Published: November 22, 2022
“I think it is always important to be able to see yourself reflected. When you see yourself reflected in Military Support Organizations, you feel included.”
- Angela Alford, Salesforce DEPLOY Fellow
In the midst of a pandemic, military spouse Angela found herself without a career or community. Her family had just transitioned from military service and relocated to Florida. It was there where Angela came across Blue Star Families and saw an end to her frustrating search for employment.
“Blue Star Families really helped me to connect with others like me during the pandemic,” Angela recalls. “This organization helps people just like me.”
Salesforce Supports the Military & Veteran Community
For the second year, Salesforce is sponsoring Blue Star Families’ Technology DEPLOY Fellow. As one of the leading tech companies, it supports members of the military and Veteran community – like Angela – through training, certifications, and more.
“Salesforce has a thriving military community,” Angela shares. “They are so encouraging and helpful. David Nava has a military career gathering on Wednesday afternoons, where people can connect and help each other. Also, on Friday afternoons, there are ‘Military Trailblazer Office Hours,’ hosted by Bill Kuehler. This is a place where you can get your questions answered. Salesforce has community groups across the country that help individuals with their careers and technical questions. I can’t think of another platform or company that encourages and supports its users this way. They want to see me succeed. How can you not love Salesforce and the people?”
For Angela, Salesforce means more than a career. She finds both passion and an opportunity to give back to her community through the platform, going on to explain, “I want to one day be able to give back to my community by helping others learn this amazing platform.”
Blue Star Families’ DEPLOY Fellowship
Angela joins eight other women as part of the 2022-2023 cohort of the Diversify and Expand the Pipeline of Leaders of Your Military Community (DEPLOY) Fellowship Program.
A component of the Campaign for Inclusion, the program seeks to influence other military and Veteran service organizations' hiring practices to be more reflective of the community in which they serve. “I think it is always important to be able to see yourself reflected,” Angela says. “When you see yourself reflected in the Military Support Organizations, you feel included. As a military spouse, you want your family to be included and seen in all the places that we serve.”
Collectively, nonprofit organizations are behind the curve when it comes to representation. A 2021 study by the Urban Institute found three key areas of concern:
- 79% of nonprofit board chairs and executive directors are non-Latinx white
- 58% of rural nonprofits have no board members who are people of color
- All-white boards govern 16% of nonprofits that primarily focus on serving people of color
However, Urban Institute also reported change is coming…slowly. Roughly 78% of nonprofit board members were white in 2019, down from 84% in 2016.
Representatives for the Campaign for Inclusion continue to brief leaders and communities on the need for diversity. The next research release, as part of Blue Star Families’ continued efforts to look at data through a racial equity and inclusion lens, is scheduled for February 2nd, 2023. You can find more information on the DEPLOY Fellowship Program and other key focus areas of the Campaign for Inclusion at https://bluestarfam.org/campaign-for-inclusion/.