For our Diversity Week cover last year we featured then-NAMIC president and ESPN SVP Manish Jha, which allowed us to blurt out "Jha Rules," salute cable’s most influential minority members and celebrate NAMIC’s 25th anniversary. In that Sept. 12, 2005, issue, my predecessor, John P. Ourand, argued the 22nd annual Kaitz Dinner should honor a person of color, like this year’s cover subject, Dick Parsons, instead of a white executive, which was the policy for years. Partially responding to that criticism, Kaitz last year honored a pair of Diversity Champions: a politician of color, who did not attend the dinner, and a group of diversity-aware cable executives. It will do something similar this year. Yet John’s point of honoring a single minority executive remains a good one, and is made stronger since Parsons for the second year leads our list of cable’s most influential minorities, which runs in this issue. Honoring one ethnic executive would focus the Kaitz night, allowing the honoree to speak openly about diversity. We can imagine the engaging Mr. Parsons, mixing his dry wit with strong words on diversity, especially in light of the fifth anniversary of 9/11. While our cover is not tantamount to the spotlight the Kaitz honor would bring, it allows us to advocate in favor of honoring one deserving minority executive. Honoring Dick Parsons would have been ideal. A change made quietly in April surely has benefited diversity. At the end of the National Show, NAMIC’s presidency became a staff position, and the chairman’s post an elected job. The shift was intended to foster continuity at NAMIC’s apex and put veteran staffer Kathy Johnson in charge. There’s not enough room here to adequately praise the improvements she’s already made at NAMIC, but a glimpse of her work can be seen in this issue. Johnson expertly oversaw the Excellence in Multicultural Marketing Awards, and made our job of presenting its winners to you a pleasure.

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