The HCLA DEIA Day, centered around diversity, equity, access, and inclusion, featured a comprehensive and thoughtful agenda. Andrew Adeniyi, CEO & Founder of AAA Solutions, kicked off the event, emphasizing the value of DEAI and set the stage for the day’s discussions. The morning session included a panel on “Building Inclusive Communities in Hamilton County,” where speakers Chaka Coleman, State Senator J.D. Ford, Doug Hsu, Dr. Nataki Pettigrew, and Jenna Young shared insights on community growth, policy, cultural development, education, and workforce and company culture.

This journey of embracing DEIA has become something deeply personal to me. It’s not just a concept; it’s a recognition that life doesn’t start the same for everyone. Unveiling and addressing systemic inequalities isn’t just a task for policy makers; it’s a call to all of us to create a place that’s fair and open to all. I’ve witnessed firsthand through my HCLA class how welcoming diverse viewpoints sparks something incredible—innovation and resilience that make our community stronger.

Following lunch, Patricia Gamble-Moore, senior vice president at PNC Bank and an HCLA Class of 2012 alumna, delved into “Understanding Affordability on the Personal & Business Level.” The afternoon session featured a Disability Resources Roundtable, discussing policy, social services, workforce, building, and development. Accessibility is a concept often in the shadows. It’s about making sure opportunities are within reach for everyone, regardless of where they come from or their abilities. Tearing down barriers, whether they’re physical or deeply ingrained in our systems, is the key to a truly inclusive community. A genuinely prosperous Hamilton County is one where every individual gets the chance to unfold their potential.

The day concluded with a facilitated reflection led by Patrick Propst, HCLA Class of 2024 dean. The HCLA DEIA Day successfully provided a platform for meaningful discussions and practical insights to promote diversity, equity, access, and inclusion in both professional and community settings. For me, this work is personal. It’s about seeing the faces and hearing the stories, valuing the unique qualities each person brings to the table, promoting fairness, and creating spaces where every voice is not just heard but celebrated. As leaders in our community, it’s not just about understanding the principles of DEIA; it’s about taking the steps that create meaningful and lasting change. Let’s engage in conversations that break molds, advocate for policies that ensure fairness, and create a place that sets a warm, welcoming stage for every citizen. Each step we take contributes to the creation of a Hamilton County that finds prosperity in its people.