Last week, the EEOC announced that jazz great Wynton Marsalis recorded two public service announcements (“PSA”) focusing on the value of diversity in the workplace and the dangers of discrimination. The EEOC plans to air the announcements on televisions, cable stations, on web sites and the radio.
According to the EEOC, the announcements should help increase the awareness of race and color discrimination as the EEOC advances its national initiative to bring a fresh 21st Century approach to combating racism, which remains the most frequent claim filed with the EEOC. In the spots, Marsalis says the following:
PSA 1: Whether it’s Beethoven or Basie, music blends different notes and different people into something very special. If we all played the same notes, the music would be boring. It’s the same way in the workplace. People come form different cultures and backgrounds, but to succeed, they need to work together as a team. It’s about equal opportunity.
PSA 2: When we choose musicians to play a piece of music, we don’t care what they look like; we care how well they play. That’s the way every job should be, but it isn’t always. Some people play a cacophonous tune called discrimination. It’s not just unfair, mean spirited, and counterproductive; it’s also illegal. It’s really all about equal opportunity.