Published: July 25, 2020
Effective July 1, Sheritta Strong, M.D., became the director of inclusion at UNMC, reporting to Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D.
Dr. Strong, an assistant professor in the UNMC Department of Psychiatry, became director of inclusion on an interim basis on Feb. 1. She now takes the role on a permanent basis.
Dr. Strong took over the new position, designed to help UNMC meet and expand its goals in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion, at a time when the nation as a whole was continuing to come to grips with the longstanding effects of structural racism.
As protests were held over the deaths of Black men and persons of color — including George Floyd in Minneapolis and James Scurlock and Zachary Bearheels in Omaha — Dr. Strong was working with campus leaders and the UNMC community to foster a more inclusive and welcoming environment that is receptive to the changes required to increase diversity, equity and inclusion.
“This is a pivotal moment in the history of race relations in the United States,” Dr. Strong said. “With initiatives such as a leadership listening sessions, campus participation in the nationwide ‘White Coats for Black Lives’ event, creating this position and prioritizing inclusive space on campus, UNMC has shown it is open to being part of a positive change. I could not step away from this position now, when so much still needs to be done and so many people at UNMC are working hard to be part of making things better for the entire community.”
Dr. Strong said she has been asked multiple times about where to start.
“To begin having these tough conversations about racism and inclusivity, I recommend the resources from the McGoogan Health Sciences Library,” she said. “To further these conversations, we all must have a basic understanding of the forces in place that oppress marginalized groups in our society.”
UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., who appointed Dr. Strong in February, said the campus already has benefited from her work.
“Dr. Strong is an accomplished and passionate leader, and UNMC is fortunate to have her in this role,” he said. “We are a health care leader in the community, the state and the nation, and we need to lead in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as attacking health disparities in the communities that we serve. Dr. Strong is well positioned to help UNMC become a more inclusive campus that provides serious medicine and extraordinary care tothe people of the entire community.”
Source: Press Release, UNMC
David Pollock launches Code Black to bring people of color into tech
Published: January 20, 2022
David Pollock is on a mission. Driven by purpose and a clear vision to see his beloved community empowered, David is helping to bring African-Americans and people of color further into the tech industries.
To accomplish his goal, David has launched Code Black, a non-profit organization focused on fostering collaboration and sponsorship between Black and Latinx who are emerging and experienced professionals in technology.
He launched the organization in the midst of the pandemic which is a great example of his commitment to the cause. He reached out to professionals in the industry and other leaders in the community to make sure he was creating something that would be of value to others.
Pollock did the work necessary to build a solid foundation. After years of preparation, he stepped out in faith to make it a reality.
While others pulled back during the pandemic, he continued to push forward. He is also a strong believer in collaboration and team work. Others have joined in to support him with his mission. It’s a beautiful thing to see, preparation meet opportunity.
David not only believes in the importance of education, he is leading by example in that area as well. David obtained his master’s in Organizational Leadership from Bellevue University.
He is also able to speak the language of those he seeks to see empowered. David’s tech experience and certifications consist of in IBM Cognitive Analytics (Chatbot), Grow with Google (app development), Drone software developer, Software: Airsim – Unreal Engine 4 – Watson Image Classification system, Languages: Java, C++ and Python.
Before starting Code Black, David worked 3 ½ years as a Fatherhood Coordinator and 4 ½ years as a college success advisor for students of color. These experiences allowed him to gain additional insights on how he could better serve his own community.
After a successful career in coaching, mentoring and developing programs, David is now leading the way with others to create an organization where Black and Latinx in technology impact the very community that they live in. His initial focus is the State of Nebraska.
Most importantly, David is a dedicated husband and father. He and his wife are consistently engaged in work to improve their community and highly regarded in the areas of leadership development, career advancement, tech, diversity and inclusion and innovation.
David is available for community networking and for business collaboration. You can reach David at 402-515-8865 or email@example.com
Shavonne Washington-Krauth inaugural Director of Culture & Inclusion at Children’s Hospital
Published: January 19, 2022
Shavonne Washington-Krauth is the inaugural Culture and Inclusion Director for Children’s Hospital & Medical Center.
In mid-2018 Children’s Hospital & Medical Center began intensive conversations about their desire to do more focused and intentional work related to diversity and inclusion within the organization.
By July 2019, Children’s had hired its inaugural Culture and Inclusion Manager, Shavonne Washington-Krauth. Since that time, Children’s has been working to provide a more diverse and inclusive workplace experience for employees by focusing on programming, systems, and policy concepts.
They have also been working in the realm of creating a more inclusive experience for their patients and families. Due to the success and level of influence she was having in her role, Children’s promoted Shavonne to the Director of Culture and Inclusion one year after she joined the organization, and is now adding a new member to her team.
Children’s is proud of the progress made in the past 2 ½ years and looks forward to seeing how much more they will accomplish.
Ms. Washington-Krauth’s responsibilities include the creation and revision of systems, policies, opportunities, and environments in which everyone can not only work, but thrive at a more equitable rate without feeling excluded or marginalized.
She also leads the development and implementation of a culture, diversity, and inclusion strategic framework; supervision of six employee resource groups and serves as an advisor or subject matter expert on topics regarding the organization’s culture, diversity, and inclusion efforts.
Ms. Washington-Krauth holds a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, a master’s degree in health education, is a Prosci-certified Change Management Practitioner, and a trained Bridges Out of Poverty facilitator. Washington-Krauth is also a graduate of the Empowerment Network and BCT Partners’ Redefine the Game Institute.
Shavonne is dedicated and committed to the success of her community. She serves on the board of the Latino Center of the Midlands in South Omaha and Union for Contemporary Art in North Omaha.
She is a self-proclaimed “Air Force Brat” currently living in Omaha with her husband, two sons, two dogs, a fish, and three chickens.
Redefine the Game celebrates graduation of 3 cohorts and launch of the 4th
In 2021, The Empowerment Network and BCT Partners completed the 3rd and started the 4th Cohort of the nationally recognized Redefine the Game Institute.
A graduation ceremony for the 2nd and 3rd cohorts was held in June of 2021. The 4th cohort held its first class in November 2021 and will finish in September 2022.
Launched in 2018, by the Empowerment Network, BCT Partners and WDB Resultants, Redefine the Game is a highly interactive, career advancement and leadership development program.
It brings together African-American professionals from all sectors and engages them in a year long development experience which helps them to prepare for the next phase of their career.
Participants have the opportunity to rediscover their passions, purpose and ground themselves by reviewing their core values. From there they complete an assessment which helps them to understand how they make decisions, ways to interact with others more effectively and provides insights on how to use their strengths to maximize individual and collective work.
Over the period of the program, the class walks through the ten game changing strategies identified in the best selling book, Black Faces in White Places, written by Dr. Randal Pinkett and Dr. Jeffrey Robinson.
Pinkett and Robinson co-facilitate Redefine the Game, along with Willie Barney of the Empowerment Network and WDB Resultants and Damita Byrd with BCT Partners. Barney and Byrd worked together to develop the vision for the the cohort program and partnered with Pinkett and Robinson to bring it to reality.
It has made a measurable impact after just three cohorts. Over 40 corporations, businesses and organizations have sent employees through the program.
“We had thought about creating a course based on our book, but didn’t get around to doing it,” said Pinkett. “Then, Willie and Damita came to us with the vision and made it happen in a very short amount of time. Now, corporations and organizations across the country are inquiring about RTG.”
Including this cohort, 125 Black professionals and community leaders in Omaha will have participated. Of those who have completed the course, 70% have been promoted on their job.
“They were already doing great work and now have earned advancement and leadership opportunities through their own abilities, relationship building and utilization of their unique skill set,” said Barney.
“Alumni tell us that RTG helps provide them with an edge and the insights they need to better navigate their environments successfully,” added Byrd.