One year ago today Alan Cross and I announced the launch of the SBC Leadership Diversity Initiative. I wanted to celebrate the progress we’ve made this year and update our readers on some of what we’ve seen.
The LDI was designed as a networking tool for us to be able to discover and identify Southern Baptists for potential leadership roles who we might otherwise be unaware of, particularly ethnic minorities, women, and lay persons.
We want to open the floodgates and remove as many barriers as possible to achieve our goal: A convention where ethnic minority leaders and members, as well as Southern Baptist women, know they are valued and considered an indispensable, integral part of our denominational life together.
Over the past year people have been able to use our nomination form to submit names of people they know or their own names and help us with this networking project.
We’ve received individual submissions as well as group submissions from a couple organizations who had already been working in this area.
I’m really glad to report we’ve been able to forward the contact information of over 70 different potential nominees to SBC leaders when they have requested data from us.
We’re also really thankful to see a dramatic increase in diversity among some of the appointments and committees announced already this year. To be clear we are not claiming that’s all a direct result of our work with the SBC LDI. We believe it’s a result of SBC leadership who has been committed to broadening the avenues of participation for all Southern Baptists. J. D. Greear has made increasing diversity in leadership a priority from the beginning. We hope the LDI has been able to play a small role in seeing this goal accomplished this year, both through the networking we’ve been able to help with and also through conversations we’ve hopefully helped create.
We would love your continued help in growing our network. Please continue to submit names and information of people we should be aware of. Let others know about this as a potential avenue of getting connected. And pray for our convention that every church who decides to partner with us as Southern Baptists can feel welcomed and included as full partners in our work together.