In a year that called for extraordinary service, the Dallas Mavericks answered the call and served the North Texas community in various roles during the past year. D CEO recognized the organization’s efforts, and this week named the Dallas Mavericks a finalist for its fourth annual Nonprofit and Corporate Citizenship Awards, presented in partnership with the Communities Foundation of Texas and sponsored by Capital One.

The Mavericks were selected as a finalist for the Equity Leadership Award, along with Allyn Media, Boston Consulting Group, Cardinal Health Sonexus, and Texas Instruments.

“At the Mavericks, we believe that every voice matter and everybody belongs and we’re thrilled to be recognized for our work to advance diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Katie Edwards, who is the Dallas Mavericks SVP of External Affairs and President of the Mavs Foundation.

This year’s program attracted more than 500 nominations. After several judging sessions, a total of 112 finalists were named (81 nonprofit organizations and leaders and 31 corporate citizens).

The Mavs sought to set the NBA standard for inclusion and diversity, instituting a comprehensive Diversity & Inclusion strategy that covers Customers, Reputation, Agenda for Women, Family, Talent and Suppliers (C.R.A.F.T.S.), and includes several innovative policies and initiatives within the organization and in the community.

One of those community initiatives is the Mavs Take ACTION! (MTA) plan, launched last summer to address racial inequities and disparities, promote social justice and drive sustainable change in Dallas/Fort Worth.

Not only was this an action plan on paper, but the Mavericks pledged to invest a minimum of $5 million and 10,000 employee hours over the next three years.

To promote the MTA initiatives, the HUDDLE was produced as a monthly courageous conversation series that creates a safe space for dialogue and the opportunity for individuals to learn and unite with a diverse group of current and former Dallas Mavericks players, team representatives, and community figures to eliminate racial divides, uplifting communities and empower future generations.

Another key action item was the Mavs College Scholarship, a four-year scholarship and mentoring experience made to encourage and empower Black youth.

Mavs College Scholarship recipients, who showed financial need and excelled in school despite setbacks and challenges, will receive ongoing mentoring from Mavs staff and opportunities for Mavs summer jobs, potential internships, or other work experience.

Internally, the Dallas Mavericks DE&I policies and initiatives include establishing four new employee resource groups; building a network of influencers to create awareness of their cultural theme nights, developing the Dallas Mavericks Advisory Council, a group of 27 influential and diverse business and community leaders; and strengthening their supplier diversity efforts to triple spend with minority, women and disadvantaged business enterprises.

The Dallas Mavericks continually seek to address diversity, equity, and inclusion. The leadership team is comprised of half women and 47 percent people of color. This helps the organization foster a culture where all employees matter and have a voice.

All finalists will be in a special feature in the August issue of D CEO, online, and at an exclusive awards event, where winners will be revealed.

To read more about the D CEO awards, click here.

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