Welcome to The BCA. Thanks to many of you, we have come a long way from our humble beginnings 17 years ago when we started as an alumni chapter of the Culinary Institute of America.Diversity, a familiar buzz word today, was not a very well known subject in the foodservice and hospitality industry in the past.Now every major foodservice company has a diversity department and educational institutions are developing programs around increasing diversity on their individual campuses as well.But, in spite of the attention being given to the advancement of diversity, there is still plenty of action that needs to be taken to ‘move the needle’ forward.
Over the past year the BCA has participated in numerous meetings and conversations to determine the best way to increase our impact while remaining focused on our mission which is to connect students of color with industry professionals of color (Asians, Latinos, Native Americans and Blacks).Our top priority is to recognize the commonalities cultures share, rather than just the differences that divide them.This is crucial not only from an industry perspective but from a social perspective as well.That is why our current focus has slightly shifted to concentrate on identifying a shared objective of connecting students with professionals so that we may advance collectively toward our goals.Plenty of work, exercises and discussions are needed in this arena and it has to be a collaborative effort.
In some of these conversations, I was surprised to learn that Asian Americans, Native Americans, Latinos and Blacks in this country are historically linked and that the strongest link was through food and its surrounding culture.That was a powerful discovery for me and only strengthened the case for our current focus.Ironically, what has not been considered in the past was our connection to the Native Americans who have made great contributions to American food culture.This consciousness around respect for food, how it is handled and cultivated, and concerns about sustainability is an awareness we would be wise to embrace.Moving forward, I ask everyone reading this message to use your emotional intelligence and decide not if but how you can explore this vision with the BCA.I’m sure there is a great deal to be learned as long as we remain open to the concepts of shared customs, culture and history.
The future in general, and the culinary and hospitality industry in particular, can be greatly impacted if we pursue this approach for advancing diversity.This is probably the most important challenge facing the industry today.Your decision to support the BCA and its mission will launch a powerful and positive first step toward a strong and united future for our industry.
BCA President / CEO
October 15, 2013
Jefferson Evans Talks LIFE in the Culinary Arts October 15, 2013
Jefferson Evans became the first graduate of color at the Culinary Institute of America in 1947, and was later honored by BCA Global at the 1996 Cultural Awareness Salute Gala withthe Jefferson Evans Award. Symbolizing the importance of discipline, consistency and upholding the highest....
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