The theme of the 28th Annual Walter Kaitz Foundation Fundraising Dinner in New York this October, an event that helps raise diversity grants for the cable industry, is “Be Diversity.” Sounds pretty straightforward at first. But here’s the new part: This year, attendees have been asked to participate in defining what diversity means to them by making suggestions on how to complete the phrase, “Be ____.” The myriad contributions collected will appear on the event’s website and at the dinner itself. CableFAX spoke with the foundation’s executive director David Porter on the inspiration for the campaign.
So what inspired you to go with this theme? As we looked at the event this year, we thought, what does it mean for individuals to increase diversity, in content as well as suppliers? Everyone is taking ownership of diversity—it can’t be someone else’s problem. So what does it mean to do that? You have to be wise, by thoughtful, be energetic… If you are [those things] collectively, you can be diversity.
And how about the imagery for the campaign? When it came to the imagery, we wanted regular people—all walks of life, individually and collectively, to be diversity.
What has the feedback been so far? People have told us they thought it was unique and creative and have asked us why we’re doing this. Even the whole concept of diversity itself is diverse—in that everyone comes from a different place. We wanted it to be inclusive by nature. Diversity resonates for different people in different ways. For instance, maybe you’re not a CEO and aren’t able to make company corporate decisions, but there may be things you can do to have a diverse, inclusive discussion, such as working with different suppliers.

How will the theme play out at the dinner? I’ll answer that—and I won’t. It will be worked in visually in our screen projections, in the script, etc. But I don’t want to let out too much about it.  

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TDS donated $5000 to the beautification efforts in Carlsbad, New Mexico. Carlsbad

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