The annual Walter Kaitz Foundation fundraising dinner, on Oct. 5, will honor Time Warner Cable and Rey Ramsey, the co-founder and chairman of One Economy, a nonprofit focused on spreading technology's benefits to improve everyone's lives.
The dinner will be held at the Hilton New York in New York City. The event co-chairs are George Bodenheimer, co-chairman, Disney Media Networks and President, ESPN, Inc. & ABC Sports; and Pat Esser, president, Cox Communications. Other industry executives serving on the dinner committee include: Rocco Commisso, Chairman & CEO, Mediacom Communications; Philip Kent, chairman & CEO, Turner Broadcasting System; Philippe Dauman, President & CEO, Viacom; and Amy Tykeson, chairman, president & CEO, BendBroadband.
Ramsey, who also is One Economy's former CEO, will receive the 2011 Diversity Advocate Award, an award presented annually to an individual outside of the cable industry who has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to diversity. Through visionary leadership, this individual has directly or indirectly fostered a more embracing and inclusive diversity environment for the cable industry.
Founded in 2000, One Economy is a Washington, D.C.-based global nonprofit organization that leverages the power of technology and connects underserved communities around the world to vital information that will improve their lives. The organization's mission is to ensure that every person, regardless of income and location, can maximize the power of technology to improve the quality of his or her life and enter the economic mainstream.
One Economy's work focuses in several project areas:
Public Purpose Media. A network of public-purpose media properties (Public Internet Channel, The Beehive and Applications for Good) connects low-income individuals and families to local and national resources including free online tax services and information on health, jobs, money, schools, and housing.
Access Services. Working alongside affordable housing owners, technology companies, HUD, among others, One Economy helps bring low-cost, high-speed, wireless broadband services to low-income residents and communities.
Digital Connectors. This valuable program finds talented young people, immerses them in technology training, and helps them build their leadership and workplace skills to enter the 21st century economy. Since this is a community-oriented program, the members of this program are required to give back to their families, friends and communities what they have learned at local schools, community centers or affordable housing developments.
Sustainable Broadband Adoption. The We Are Now Connected program, which is funded through a federal grant as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, strives to expand digital literacy and broadband initiatives on an unprecedented scale, by delivering free high-speed Internet access in underserved communities, increasing online content, digital literacy training and empowering low-income individuals across the United States. One Economy received the federal grant in partnership with this country's leading civil rights organizations that make up the Broadband Opportunity Coalition (BBOC).
Global Initiatives. Founded in 2005, One Global Economy is the international arm of One Economy operating on six continents and planning for additional expansion in sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. One Global Economy works with partners to provide communities and individuals with the tools they need to maximize the potential of technology to facilitate the economic livelihood of the poor.
Ramsey also currently serves as president & CEO TechNet, the preeminent bipartisan political network of CEOs and senior executives of leading U.S. technology companies.
The Diversity Champion this year is Time Warner Cable, honored because of its commitment to recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce, implementation of a robust supplier diversity program, execution of significant philanthropic endeavors, and providing diversity in programming content.
The Diversity Champion Award is given annually to individuals or organizations that act as catalysts for diversity within their respective organizations or throughout the cable industry. These organizations or individuals motivate the cable industry to embrace and value diversity, by serving as role models, inspiring and encouraging excellence, removing barriers that hinder progress, and empowering others with opportunities.
Some of Time Warner Cable's diversity activities include:
Supplier Diversity. While TWC has always strived for a diverse supplier base, during the past four years it has taken additional steps to incorporate minority and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBE) in its sourcing practices. Overall spending for these suppliers has grown over the past four years, sourcing nearly $900 million to more than 700 M/WBE's.
Corporate Philanthropy. TWC's philanthropic efforts reach across the company's entire footprint. Perhaps there is no better demonstration of that commitment than its signature Connect a Million Minds® (CAMM) program that connects youth to ideas, people, and opportunities that inspire them to study and pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). TWC has committed $100 million in cash and in-kind resources over a five-year period to the CAMM program. In addition, TWC supports numerous organizations focused on diverse communities, including NAACP, National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the United Negro College Fund, The Urban League, and the Black Business Association.
The company also actively supports the T. Howard Foundation and the Emma Bowen Foundation by providing internships and career development opportunities for students of color.
Recruitment and Retention. TWC has significantly increased diversity throughout the executive levels of the organization by establishing major recruiting partnerships with several leading professional minority organizations. TWC also continues to provide leadership development as well as coaching and mentoring opportunities specific to high potential women and executives of color. For example, this year TWC started the Black Business Employee Network and also launched a leadership development program for women. Encouraging its employees to be active members, TWC has also been a long-standing supporter of WICT and NAMIC.
Diversity in Programming. Time Warner Cable has positioned itself as a premier entertainment cable service provider committed to giving subscribers quality entertainment that represents their unique community through unique programming packages -- including El Paquetazo. This digital programming package offers a mixture of more than 140 English and Spanish-language channels from customers' countries of origin, including Colombia, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, in addition to programming on Lo Mejor On Demand, a channel offering 24-hour access to programs from top networks including Univision, Telefutura, Mun2, ESPN Deportes and Galavision, among others. Additionally, Born to Shine, a TWC campaign targeted at African-American consumers, features four aspiring African-Americans hosts, chosen through a nationwide audition, who will host their own talk shows and interview some of the biggest movers and shakers in the entertainment business and the community.
The Walter Kaitz Foundation Fundraising Dinner is the cable industry's most prestigious fundraising event. Each year, the dinner typically raises more than $1 million to fund diversity-oriented programs and initiatives for three industry-based diversity organizations: the Emma L. Bowen Foundation; the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC); and Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT).
Ticket sales for the dinner are now under way. For information on sponsorship opportunities or for other questions about the dinner, contact the Walter Kaitz Foundation, at (202) 222-2490, or email Michelle Ray, Senior Director of Programs and Strategic Initiatives for the Walter Kaitz Foundation, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Full information about the dinner can be found at www.walterkaitz.org.