Diversity: Progress made and progress needed

During a recent CO East Coast Network retreat, a diverse group of 250 staffers gathered for fellowship and training. During the meeting, the 10 regional directors present stood in front of the group. The contrast was clear. 

In a room of male, female, African American, Asian American, and Caucasian leaders, these 10 directors were all male, caucasian and from similar backgrounds. As a college ministry, We serve a diverse group of students, and we hope our ministry will reflect that broad spectrum of race, experiences and personalities. 

After some introductory remarks about CO’s incremental progress in seeing a diversity of leadership emerge throughout CO staff ranks, the Network Leader orchestrating this contrast paused, turned to look up and down this line of ten leaders, then looked back at the diverse audience and stated:

“But Campus Outreach still has a long way to go and a lot to learn, and each of you in this room is needed to help Campus Outreach along on this journey.”

This picture was simultaneously a sign of progress made and progress needed. There was a palpable sense of hopeful validation in the room afterward among the 250 staff, that Campus Outreach is on a trajectory towards diversity of leadership emerging at every level.

Bennett Rolan