Aviation policy, economics, and current events from inside and outside the Beltway for experts, professionals, and hobbyists alike.
Episode 4: Black Lives Matter: A Conversation with Vanessa Blacknall-Jamison, Chairwoman of the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals
Over the past six months there has been significant discussion, conversation, and reflection in the aviation world and greater United States with regards to inequality within our society and our industry. The Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals has been at the forefront of this effort in the aviation industry through engagement and the Courageous Conversations Series, a five part industry town hall on race in America, and particularly in the aviation industry. Alongside educational programming and outreach that reaches 60,000+ students around the country, OBAP continues to work to engage young people and industry professionals alike to make the aviation and aerospace industry more inclusive and equitable for all.
These herculean efforts have been spearheaded by a dedicated team of volunteers, backed up by sponsors and donors, and in recent years, under the leadership of Vanessa Blacknall-Jamison, OBAP's Chairwoman. In an organization that is about breaking barriers, Vanessa breaks barriers as the first non-pilot Chair of the organization. With a background in change management, recruitment, and safety programs, she brings 40+ years of experience as a trailblazer and leader to the podcast. We discuss more about OBAP's programs, check in with where the industry's Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion efforts stand nearly 6 months after George Floyd's death, and how allies can help achieve a more equitable and inclusive aviation and aerospace world and society as a whole.
OBAP's website is http://www.obap.org; the Courageous Conversations series can be found at https://www.obap.org/courageous-conversations-series/.
Editorial Note: Some may caution that in the first few weeks of building a podcast audience, a host should avoid controversial subjects. To those that may say or think that, or that may take issue with the title and subject of today’s podcast, my hope is that you are able to step confidently outside your comfort zone and listen to the discussion and use it as a springboard to listen to the larger conversations going on in our country and around the world today. Aviation will not survive and will not thrive unless those that are already within it make the effort to ensure our leadership, employee base, and customer base reflects the communities in which we serve. This is a safety issue, this is an economic issue, and most importantly, it’s a human issue.