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CEO DATELINE – Association Forum launches identity-based advisory groups

By Kathryn Walson
April 7, 2021

Association Forum on Wednesday announced the formation of identity-based advisory groups to help with membership outreach, engagement and retention, and ensuring representation throughout the association, according to an Association Forum statement.

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The four initial groups are Latinx, LGBTQI+, BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) and AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander). Each advisory group will consist of six or seven members led by two co-chairs with an assigned liaison from the Association Forum board of directors. The Latinx group launched April 1 with Josie Hernandez and Norma Castrejon as co-chairs.

The advisory groups will guide strategies for the forum’s Welcoming Environment, which it defines as the “creation of a sense of belonging and connectedness that engages individuals in an authentic manner, in which uniqueness is valued, respected and supported through opportunities and interaction.”

“Welcoming Environment is not a nice-to-have initiative,” Association Forum CEO Michelle Mason said in a statement. “It is required for any association to succeed in today’s environment. We must be intentional and purposeful to include and listen to diverse perspectives in our membership to deliver on the new realities of member value and experiences.”