You founded DiverseForce to help organizations address DEI challenges, not least of which is hiring diverse professionals for top leadership positions. What inspired you to start this journey?
The journey to found DiverseForce was inspired by a recognition of the immense untapped potential and the need for organizations to reflect the diversity of the communities they serve. We saw a gap in the market for a service that could bridge this divide, and thus DiverseForce was born.
You opened P4 Hub in 2021. Why are place-based initiatives like this so critical for advancing racial equity and excellence?
Place-based initiatives like the P4 Hub are critical because they provide a physical space where people can come together to build authentic, trusting relationships while networking, learning, collaborating, and driving change. The right environment and programming can create a sense of community, belonging, and collective responsibility, which is essential to advance organizational practices around racial equity and to inspire the pursuit of excellence from communities that have been marginalized, like our black and brown communities.
Hiring with a mindset of finding “culture adds” versus the often-misused practice of finding “cultural fits” in top leadership positions should be a strategic priority, not an afterthought.
What’s one thing every employer should know before beginning the hiring process?
Every employer should know that diversity is not just a box to be checked. It can be a powerful driver of innovation, creativity, and business performance. Hiring with a mindset of finding “culture adds” versus the often-misused practice of finding “cultural fits” in top leadership positions should be a strategic priority, not an afterthought.
What does Philadelphia need more of? What are we doing right?
Philadelphia needs more sustained collective impact initiatives with resources to advance racial equity, and not just episodic programs that operate in silos. We are doing a great job of fostering a vibrant life sciences and startup ecosystem and should continue to leverage this strength to drive multiracial economic growth and prosperity.
What advice would you tell your younger self just starting out his career?
The advice I would give my younger self is that relationships are like roots; go wide for support and deep for nourishment. In life, we need both a wide network of diverse connections for access and opportunities, but not at the cost of the deeper relationships with our family and loved ones that will enrich our soul.
The advice I would give my younger self is that relationships are like roots; go wide for support and deep for nourishment.
What gets you out of bed in the morning? What keeps you up at night?
What gets me out of bed in the morning is the potential to leverage innovation for social impact. At DiverseForce, we're not just preparing individuals for the future of work and leadership; we're equipping them with the skills to drive change and make a positive impact in the world. What keeps me up at night is the desire to see the full breadth and depth of my vision at scale, and not run out of my most precious commodity, TIME.
What’s your superpower?
Many people say my superpower is being a great connector and convener of people. I think it’s my ability to discipline my disappointment as it relates to progress and stay optimistically focused on a brighter future for our city and beyond.
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