Keeping inclusion and diversity at the heart of our editorial has remained a priority to us at COMO Mag for quite a long time. In fact, we have decided that our commitment remains so strong to it that we don’t want to “need” a specific issue for it in the future as we have done in the past. We want it to be so core to who we are — a value we raise and keep so high — that it’s a part of our everyday lives rather than needing a special set aside issue. However, when we planned this issue last fall, we hadn’t put those words to it yet. So, here is our offering to the community.
We have worked really hard to make sure that we have looked at the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion from all angles. We have included stories ranging across ethnicity, physical and mental abilities, gender, and income. I am 100% sure that we have left something or someone very deserving out. This is just too important of a conversation, with too many relevant ways to frame, it to capture it all in 108 pages. However, if COMO Magazine can help move even a few of these conversations forward, we will consider it a win.
We have had our own opportunities to address our shortcomings with diversity. We’ve been guilty of having (quite unintentionally) an all white 20 Under 40 class before. We have gotten to the end of planning an issue and realized we didn’t have any Black or Brown people in it. Where we have fallen short, we have acknowledged it and done better next time. Our “doing better next time” includes asking people to join our advisory board to help us see our blind spots. These advisory board members represent different ethnicities, geographical areas of our city, income brackets, areas of industry, social sectors, and gender. We ask them to hold us accountable and show us the stories. Our goal is to have them connect us further to parts of the community unknown to us so we may show a more complete picture of Columbia.
Please enjoy the stories in this issue and join us in celebrating a wonderfully diverse community that we love enough to name our businesses after it. As always, please feel free to contact me at Erica@comocompanies.com to share with me how you experienced the issue. I look forward to hearing from you every month.