NCAJ To Begin DEI Assessment

April 08, 2024

An announcement from President Andy Banzhoff, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Vice President Kristen Dewar and Executive Director Shannon Leskin

We are excited to announce that we are working with Ricky Hurtado and Michelle Hughes to conduct a DEI assessment for NCAJ. As you may know, strengthening NCAJ’s efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion across all areas of our organization has been a priority and a key focus of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. This DEI assessment lays the foundation for our future work, and we are pleased to be able work with Ricky and Michelle as they support us in this journey. 

You may know both Ricky and Michelle from their previous work. Ricky served in the N.C. House representing District 63 (Alamance County) in 2021-22. For the past few years Ricky has been working as a consultant with organizations across the country with a focus on strategic planning and diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Michelle is the former executive director of NC Child and has been working as a nonprofit consultant since 2022, including with NCAJ in 2022-23 when she helped us develop our legislative agenda and an advocacy engagement program for our members, LEAP. Both Ricky and Michelle bring a deep understanding of North Carolina – its politics, culture and communities – and experience in working with nonprofits to strengthen their focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. We are pleased to be able to partner with them for this work. 

Over the next few weeks, members of NCAJ will have opportunities to have their voices heard in this DEI assessment process. 

We encourage you to register for one of two listening sessions for NCAJ members that will be facilitated by Ricky and Michelle on April 17 at 10 a.m. and on April 22 at 1 p.m.

Members can attend either session.

This is an opportunity to discuss with other NCAJ members the challenges and aspirations we share about strengthening DEI at our association. These two listening sessions are open to any members, and we encourage you to participate in the discussion as your voice and perspectives are important to us and to NCAJ. (As an FYI, two other listening sessions will be held specifically for NEXT Leadership Program members and for the DEI Committee. Members of those groups will receive separate invitations to those learning sessions).

We are looking forward to hearing from you during this process. Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of us. 

Thank you for your participation and for all you do for NCAJ.