The Alabama Society of CPAs held their second annual Diversity in Accounting conference on September 8, featuring over 100 students at Alabama State University's campus.

Students gathered from all across the state to meet and hear about best diversity practices in the profession, with speakers including AICPA chair Kimberly Ellison-Taylor and New Jersey Society of CPAs CEO Ralph Thomas.

“Students came from all over the state to spend the day with us," stated ASCPA president and CEO Jeannine Birmingham. "It was vital for them to see professionals who look like them working on increasing diversity. We offered speakers at the very highest national levels, including Florence Holland from the AICPA’s Pipeline Initiative, to demonstrate our commitment to supporting these students as they enter the accounting profession.”

The conference is a part of the state society's "Diversity and Inclusion Committee," chaired by Emma Cole, an educator at Troy University Montgomery, and other members of the ASCPA.

“I can’t even describe how amazing it was to meet Ms. Ellison-Taylor”, said Jaylon Williams, UAB graduate student and conference co-chair, per a statement. “Here was the chair of the AICPA, really friendly and down-to-earth, taking selfies with all of us and providing such an encouraging message. Her story is so powerful and its impact will have a ripple effect with the students privileged to attend.”

The college accounting students were able to meet and network during conference breaks, and also took park in a "Meet the Firms" networking lunch. Students also got to hear from a panel of CPAs who gave a wide-range of career paths they found inside the profession.

Participants at the ASCPA's 2nd annual Diversity Conference earlier this month.
Participants at the ASCPA's 2nd annual Diversity Conference earlier this month. ASCPA

For more on the Alabama Society of CPAs, head to their site here.

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