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We Need to Include Black Voices at the Table – Antoinette Hardy-Waller

I’m in conversation with Antoinette Hardy-Waller. She is Chief Executive Officer of The Leverage Network, a non-profit organization committed to the promotion and advancement of African Americans to Governance and Board roles in healthcare. We have been discussing health disparity issues on several occasions, but the COVID-19 outbreak is accelerating the absolute need for change.

The interview is in 4 parts, this is part 3.

Makes a lot of sense, and this current pandemic could be just the momentum we need to start making real change. How does your expertise, knowledge and network benefit this goal?

“The Leverage Network’s mission is to increase the number of seats held by blacks on boards across all sectors of healthcare. For us, it’s about more than the numbers or just adding color to a room. It’s about how we can effectively eliminate health disparities and inequities in communities of color, particularly black communities.  We leverage a network of highly skilled, talented black executives with unique backgrounds, experiences and culture. And in addition to their expertise, they can speak directly to the needs of black communities.

“When you look around rooms where major decisions are being made that impact communities of color, the representation of those communities are scarce. And when asked, “why don’t you have more diverse leaders in the room?”, the answer is, “we can’t find them…” “At The Leverage Network we know, for a fact, that this is not the case. We have created a pipeline of some of the most talented black executives positioned for board and leadership opportunities.

“If we, as a country, truly want to eradicate the disparities and inequities experienced by black communities, we must get serious about including black voices around the table. We need to be present there where major decisions are being made, about programs, services, funding and basic living rights that impact our families, our friends, and our neighbours.”

Tags: Antoinette Hardy-Waller, Change Catalyst, The Leverage Network

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