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Friday, March 1, 2024

Dynamic diversity: Coming together

By Kevin Ellis, David Mildenberg and Chris Roush

Celebrating diverse leaders in the state is a tradition at Business North Carolina, culminating in this year’s features on people from various racial and ethnic backgrounds from across the state.

As in previous years, the list includes folks with widely different careers, ranging from a leading hotel-industry magnate to a small-town restaurateur. Many credit strong family influences for motivating their success. Each traveled a challenging path to achieve noteworthy success.

The importance of diversity is an increasingly contentious issue after last year’s landmark Supreme Court ruling against race-conscious admissions at UNC Chapel Hill and mounting criticism of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programs at businesses, universities and other institutions. That tension doesn’t surprise Lucretia Berry, who is featured on Page 48. She teaches courses aimed at helping people understand racial issues and improve their communications with people of differing backgrounds. “It took a few hundred years until it became part of our culture where we could even discuss these issues,” she notes. “I’m optimistic, else I would quit.”

Click on the images below to view individual profiles.

Niti Armistead

Chauncey Barnill

Lucretia Carter Berry

James Boyd

Pam Cashwell

Shana Fulton

Linell Johnson

Thadd Jones

Vimal Kolappa

Ken Lemon

Jesus and Diego Ruiz

Carol Nyugen Steen

Lizette Cruz Watko

Stelfanie Williams

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