After a January that felt like a whole year, February is finally here. It’s also the perfect time to celebrate the invaluable contributions of African American leaders in staffing because it’s Black History Month!
Recognizing the achievements of African American leaders in staffing and Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives is crucial because representation matters. Especially today, where inspiration is the root of action, the forerunners in the staffing industry deserve the platform to inspire inclusiveness on all fronts in the workplace.
Who are they? And how did they contribute to African-Americans in Staffing and DEI Initiatives?
These persons’ leadership, determination, and passion have inspired countless individuals and have contributed to the glow-up of workplaces for African-American employees. Always pushing for inclusivity and equality in the staffing industry for people in the black community.
They are true trailblazers, and we are honored to celebrate their contributions today and every day.
“We all need to know and feel that our voice matters.”
Dr. Nika shared this on an Instagram post when reminiscing on the day she said yes to writing a book with Forbes.
This one sentence precisely represents who Dr. Nika is. Her passion and strong advocacy for inclusivity in the workplace have made her a leader in the staffing industry. With core values of collaboration, curiosity, change as a constant, continuous improvement, and constructive candor, it is no wonder that she is a pioneer for African Americans in the staffing industry.
Take a look at her work because it reflects her intention to forge inclusivity in workplaces for the black community. This is why she coined the term “Intentional Inclusionist” because she believes that organizations must go beyond simply promoting diversity in the workplace and actively create a culture of inclusiveness.
2. Wayne Sutton
Sutton went from blogger to trendsetter, entrepreneur, investor, and advocate, showing aspiring African American tech founders and entrepreneurs that nothing is impossible.
He was named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business and honored by the National Association of Black Journalists. With all this under his belt, he still works to push for DEI efforts for underrepresented communities in tech and entrepreneurship.
You can see this through his startup, New Me Accelerator, which provides mentorships and resources to tech persons, and a non-profit he co-founded named BUILDUP that offers fellow programs and educational workshops to support tech founders in the Black and Latinx community.
Through his initiatives, Sutton is working to create a more equitable and inclusive tech industry where all individuals have the opportunity to succeed and thrive.
“I am a passionate advocate for justice and equity; a provocateur not afraid to have the difficult conversations…”
This quote shows how Mary-Frances Winters has effectively demonstrated, in the last three decades to this day, that unity and inclusion still have a place despite the diversity and differing opinions. She is the founder and president of The Winters Group, a DEI consulting firm that finesses organizations into building cultures that promote equitable and diverse workplaces.
Mary-Frances is the it-girl in the DEI field; she is known for her expertise in DEI strategy, talent management, and cultural competency. She frequently speaks and writes, and her thought-provoking presentations on DEI are binge-worthy.
Worth mentioning is the #LiveInclusively, a way for her to connect with others who are passionate about DEI and to build a community of like-minded individuals who are committed to a mission similar to hers. Be on the lookout for that on your Instagram feeds.
“I am proud of the fact that I have been an active change agent, who has helped companies change their culture. As a result, many of my clients now embrace diversity and understand that it is more than just races and gender.”
As the founder and CEO of ICARUS, Dr. Shelton Goode provides organizations with strategic guidance on creating more inclusive and equitable workplaces.
In Greek mythology, Icarus is the son of the master craftsman. Hence, it is no surprise that Dr. Goode’s firm works with organizations to craft, build and implement DEI strategies tailored to their unique needs and challenges. He does this through training and coaching to help leaders and employees understand the importance of DEI.
ICARUS is known for its innovative and practical approach to DEI and has helped many organizations become more diverse, inclusive, and equitable. Dr. Goode is a sought-after speaker and trainer on DEI and is known for his engaging and thought-provoking presentations. He has also written several books on DEI, including “The Inclusion Revolution: Building a Diverse and Inclusive Workforce for the 21st Century.”
Dr. Goode is a trailblazer in his field, always emphasizing the importance of intentional and strategic efforts to promote DEI in the workplace and providing organizations with the tools and resources they need to increase inclusivity.
Dr. Uche Blackstock’s initiatives hit different because they are unique to her as a physician, entrepreneur, and advocate. She is the CEO of Advancing Health Equity, a company that provides strategic consulting services on DEI and health equity to organizations in the healthcare industry.
A Harvard-schooled and emergency medicine-certified physician, Dr. Blackstock wanted to abolish the prevailing disparities and unconscious bias of the American healthcare system against African Americans. She was primarily influenced by her mother’s experiences, bolstering her will to form her organization that aimed to remove all barriers to inclusive and equal access to healthcare for all people.
“When you live in a racist society, you begin internalizing all of the messaging that you see around you, and it gets to the point where you actually may not realize it but, you end up treating patients differently.”
Throughout her career, Dr. Blackstock has been a passionate advocate for DEI in the healthcare industry. She is a frequent speaker and writer known for her several articles and op-eds on DEI.
In her work, Dr. Blackstock emphasizes the importance of intentional and strategic efforts to promote DEI in the workplace. She has also called on the government to support the African American community, especially black women, in pursuing leading careers in the healthcare sector.
These individuals paved the way for a more inclusive and equitable workplace, and their legacy inspires us all. Black History Month is a continuous celebration and reminder of how societies can change for the better when everyone is given equal opportunities in the workplace and the global economy at large.
Get more insight on the thought leaders in the staffing industry with Allied Insight.
Allied Insight, a full-stack marketing agency that also champions diversity, equality, and inclusion as a core company policy, joins the rest of America and the world in celebrating National Black History Month.