August 28th, 2013
In Unity, There Is Power
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic I Have A Dream speech. We’re adding the voice of one of our own to the conversation.
I am a husband.
I am a father.
I am a community servant.
I am a professor.
I am a coach.
I am a writer.
I am a public speaker.
I am a business leader.
By now, you’ve probably made some assumptions about me: who I am, what I look like, how I might behave.
But no one looks like their story.
I am the Chief Diversity Officer for Johnson & Johnson.
I am African-American.
The path to my position here at Johnson & Johnson first took root in the Civil Rights Era. It was a tiny seed, planted fifty years ago, with the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have A Dream speech as its backdrop.
I was just a little boy from the South Bronx, walking to school one day.
A Latino classmate ran up to me and said, “The President just passed the civil rights bill.” I said, “What is that?”
I was embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know.
“This bill is meant to help your people,” my friend said.
Later, my godmother, who adopted me after the death of my parents, which separated me from my nine siblings, explained what it all meant. She spoke of the heroes – of all races and colors – who were fighting to make civil rights a reality. I began to understand the bits and pieces of the news stories I’d been hearing, and why they mattered.
I turned embarrassment into action and set out to learn more.
By high school, I was selected for a unique leadership program in the Archdiocese of New York along with other African-American boys. I was encouraged to delve deeper into my culture. I read works by all of the heroes my godmother had told me about, absorbing all I could.
Together, my peers and I were creating a diverse cadre of people that could carry King’s legacy and vision into the future. You see, King had a full appreciation of the differences in our world. He knew that they form a beautiful mosaic. Recognizing that beauty and harnessing those differences brings people together and creates real solutions.
The other boys and I were beginning to understand that in unity, there is power.
In my role at Johnson & Johnson, I am able to be an ambassador of this power and cascade King’s message into programs that impact people’s lives and health. I discover people’s unique stories and find ways that those stories unite and connect us for a greater good.
I’m so proud to be doing this work.
We’ve taken on big, audacious projects to promote diversity and inclusion in the healthcare space. We’re tackling problems like healthcare disparities. The program I’m most proud of is Gateway to A Healthy Community – Healthier Kids, a curriculum-based program that works side-by-side with 100 schools and 1,000 classrooms to help fight childhood obesity and diabetes at the K-3 levels. The program has done so well, that we’re now expanding into the 4th through 6th grades, reaching families who might not otherwise have the money, tools or resources to make healthy choices.
This is what my work is all about. At times, I do get discouraged about the inequities that still exist across our nation. But when that happens, I keep in mind that I work for a company with a Credo and that Johnson & Johnson employees stand together and serve people in need – regardless of income, color, sexual orientation, religion, or age.
Because no one looks like their story.
Anthony P. Carter is the Vice President, Global Diversity & Inclusion, and Chief Diversity Officer for Johnson & Johnson. In this capacity, Anthony is responsible for building a strategy that enhances the Johnson & Johnson vision to be a world class, benchmark company for diversity and inclusion and aligning this critical business process with the Corporation’s strategic business objectives. In this position, he reports directly to the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Johnson & Johnson and works closely with the Worldwide Vice President and Executive Committee Member for Human Resources and the Worldwide Human Resources Executive Council. Anthony is a member of the Corporate Group Operating Committee and a Member of the Human Resources Executive Committee.
Anthony joined Johnson & Johnson in 2002 as Director, Corporate Communications and was promoted to Vice President, Corporate Communications in 2005. In this role, he was responsible for organizational communications, executive communications, and all communications for Human Resources and the Office of Diversity & Inclusion on a global basis. Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, he was Senior Director of Culture and Diversity for Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and the former Director of Public Affairs. He is the former Assistant Press Secretary to Mayor David N. Dinkins; former Director of Public Affairs for the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, and served for 10 years in Corporate Communications for Avon Products, Inc. In 1983, he served as Press Secretary to Congressman Edolphus Towns of Brooklyn.
Anthony is a Member of the Board of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation; a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Crossroads Theatre in New Brunswick, New Jersey; a Member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Visitors of Howard University. He is a Member of the Georgetown University Chief Diversity Officers Consortium and is a Board member of National Medical Fellowships. He serves as a Co-Chair of the Center for Talent Innovation. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the School of Continuing & Professional Studies in the Public Affairs and Corporate Communication Graduate Program at New York University.
Anthony received a BA degree in Communications and Journalism from Fordham University. He and his wife, Wendy, currently reside in Hillsborough, New Jersey. Their children are Austin (30), Ashley (28), and Dayne (19).