The NETwork Los Angeles Chapter has a unique powerful history. Los Angeles, California was home for much racial unrest in the late 1960s. Amidst that unrest, there became the lack of advancement for Black employees at Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Company. It is in this environment that three first-level African American managers, Lou Beadle, Fred Gordon and Bill Norwood, decided to use strategy means of improve opportunities in the company. As a result, they were assigned a special program in the employment division. It was their job to recruit employable African Americans to satisfy Pacific Telephone’s commitment to the National Alliance of Businessmen, a program that preceded Affirmative Action.
The three men decided additional action was needed stemming from racial bias taking place. Further, they formed a committee with three other managers. Fred Gordon later resigned from the committee and replaced by Chuck Smith. The committee became known as the Big 6. That team expanded to 13 members and subsequently formed the board of directors for the new organization called Community Involvement Teams In Every Sector, or C.I.T.I.E.S. Now renamed to the NETwork, and still standing tall as the first Employee Resource Group create by AT&T. What a LEGACY and celebrated our 50th anniversary in 2019.
We are proud to be a part of the NETwork history and members of the oldest chapter of the phone company’s history of employee resource groups. We thrive to encourage African Americans and other diverse individuals to attain their personal and professional goals and to lead change in our communities.