Letters: Kaitz Foundation Isnt the Problem


To the Editor:

In response to last week's page-one article,
"Kaitz at the Crossroads," the National Association of Minorities in
Communications would like to go on record as a strong supporter of the mission, vision and
goals of the Walter Kaitz Foundation and of its leadership team of Spencer Kaitz, John
Hendricks and Paula Winn.

We profoundly hope that this article will motivate the
cable industry's leadership to focus on how we can all work together to improve the
industry's performance in the areas of hiring, promoting and retaining minorities.
Instead of placing emphasis on changing the Kaitz Foundation, we should place emphasis on
changing the industry's hiring and promotion practices.

There is no shortage of qualified candidates who have been
identified by the Kaitz Foundation. However, the industry has fallen short in its
commitment to the hiring of Kaitz fellows.

Not only is it disappointing that only 30 fellows have been
placed this year, but it is also disappointing that historically, only a few companies
have even hired Kaitz fellows. Seemingly, it has been easier for some companies to write
checks for the annual dinner than to hire fellows.

We support John Hendricks' efforts to develop new
strategies for helping the Kaitz Foundation to achieve its objectives.

NAMIC views the Kaitz Foundation's role as one of
bringing more people of color into leadership positions within the industry. NAMIC's
role is the retention and advancement of people of color through its educational,
networking and mentorship programs. Specific programs include:

• The annual Urban Markets Conference;

• Networking activities that actively focus on
providing access to professionals who can provide career advice;

• The L. Patrick Mellon mentorship program, which
matches aspiring industry employees with seasoned veterans; and

• The dissemination of job information.

By partnering with NAMIC, individuals, companies and
organizations can advance the cause of diversity within the cable industry. We look
forward to seeing the day when we can celebrate a truly diverse industry.

Joseph P. Lawson