Amira Barger

Executive Vice President of Client DEI and Adjunct Professor

United States

Amira K.S. Barger, MBA, CVA, CFRE is an Executive Vice President at Edelman, providing senior Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) and Communications counsel to clients. She is a scholar-practitioner and thought leader who brings experience in strategic communications that reach stakeholders, mobilize the community and inspire action. At California State University East Bay, she serves as an adjunct professor in marketing and communications. She also lectures at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the new Public Health for Business Leaders program. She is a data-driven/data-informed, organizational architect who leverages design thinking to advance DEI and solve complex challenges.

In her spare time Amira and her family collect stamps in the National Park Service Passport Cancellation Book. They plan to visit all 417 national parks in the U.S. #RoadTripWarriors. She lives in Benicia, CA with Jonathan, her life partner of 17+ years, and their daughter Audrey.

Contact Amira at: [email protected]; [email protected]

Portfolio

Selected Writing

Parents
How My Family Spends the Holidays Despite 'Network Poverty'

As I head into this holiday season, I feel a swirl of mixed emotions. Three years ago, my dad was diagnosed with multiple comorbidities. I first realized the severity of his condition last December during our Christmas trip to visit family in Arizona.

Ragan Communications
11/02/2022
How to challenge glass cliffs and codify your archetype - Ragan Communications

Having broken through the glass ceiling, we now must recognize the glass cliff. Having women in top leadership roles is more important than ever. Women occupy more than half of management roles and are most often the leaders supporting well-being of employees through diversity, equity & inclusion.

Parents
Returning to the Office Isn't Worth the Cost for Many Parents

"Her backpack is not bulletproof? That's how the conversation with my husband started after we dropped our daughter off at school. We've been doing drop-off and pick-up as a family. Now, getting our child ready for school entails more than merely packing her lunch.

PR Daily
09/01/2022
No, you are not 'over-indexing on Black' - PR Daily

As a consultant in the field of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB), more and more, I've been hearing the phrase, "We're over-indexing on Black." Each time I hear it I ask, "What specifically do you mean by that"? My question is an attempt to disrupt a person's thinking, to create enough pause to give them pause.

PR Daily
08/18/2022
Is a DE&I certification worth it for comms pros? - PR Daily

I am often asked by diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) communications professionals if getting certified in the field is worth it. I personally hold DE&I certifications and find that there is notable value to each of these programs. I want to provide my insight on why one might invest in this education and the practical utility that DE&I certification serves for the public relations community.

The Inclusion Solution
07/14/2022
A Point of View: Nonprofit Principles (Could) Serve an Internal DEI Purpose, But Often Do Not

Equity principles are interconnected, intersectional, and anything but linear. They offer a compass for the ways in which we approach doing the work, building relationships, and honoring the people we are privileged to walk alongside. This work must be principled and rooted in the end goal of justice which holds to four pillars: access, equity, participation, human rights.

Parents
I'm a Black Mom Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease

In 2013, I was diagnosed with a chronic autoimmune disease I'd never heard of. Namely, because Crohn's Disease is a disease that historically impacts people of Jewish ancestry. I'm Black. Spring of that year, life was starting to get back to normal. Or as normal as it can be with a newborn infant.

East Bay Times
06/27/2022
Letter To The Editor: We can’t marry away systemic racism

Re. “Can intermarriage spare our state from America’s identity politics?” Page A9, June 21: https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2022/06/21/opinion-can-intermarriage-spare-california-from-americas-identity-politics/ I was disappointed to see an op-ed suggesting we can intermarry our way toward progress and out of systemic racism. As a Black woman in an interracial marriage to a White man, with a mixed-race child, I vehemently object to this harmful, oversimplified framing.

The Benicia Independent ~ Eyes on the Environment / Benicia news & views
05/26/2022
It's Better in Benicia - but, for whom?

Even amongst the most progressive, when Black people make specific calls to action that will impact systemic oppression, we are met with symbolism over material change. We asked for equity. They gave us a flag for Juneteenth. That's nice, and it doesn't address the issues that impact Black people on a daily basis.

The Benicia Independent ~ Eyes on the Environment / Benicia news & views
06/23/2022
2nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration hosted by Benicia Black Lives Matter

By Amira Barger, June 23, 2022 Thanks to community volunteers and the events team of Benicia Black Lives Matter (BBLM), the second annual Juneteenth Celebration brought us together as we collectively reflected on and commemorated a historic day. This event was made possible by community, for community.

Cook Silverman Search
04/21/2021
Guest Blog: "Experiencing Inclusion: Sugar Cane Circles" - Cook Silverman Search

This week's blog is guest-authored by Amira (Mira) Barger, MBA, CVA, CFRE - Cook Silverman's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Search Consultant. I'm sure by now that many of you will have heard the expression that "Diversity is being invited to the party, Inclusion is being asked to dance."

Cook Silverman Search
03/17/2021
Guest Blog: "Say More..." - Cook Silverman Search

Growing up, I was often admonished by others with the phrase "You ask a lot of questions"! Looking back, I don't believe it was intended as a compliment, but it remains an accurate descriptor of me to this day - and one I wear as a badge of honor.

Cook Silverman Search
02/25/2021
Guest blog: One of Us, All of Us - Cook Silverman Search

This week's blog is guest-authored by Amira (Mira) Barger, MBA,CVA,CFRE - Cook Silverman's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Search Consultant. Because in the nonprofit sector and in every aspect of life, the issues that affect Black people affect all of us. So until Black people are free, no one is free.

Partnership Resources Group
11/17/2020
DEI - What is the Measure? - Partnership Resources Group

We are the "nice" sector. Nice nonprofits, made up of nice people, doing nice things and putting nice into the world. I'm sorry to be the one to tell you, but "nice" simply isn't enough. It doesn't move us towards the change we need. There is no accountability in nice.

Partnership Resources Group
08/21/2020
DEI - So what? - Partnership Resources Group

"When you believe niceness disproves the presence of racism, it's easy to start believing bigotry is rare, and that the label racist should be applied only to mean-spirited, intentional acts of discrimination. The problem with this framework-besides being a gross misunderstanding of how racism operates in systems and structures enabled by nice people-is that it obligates me to be nice in return, rather than truthful.

Partnership Resources Group
06/25/2020
DEI - 4 Key Questions to Ask - Partnership Resources Group

In the wake of recent and ongoing protest across the nation, many nonprofit organizations are seeking ways to address racial injustice. Time has been focused on posting statements on social media, rapid-fire dialing to the closest available implicit bias trainer, and hours spent at book clubs trying to digest the most recent anti-racism book.

Cook Silverman Search
04/30/2020
Guest Blog: Resourcing Teams and Communicating - Cook Silverman Search

There are few times in human history where an event happens that supersedes all those things that commonly serve to divide us. Coronavirus has crossed the lines of race, gender, and financial well-being. That being said, the impact is not felt and experienced equally. Communities that are among the

Features/Quoted

Forbes
12/05/2022
What Dr. Anthony Fauci Teaches Us About Leadership In A Crisis

Dr. Anthony Fauci, who will retire this month as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, likely has more experience dealing with prolonged crises over the past 38 years than any corporate executive or other government official.

PR Daily
11/28/2022
Comms pros' predictions for 2023: Purpose, people and the future of PR - PR Daily

It's cliché but true to say at this point: The last three years have led to seismic shifts in the way all communications functions are viewed, especially internal comms. This change has led to a melding of the traditionally separate disciplines of internal and external communications that seems likely to continue for years to come, according to PR pros we asked for predictions about the future.

Development Guild DDI
11/22/2022
Heightened Focus on Donor Diversity

Over the past few years, as the country has increasingly turned its attention to historical and societal injustices, organizations-from for-profit businesses to nonprofits enterprises-have focused more intentionally on implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion measures.

PR Daily
11/10/2022
What storytelling means to communicators - PR Daily

Storytelling is one of the most ancient and sacred concepts in all of human history. Starting with our long-distant ancestors weaving myths around fires that kept the darkness at bay and evolving through the centuries to include writing, painting, music, dance and more, it's a complex concept that still strikes at the very heart of who we are as a species.

Her Agenda
10/07/2022
What Does It Mean To Be A 'Self-Made' Success?

By Karie Pinnix Oct. 7 2022, Published 8:05 a.m. ET The concept of being "self-made" is a topic that gets attention every year, either through Forbes ' list of self-made women or through a conversation with a friend. No matter how you define "self-made" success, it's something many aspire to be.

Forbes
09/25/2022
Does DEI Focus Too Much On Black People?

Does diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts focus "too much" on Black people? This question has been asked repeatedly on LinkedIn lately. This article seeks to unpack that question and provide a detailed analysis regarding DEI efforts that center Black employees.

Forbes
09/20/2022
5 Black Women Share What Equity Means To Them

September 21st is Black Women's Equal Pay Day. For every dollar that white men make, Black women are paid 58 cents. Any workplace that wants to achieve equity most prioritize the needs of the most marginalized. This article outlines how workplaces can better support their Black women employees.

Points of Light
07/27/2022
The "ACT" Acronym with Amira Barger: A Tool From The Center for Social Inclusion - Points of Light

Amira Barger has a secret to countering implicit bias. Her presentation from the 2022 Points of Light Conference, "Inclusive Stories: Equity-Centered Language Design," offered a quick tool that you can put into action immediately. Amira is an executive vice president on the Global Health Sector team at Edelman, providing senior Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) and Multicultural counsel to clients.

Coursera
03/03/2022
10 Career Tips from Women in Leadership

Throughout the stages of our lives, we as women are presented with so many narratives about who we're supposed to be, what we're supposed to look like, what path we're supposed to follow. But the truth is, the women that we often perceive as leaders often pave their own paths.

Principalpost
Amira Barger

Home: Benicia, CA. Age: Late thirty-something. Profession: Professor and DEI communications practitioner. Organization: Edelman and Cal StateEast Bay. Title: Executive Vice President. Pronouns: She/Her/Hers. Significant other: Jon B. (husband). Current project: Practicing personal agency (vs. authenticity). Recent professional development: Leading a new practice. Latest accomplishment: Doctoral program acceptance.

Yahoo
10/12/2015
36 Things People With Inflammatory Bowel Disease Wish Others Understood

Known collectively as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis affect more than 1.6 million people in the United States, according to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. They are painful, medically incurable diseases that attack the digestive system. Many patients require numerous hospitalizations and surgery.

Podcasts/Webinars

YouTube
11/02/2022
DEI Beyond the Blueprint

This November, Edelman launched the quarterly “DEI: Beyond the Blueprint” — a salon-style event designed for audiences to expand their knowledgebase by hearing from panelists on a range of workplace culture, diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI), and health equity topics.

‎Diverseek on Apple Podcasts
08/08/2022
Principles of Practice for Institutional Change & Healthcare - Amira Barger (Executive Vice...

Join us for a conversation with Amira Barger to learn more about Principles of Practice for Institutional Change & Healthcare. Are you interested in building a more diverse workforce? Join us as we delve into the experiences of well-known DEI experts in implementing DEI programs at leading organizations. Listen to get inspired on how to roll out DEI initiatives in your organization. Learn from their Visit diverseek.com for...

All Things Equitable
05/31/2022
Twice as Hard: The Cost of Black Women’s Strength and Resilience.

Janelle chats with Amira Barger about the true costs behind Black women's resilience. From the confirmation hearings of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to having an alphabet soup of credentials, Janelle and Amira dive into intersectionality, misogynoir and the generational harm behind exceptionalism. More All Things Equitable: https://www.allthingsequitable.ca/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/janellebe... https://twitter.com/JB_Equitable

AllVoices, Reimagining Company Culture Podcast
05/18/2022
Build the Table Collaboratively

Amira Barger, Executive Vice President on the Global Health Sector team, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion at Edelman - Build the Table Collaboratively In this episode of Reimagining Company Culture, we’re chatting with Amira Barger, Executive Vice President on the Global Health Sector team, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion at Edelman. Amira is a scholar, practitioner, and thought leader who brings more than 17 years of experience in strategic communications that reach stakeholders, mobilize the...

Moore
03/08/2022
Inclusivity for impact in the nonprofit sector

To have the impact we want, the charitable sector must not just embrace gender inclusivity but embrace all people. This session, sponsored by Altus Marketing & The Zumaya Group, features a panel of outstanding women and allies working in the social good sphere talking about different aspects of inclusivity and how we can all be better, more inclusive leaders in the philanthropic sector. Panelists - Amira Barger – Executive Vice President, Edelman - Lisa Greer - Philanthropist,...

iOpening Enterprises
02/24/2022
Growing Your Workforce’s Emotional Intelligence with Lessons from the Black Experience

The weight of balancing demands at home and work while experiencing work stress and burnout is at an all-time high. Imagine having these experiences while also navigating laws that forbid access to doctors who provided the best healthcare or wondering if a disrespectful response to a boss would more likely lead to your death than firing. Black Americans who experienced these life and death challenges managed to find resilience and hope that led to overcoming barriers professionally while...

Chicago State University
08/06/2021
CSU Black Media Conference

Sponsored by the Department of Communications, Media Arts & Theatre at Chicago State University. Find the program and speaker bios at https://www.csu.edu/CMAT/events.htm DAY 3, 1 PM Careers in PR & Advertising Ashley Atkins, Vice President Health, Edelman Amira Barger, Senior Vice President Public Affairs & Public Relations, Olgilvy Bianca Bradford, Executive Vice President & Account Director, Leo Burnett Hosts: Dr. Liefu Jiang, Assistant Professor of PR and Tarana Hammond, Lecturer...

05/28/2020
Priceless Advice Conversation with Amira Barger, MBA, CVA, CFRE; Volunteer/Donor Engagement and More

A fun and informative chat with Amira "Mira" Barger (MBA,CVA, CFRE) recorded May 1st, 2020. We delve into her expertise and #PricelessAdvice on volunteer and donor relationships and engagement, particularly in a crisis like the current COVID-19 situation. Mira shares her thoughts and feelings on "working at home" (different than "from home"), and the work/life mental and physical health balance that so many #LeadersOfVolunteers are struggling with right now. Mira serves on the Board of the...

Rainmaker Podcast
05/19/2019
Equity and inclusion in the nonprofit sector

In this episode our good friend Amira Barger, Head of Business Development at the Public Health Institute talks with us about one of the most under-addressed topics in the nonprofit sector. Equity and inclusion. She shares her personal perspective on what it means to create equitable environments in the nonprofit workplace, why equity is important and inclusion is essential, and what some of the biggest roadblocks are. In our conversation, Amira mentions several great resources that...

Announcements/Awards

AccessElite Well-being
AccessElite | DEIB Advisory Board

AccessElite has appointed some amazing experts in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB), to the AccessElite DEIB Advisory Board. These individuals are trailblazers changing the way companies transform diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Our advisors will provide thought leadership and ignite future programming, ensuring we continue to provide the highest quality experiences for you and your employees.

Journalistic Learning
10/05/2021
JLI Adds Two Members to its Board of Directors

Public Relations and Media Executives Amira Barger and Ritch Colbert Join the Journalistic Learning Initiative Board October 4, 2021 (Eugene, Ore.) - The non-profit Journalistic Learning Initiative (JLI) recently added two new members to its board, bringing the total number of board members to

GlobeNewswire News Room
07/14/2021
By the Bay Health Names Three Bay Area Business Leaders to Board of Directors

LARKSPUR, Calif., July 14, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- By the Bay Health (BTBH) today announced the appointment of Amira Barger, Tracy Stempel Hogan, and Greg LeClaire to the Board of Directors. These three new board appointments reflect the organization's broadening services and expanding role serving the Bay Area with hospice care, palliative care, comfort care, grief counseling, pediatric care, and skilled home health care services.