How AAA Club Alliance positioned itself as an ally to the marginalized

The commitment led to building inclusive teams and creating listening support circles—and a win in the ‘DE&I Campaigns/Initiatives: Allyship’ category of Ragan’s 2021 CSR & Diversity Awards.

As a response to racial injustice in the U.S. in 2020, the AAA Club Alliance (ACA) decided to develop a program to more visibly and actively support marginalized groups in its communities while bringing together its associates to organically foster allyship.

The result was a multifaceted campaign from June–October 2020.

To drive internal allyship among associates, ACA introduced a series of virtual, facilitated learning programs focused on actively supporting communities subjected to injustice and working together to prioritize equity and inclusion at ACA.

That led to four custom programs that touched all levels in the organization:

  • Building inclusive teams. Leaders were provided skills to engage with associates in open dialogue sessions regarding diversity and inclusion.
  • Listening support circles. Facilitator-led small group sessions for associates that self-identified as Black or African American were designed to create a safe space to share thoughts, feelings and experiences regarding diversity in the aftermath of trauma-inducing events, such as the death of George Floyd.
  • Activating allyships. This provided an opportunity for associates to learn what they can do to actively combat oppression and injustice, support marginalized communities and continue to prioritize equity and inclusion.
  • Facilitating the conversation. This were designed to build facilitation skills for human resources professionals to lead dialogue sessions about sensitive and emotionally charged diversity subjects.

Associate engagement exceeded expectations. Feedback centered on appreciation for a progressive culture where all associates feel welcomed, respected, appreciated and able to be themselves.

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