The National Diversity Council, in conjunction with the Ohio Diversity Council, facilitated the DiversityFIRST™ Certification Program August 7 to 11 at the University of Cincinnati.

Attendees came from across Ohio, from the northeast corner of the state to the southwest, and beyond.  Participants also traveled from other states, representing companies with presence from Pennsylvania to Minnesota to France.

“We are grateful to our host, the University of Cincinnati, for giving us the opportunity to bring this program to Ohio for the first time,” said Dennis Kennedy, founder and chairman of the National Diversity Council. “With their support, participants from a variety of industries – from law enforcement to education, healthcare and auto manufacturing – were able to engage in rich dialogue around cooperative solution-finding that transcends industry.”

Dr. Cecilia Orellana-Rojas, who leads the program at the National Diversity Council, brought in expert trainers from around the country to lead discussions and case studies from around the globe. Special focus was given to employee resource group management, culture competence, measurement, executive engagement, and the business case for diversity and inclusion.

“Participants had high praise for the program and content,” said Daniel Juday, director of the Ohio Diversity Council. “They valued the unique opportunity to enhance their knowledge and awareness of all things D&I up to par with the best in the business.”

Lisa Johnson, director of diversity and inclusion and employee relations at Aultman Health Foundation, graduated from the program. “I’m so glad I took advantage of this opportunity,” she said. “It offered me the opportunity to engage with others digging their heels in to create and enhance effective internal, external, and global changes.”

Eighteen attendees completed this program and received a National Diversity Council Certified Diversity Professional designation. This prestigious designation speaks to a practitioner’s ability to create, grow and lead diversity and inclusion efforts in the workplace.

Additionally, graduates joined a growing cohort of practitioners across the country through the DiversityFIRST™ Graduate Network, an online resource for sharing ideas and best-practice solutions from various industries, sectors, and geographies.

For more information on the DiversityFIRST™ Certification Program and to see when it’s coming to an area near you, go to: diversitycertificationprogram.org .

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