Diversity, Equity & Inclusion | Greater Louisville Inc.
Dana J. Johnson, Sr. Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Greater Louisville Inc.
The population isn’t made up of just one kind of person, and more and more companies understand that the workforce needs to reflect and mirror the population. Dana J. Johnson, Sr. Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Greater Louisville Inc., shares about how the organization continuously works toward this goal.
Can you describe how your DEI program is structured?
GLI has a dedicated DE&I team made up of Eric Jordan, Ph.D., our Diversity and Inclusion Strategies Manager, and I. The GLI leadership team, our Board of Directors and Executive Committee are also involved in generating new ideas for programming and outreach. We also utilize our Business Council to End Racism to engage the broader business community. Finally, our internal DE&I committee works to ensure an inclusive staff culture at GLI.
What types of programming and outreach does your DEI team do?
Some of our core programs are our Power to Prosper Minority Business Accelerator, which launched this year with a cohort of 16 businesses who are eager to scale up their operations. Our Racial Equity Pledge gave businesses the opportunity to commit to increasing DE&I in our community, and we have since launched a complementing toolkit and Inclusion Index in partnership with GEDDI. In the future, we plan to offer DE&I consulting for companies who want to increase internal and external diversity.-
What short and long-term goals do you have for your DEI program?
The overarching goal of our DE&I work is to create a community where everyone has equitable opportunities to thrive and succeed. That requires eliminating systemic barriers that keep minority populations from prospering and equipping them with resources needed to create an equal playing field. As the chamber, we are also involved in economic development and talent attraction, and we know being an inclusive community that celebrates all races, cultures, and backgrounds is critical for attracting top talent and top businesses. In the short term, our goal is to continue to grow the reach of our Power to Prosper Minority Business Accelerator, Racial Equity Pledge, and Business Council to End Racism. We will also continue collaborating with local partners to ensure we are effectively addressing issues in Greater Louisville.
We are hopeful that our initiatives create a sense of belonging for people of all races, religions, sexual orientations, and backgrounds that call Louisville home. If we create that sense of belonging among our residents, it will translate to attracting more diverse talent and businesses to our region. When that happens, we will have succeeded in creating a diverse, and equitable economy.