Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion was a prime focus during the 2021 National Golf Day event held virtually on Monday, May 10.
We Are Golf, a coalition of the game’s leading associations and industry partners, usually hosts the event in Washington, D.C., with industry leaders, members of Congress, the Executive branch, and federal agencies.
Because of the pandemic, this year’s event occurred virtually.
The biggest announcement came during the first hour when Neera Shetty, the Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at the PGA Tour, announced that the organization is entering a relationship with the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), the trade association that represents the Black Press of America.
“The Tour has entered into a relationship with the NNPA, which has an outreach to over 230 publications that reach Black and African American audiences, and we are planning to leverage that,” Shetty proclaimed.
“I think that what we’re seeing now, which is different, is just that everybody is coming together and really putting some passion and thought into how we can work collaboratively to try to overcome some of the past issues and really move forward in this area.”
While National Golf Day celebrates the sport’s more than $84.1 billion annual charitable impact and its environmental and fitness benefits, the event kicked off with a panel discussion on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
“We are not that far removed from when there was a Caucasian-only clause in the PGA bylaws,” Shetty stated, who participated on a panel that included Sandy Cross, the Chief People Officer at the PGA of America, and Laura Diaz, the Director of Foundation Operations with the LPGA.
Shetty noted the Caucasian-only clause existed between 1939 and 1961, and it affected generations of businesses.
“Trying to overcome some of that historical exclusion is what we have to be very intentional about,” Shetty continued.
“We need to make sure that we are not only letting people know from all different backgrounds that they are not only invited, but they are welcome and that we are going to provide that equitable means so that they can participate in golf.”
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It has highlighted through video and social media individuals like Cameron Champ, one of just a handful of Black pro golfers.
In December, the PGA Tour made a $500,000 donation to five Historically Black Colleges and Universities, including $100,000 to Prairie View A&M’s men’s and women’s golf teams.
The PGA Tour made the Prairie View A&M donation in the name of Champ’s grandfather, Mack, who wanted to attend Prairie View A&M but went into the military instead.
The PGA Tour also made $100,000 donations to Delaware State’s women’s golf team, Tennessee State’s men’s and women’s teams, Wilberforce University’s men’s and women’s teams, and the Bowie State Golf Classic, an annual fundraiser for the school’s athletic department.
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While the other minority-based publications focus on South Dallas, there is only ONE newspaper that focuses on African-Americans in North Dallas and the surrounding areas. It’s the North Dallas Gazette, a good choice when you want to reach a true representation of Dallas African-American consumers.