Reviewing NACE’s internal operational practices and policies to ensure they are equitable and inclusive, and committing to increasing racial diversity of staff.
  5. Committing to expanding engagement and access to opportunities within our membership and leadership by focusing on increasing racial diversity.
  6. Generating research and content that expands the knowledge base of facts and trends related to anti-racism, equity, and inclusion.
  7. Providing professional development programs that address equity and inclusion to advance the body of knowledge amongst our members and beyond to create systemic change.
  8. Evaluating our membership model and other systems to ensure equitable access and inclusive participation.
  9. Leading the conversation within our profession on diversity and equity, focusing on anti-racism, equitable access, inclusive practices, resources, representation, pipeline development, and our own impact.
  10. Measuring, communicating, and reporting our progress to our members and profession.

We will work through each of our commitments using an inclusive approach and by establishing actionable goals. (For further details, read our commitments strategy.)

Since the beginning of June, NACE and our NACE members have presented a number of powerful programs and resources featuring Black colleagues that have provided valuable insights into what we can do as individuals, as representatives of colleges and employer organizations, and as an association in support of equity and justice for the Black community and our Black colleagues. This is just the beginning.

We commit unwaveringly to our Black colleagues, members, and friends that we are in this together. We have the responsibility to make a difference. We will use our platform to do so.


Jennifer Lasater
2020-21 NACE President

David Ong
2021-22 NACE President

Shawn VanDerziel
NACE Executive Director
Christopher Carlson
2019-20 NACE President

Norma Guerra Gaier
2018-19 NACE President

NACE Board of Directors, 2019-20 and 2020-21

J. Seldric Blocker
Alma Clayton-Pedersen
Caroline Cunningham
Gihan Fernando
Kevin Grubb
Brian Guerrero
Tim Harding
Suzanne Helbig
Fred Howell
Whitney McDowell-Robinson
Toni McLawhorn
Scott McQuillan
Stephanie Pallante
Maura Quinn
Sean Treccia
Kayla Woitkowski

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (co-chairs)

Jeffrey Alston
Cynthia Murphy Ortega
Meredith Sadoulet

June 5, 2020

Dear NACE colleagues:

Earlier this week, we shared our commitment to fighting racial injustice and furthering diversity, equity, and inclusion. (See June 2 message, below.) Our message included a promise that NACE would work to advance change and support members’ in their efforts.

While there is much work ahead of us, to meet the immediate needs of our members, we’d like to invite you to take part in the following:

  • Town Hall: We Stand Together, Tuesday, June 9, 2 – 3 p.m. (Eastern). Gain perspective from and identify actionable steps with a panel of your peers. (Free)
  • Virtual Roundtable: We Stand Together, Friday, June 12, 2 – 3:30 p.m. (Eastern). Engage in small-group discussions to share your thoughts and feelings, and follow up on ideas generated through the Town Hall. (Free; exclusive to NACE members)
  • NACE Connect, June 15 – 26, offers a range of diversity, equity, and inclusion-focused programming, including:
    • Featured speaker Chelsea Williams, discussing the “Future of Work 2020: 5 Strategies to Develop & Retain Diverse Early Career Talent.” (Free)
    • A content track focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion, with five sessions covering a range of important topics.
    • “Inclusion, Equity, and Affinity: NACE Members Advancing Awareness and Change,” a special presentation focused on how you can help drive change around personal and professional identities through NACE Affinity Groups. (Free)

Of course, there is much more to come. We will need your voice and participation as we work to advance change; further diversity, equity, and inclusion; and fight racial injustice.

We are all in this together. As a profession, we are well positioned to make a real impact on all of these issues and can exact positive change for a better future for us all. We stand together. #WeAreNACE.


Shawn VanDerziel
NACE Executive Director

Christopher Carlson
2019-20 NACE President
Northrop Grumman

June 2, 2020

Dear NACE Community,

There is so much hurt and pain being felt throughout our country right now. In these unprecedented times, it is important that our NACE community knows that we stand together...together with our staff, colleagues, family, and friends.

Injustice, inequity, and racism are not okay.

We are all impacted by what is happening and all have a role to play in fixing these systemic problems. As an association, we have to be committed to addressing the issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion together. We have a distinct role to play on an individual level, but also as a community of professionals. NACE is dedicated to workforce development and the employment of the college educated; we can make a tangible impact on these societal issues. Let’s take this moment to do so.

Together we can and will create solutions that make a difference. We need and will make real change. And we must.

#BlackLivesMatter #WeAreNACE


Shawn VanDerziel
NACE Executive Director

Christopher Carlson
2019-20 NACE President
Northrop Grumman