The NETwork was established in 1969 as our 1st Employee Resource Group during a time where the nation was experiencing profound change due to the racial climate. AT&T as a company understood the importance of creating spaces for a diversifying work base while defining the overarching culture around Diversity, Inclusion & Equity. From 1969 to the present day, we’ve seen the same trailblazing and resilience guide the principles of the organization today.
Hear about their mission from LaDrica Derrico, president of our DFW Chapter
Our mission is based on transforming our future by empowering our members and our community today. Our organization’s vision is to become a premier leader in providing growth opportunities that build future generational leaders within the industry and community. We do that by focusing on four key pillars: Education, Development, Mentorship, and Community.
As we serve our members and community, we act upon our theme to:
- Rediscover our Passion
- Create a sense of Urgency
- Utilize everything we have at our disposal
- Show up to complete the mission
- We stay Humble as we are servants
Building a Human Connection: Community and Volunteerism
“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate action of its members.”
The words of Coretta Scott King resonate as NETwork chapters across the US develop initiatives that align with AT&T and our National organization’s guidance in creating a sense of urgency to complete the mission. Our fervor for the community has led to the creation of initiatives such as:
- The NETwork Minority Case Competition – current business cases such as how we can address the digital divide in our communities.
- eSTEAM partnerships – partnerships with homeless shelter providers and underserved schools to bridge the digital divide within those communities.
- Celebration of the Arts – highlighting minority artists in the community while raising scholarship funds.
- Juneteenth Scholarship & Community Celebration – celebrating the history of Juneteenth with a scholarship component.
“Service is the rent we pay for living on this earth, for being. It is the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time.” Our passion and ability to connect help us to add value to the communities we serve.
Building a Bridge: Education
“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself” – John Dewey
Education is a necessary tool that breaks down boundaries. We have deemed this an essential part of The NETwork’s DNA, spurring many chapters to launch programs such as the Financial Literacy Series, Mental/Physical Health webinars, and Racial Healing Conversations.
Understanding the gaps is what pushes us to continuously build bridges for access and invoke change. It’s about helping others gain the knowledge and skills they need to make better choices and create a better society to live in.
Building a Foundation: Development
“I am where I am and who I am because of the developmental aspects and remnants of focused initiatives that allow me to build the table that I want to sit at” – LaDrica Derrico
The most recent development from our Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter has led to the creation of Dolphin Tank, launched in 2022. Dolphin Tank’s objective is to bridge the gap in workplace career development and advancement for people of color through coaching, mentorship, exposure opportunities, and network building.
In 2021, our Metro Atlanta Chapter created and implemented a leadership development program for its members to help develop leadership skills resulting in membership to the EG leadership pipeline. These types of leadership skills are of great value and are transferrable throughout all aspects of a members’ career.
Teaching people how to fish is the anchor that brings in creative, dynamic leaders who will continue to push the NETwork to address the relevant issues in society while simultaneously adding value to the business.
Building Strategic Investments: Scholarships
Every year, the NETwork BICP (Black Integrated Communications Professionals) and local chapters provide scholarships to recent high school graduates to support their collegiate endeavors. Per year, we award over $10K in scholarships to students across the nation. We are passionate about investing in our youth’s future!
In every build, we PUSH for service excellence.Find out more about The NETwork BICP