A conversation with Marc Morial

By: Donna Epps

President and CEO of the National Urban League shares lessons on leadership and diversity during Black History Month.

Marc Morial  and Donna Epps

I like to think that the best of America is not our past… the best of America is in our future.

Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League.



Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Marc Morial, the President and CEO of the National Urban League for a fascinating conversation. The conversation was part of a special program Verizon webcast to its employees across the globe to kick off our celebration of Black History Month. Marc and I had a wide-ranging conversation about everything from the key qualities for effective leadership to why business leaders should be concerned about economic inequality in our country, which has been increasing. Marc also shared his views on why companies that hope to succeed in today's competitive market should make maintaining a diverse and inclusive workforce a priority.

As Marc explained, "there's a convergence taking place in the world of business now and it's around 'what's best.' And that convergence is that one of the strands of 'best' is diversity & inclusion." He added that successful companies need to have a workforce that's reflective of its customers.

Marc noted that Verizon has been "a pioneer in diversity" citing our diverse board of directors, which includes four women and four people of color. At Verizon, "diversity and inclusion" are not just buzz words. We are living out our commitment to diversity by spearheading and participating in cutting-edge initiatives designed to increase diversity in everything from law firms and advertising agencies to STEM professions. We are excited about the progress these programs are making, but we also accept Marc's challenge to double down on our efforts and to continue our leadership on diversity.

We are grateful Marc stopped by to spend some time with us. After listening to his words of wisdom, we felt inspired and empowered to go out and maximize our own impact as leaders. We know Marc and the National Urban League can't improve lives on their own. Strengthening our communities takes all of us working together to make a difference every day, in ways big and small. At Verizon, we embrace this challenge and know that with the help of great partners like Marc Morial and the National Urban League, the best is yet to come.

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About the author(s): 

Donna Epps directs Verizon’s domestic public policy team, as well as relationships with our external partners. Prior to her current position, Ms. Epps worked in Verizon’s Federal Regulatory Affairs group where she developed and advocated Verizon’s federal regulatory policy positions on key issues facing the communications industry, with an emphasis on issues related to competition, economic regulation, and consumer protection.

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