Civil Rights Organization Leader George Lambert on DEI Efforts: ‘Hold Leaders and Brands Accountable’

Last Friday, the Greater Washington Urban (GWUL) League recently hosted its third annual Equity in Black & White Summit.

As one of the region’s longest-standing civil rights organizations working to advance racial equity among disenfranchised communities, the flagship affiliate of the National Urban League is led by President/CEO George Lambert. With a long career in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, Lambert’s leadership qualities and increased call to action for dismantling structural racism continue to push the needle forward. 

Following this year’s GWUL summit, BLACK ENTERPRISE spoke with Lambert about being a thought leader in the DEI space, the greatest challenge in racial and social justice equity efforts, being a champion for change, and more. 

BLACK ENTERPRISE: What do you see as the greatest challenge to racial and social justice equity efforts?

George Lambert: In no uncertain terms, the stakes are high. There is a perception by those who oppose DEI efforts that marginalized groups are given an unfair advantage, and nothing is further from the truth. We have identified and continue to align with corporate leaders and companies genuinely embracing DEI. They are standing with us in changing the DEI landscape by addressing practices and decision-making through an equity lens.  

Tell us a bit more about your recent Equity in Black & White Summit.

We are continuing our series of programming designed as a response to a question that many are still asking. That question is, “What can we do?” Truthfully, it is time for us to stop asking questions and begin making statements. It is time to go beyond the metaphor, and it is time to align our actions with our rhetoric.

What is the purpose of the summit and who attends?

All of our supporters and attendees understand that this is the age of trust. We are fortunate to have top industry thought leaders to share ideas and best practices that we must employ to reach trust. Our main goal is to spark honest thoughts about DEI efforts in your company or organization and how you convert these thoughts and ideas to reform and change.

So with that said, what can we do to actively get involved in bringing forth effective change?

Trust is the new brand equity. Hold leaders and brands accountable. Use your equity filter to determine which brands demonstrate a will and commitment to lead with an equity lens.

For more information on the Greater Washington Urban League, please visit