A summer trip to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass., gave me some perspective as I was thinking — wrestling, really — with this note for our annual diversity issue.

Rockwell’s well-known illustration, "New Kids in the Neighborhood," reflects the integration of American schools—it shows the uneasy situation when a black family moves into what appears to be a white neighborhood. It’s clear that even 40 years ago Rockwell, and many others, had an awareness of diversity.

Speaking of which, NAMIC this year has added a Diversity Awareness category to its Excellence in Multicultural Marketing Awards, the EMMAs. As CableWorld did for years, we profile the first-place winners in our diversity issue.

An EMMA entry that did much for diversity awareness, but picked up first-place awards in two other categories, is Cox Central Florida’s project that brought nine former Negro League players to the Cox offices and community events. The goal was to raise diversity awareness inside and outside Cox. Was the mission accomplished? Consider that Cox employees were so moved by the players’ insights, they insisted on bringing spouses and kids to a college ballgame just so they could meet these living links to history.

But back to the new Diversity Awareness category. The first winner is Discover Diversity. Its genesis was a response to a contest run by Discovery’s Multicultural Alliance, which supports Discovery’s commitment to an inclusive environment. (How great is it that some companies put a priority on diversity?) The contest asked employees to submit examples of what diversity looks like. A quartet from Discovery Networks U.S. Hispanic Group decided to compile co-workers’ stories of diversity. The resulting vignettes illustrate "that diversity is something we are all a part of…and that one thing we share is that we’re all different," says marketing specialist Alexis Espejo. Incidentally, Espejo and his team won Discovery’s contest, too.

Like a Rockwell painting, Discover Diversity and Cox Central FL seem simple in concept. Once you think about them, you realize they dig deep.

Back to table of contents for CableFAX: The Magazine‘s 2008 Most Influential Minorities in Cable issue.

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Tom Whitaker has exited Shentel after more than 16 years with the company. His tenure included serving as svp, fiber operations, where he helped stand up the new FTTH Glo Fiber brand. He’s joined

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