June 17, 2020

We want to thank those who took part in the InfoComm Connected Keynote with CEO Dave Labuskes – A Better Normal: Reducing Friction and Finding Our Way in a Hybrid World. If you missed it, the session is available on-demand until August 21. Attendee participation led to an engaging Q&A that opened the door for additional conversations.

Since we did not have time to address every question live, we are sharing more of these questions below to continue the dialogue.

How can we get more careful about the unintentionally exclusionary language we use in this industry? / Is there a push in the industry to update terminology such as master/slave? Is there a dialogue about that somewhere?

As a community we must challenge outdated norms and speak up to change both the conscious and unconscious biases that discriminate against groups of people based on culture, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, or socioeconomic status. You can read more about updating tech terminology here.

We will work to update our written materials and virtual content as well as hold each other accountable to use inclusive language at every turn.

As with the society at large, change happens when the silent majority comes together to support it. Does AVIXA® have any requirements for member companies to make a pledge, not just of diversity and inclusion, but of equity? How many member organizations are owned by underrepresented groups?

AVIXA is a member-driven industry association. Currently, there are no requirements for member companies to make pledges of diversity, inclusion, or equity.

As we continue our efforts to help end systemic racism, we will evaluate this suggestion and others like it in order to act through our councils, committees, and member services teams. We encourage you to also continue discussions directly with AVIXA by emailing us at socialjustice@avixa.org.

I'm excited to hear how we, AVIXA, can be part of the solution and make strives to make our industry inclusive and accessible for everyone.

AVIXA is striving to do better by asking, acknowledging, and acting. While there is much more we can accomplish, today members can join AVIXA committees and councils, adding their voices to inclusion efforts for the AV industry. These committees and councils guide the planning and development of membership policies and education training programs; they are an opportunity for our members to ask, acknowledge, and take part in the actions that will end systemic racism in our industry.

Check out AVIXA’s All Council Meeting for more information on each of the councils and join any of the councils by going to avixa.org/councils by clicking "Join Now.”

Additionally, through partnership of the AVIXA Foundation, we are making contributions to two AV‑related non‑profit organizations that seek to tackle racism and other social inequalities by providing career opportunities in the audiovisual industry. We are particularly proud to be matching up to $5,000 in donations from any of AVIXA's employees to these charities. Both the Loop Lab and EnventU work tirelessly to help build more equality and inclusivity in AV.

The Loop Lab
A Cambridge, Massachusetts‑based social enterprise, the Loop Lab specializes in media arts internships and apprenticeships. Its mission is to empower women and people of color in the media arts to develop careers in AV through job training and job placement. As an organization, the Loop Lab is committed to ending inequality and racism through digital storytelling. Founder Christopher Hope has been featured several times as an agent of change in workforce development and inclusivity.

EnventU
As a one‑of‑a‑kind educational initiative designed to provide experiences and exploration of career opportunities in the dynamic live events industry, EnventU addresses social issues by opening alternative pathways of higher education and strives to close workforce skills gaps through the untapped talent of young people, ultimately creating a pipeline to professions in event production, AV, décor, and catering. Its Founder and Executive Director, Latoya Lewis, has decades of experience in events, and has been an integral voice in AVIXA’s live events community.

Are there plans for a Vets Council?

We are always listening to the needs of our members and industry. If you are interested in seeing new communities or councils, please reach out to Brittany DiCesare, Manager of Professional Society Member Programs at bdicesare@avixa.org. Starting a council simply requires submitting a request to the Membership Committee with 25 member signatures and a draft of the intent of your council.

Do you plan on rolling out a resource for worker safety in our industry? A resource for our workers to go to for COVID safety tools?

While providing safety guidelines is not a core competency of AVIXA, we do look to partner and curate content from national safety councils such as OSHA. They are uniquely positioned to offer this type of guidance.

AVIXA is also sharing how integrators are addressing these challenges in the real world: