TYSONS, VIRGINIA – Moments ago, the Virginia Forum on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion concluded with participation from members of the business community, industry experts, and representation from Virginia’s many diverse Chamber’s of Commerce.
Leaders from across the state gathered for a panel discussion on the importance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to the Commonwealth’s workforce, and the critical role it plays in Virginia’s economic growth and prosperity.
The program featured keynote remarks by Dr. Dietra Trent, Executive Director, White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity through Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Michele Chang, Chief Strategy Officer, Strada Education Foundation.
“Virginia’s workforce is increasingly diverse, which makes engagement with underrepresented demographics an economic imperative for all businesses,” said Virginia Chamber of Commerce President & CEO, Barry DuVal. “The Chamber values the continued partnership between the business community and policy makers in the Commonwealth that work to ensure Virginia is a top state for talent and business.”
“Historically Black Colleges and Universities have a long and distinguished history of producing diverse and talented leadership across all professions. They are ideal institutions for the business community to tap into for talent” said Dr. Dietra Trent, Executive Director, White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity through Historically Black Colleges and Universities
“Virginia’s workforce is rich in diverse backgrounds, skills, and experiences, and its workers are seeking opportunities to use those strengths and contribute to vibrant communities,” said Strada Education Foundation’s Chief Strategy Officer, Michele Chang. “It was inspiring to see leaders from across the state come together to recognize this asset and discuss how it can fuel Virginia’s economic growth and prosperity. As we work towards a more inclusive workforce, we must continue to explore new ways to ensure that everyone can find and follow their desired pathway to opportunity.”
Additional Highlights from Conference Include:
Keynote and Special Remarks:
Shena Ashley, PhD, Vice President, Community Impact & Initiatives & President, Capital One Foundation
Michele Chang, Chief Strategy Officer, Strada Education Foundation
Bryan Hill, Fairfax County Executive
My Lan Tran, Executive Director, Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce
Dr. Dietra Trent, Executive Director, White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity through Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Sam Wiggins, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce
PANEL DISCUSSION – Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion: A Matter of Virginia’s Economic Competitiveness and Prosperity
Lakshmi Williams, General Counsel, Transurban North America and Chair, Virginia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
· Latoya Asia, Director – Talent Acquisition, Workforce Planning, DE&I, Dominion Energy
· Nathan Carter, PhD, Chief Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Officer, Northern Virginia Community College
· Patrick Phillippi, Head of HQ2 Community Engagement, Amazon
· Michel Zajur, President & CEO, Virginia Hispanic Chamber
The full program for the Virginia Forum on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion can be found here: Virginia Forum on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – Virginia Chamber of Commerce (vachamber.com)
About the Virginia Chamber Foundation:
The Virginia Chamber Foundation tracks Virginia’s economic competitiveness, conducts research and analysis, and hosts programs connected to the priorities of Blueprint Virginia. In December 2021, the Chamber released its new statewide strategic economic development plan, Blueprint Virginia 2030, which engaged over 7,000 business, economic development, workforce, education, housing, and other community leaders to lay out a plan to ensure