DALLAS — The Dallas Business Journal honored its first class of Leaders of Diversity award winners at a virtual event Thursday.

The new event honored six organizations and 13 individuals who have shown exceptional commitment to promoting practices that advance diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. These honorees have been doing tough and important work in DFW for decades across all areas of diversity, equity and inclusion — including age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, race and religion. Two of this year’s honorees are being recognized for their efforts of being a champion for people with disabilities.

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Here are some highlights from the virtual event:

Myrtle Bell, Associate Dean for Diversity, Racial Equity, and Inclusion and Thomas McMahon Professor in Business Ethics for the University of Texas at Arlington talked about the impact of the academic study of diversity in business — including her textbook which is on its fourth edition. She also talked about her impact as a teacher.

Chris Luna, vice president of Legal Affairs at T-Mobile, talked about his career in the DEI space as a lawyer and on the Dallas City Council. He also discussed how DEI is making lasting changes in company boardrooms.

Kim J. Askew, a partner at the Dallas office, of DLA Piper discussed the power of diversity in the courtrooms and the law in general.

Richie L. Butler is the founder of Project Unity and Senior Pastor of the historic St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church in Dallas. He discussed why Project Unity was founded and its local impact, and how his faith has helped inform both his present and the commercial real estate deals of his past.

The Dallas Business Journal also honored six companies doing great work in the DEI space. One of those companies was JBJ Management which has been doing business-to-government community engagement since it was founded in 1995. CEO Willis Johnson talked about the opportunities the events of 2020 created and future challenges.

To see all the honorees and videos from the event, click here.

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