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A growing number of companies are recognizing the business value of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). This has helped increase the interest in professionals who specializes in fostering diverse and inclusive work environments. Here are 10 of the changemakers in the DEI industry in the U.S.

1. Dr. Uché Blackstock, a Harvard-trained emergency medicine physician and founder of Advancing Health Equity (AHE). AHE works with healthcare companies to address disparities and inequities in healthcare and conducts workshops on unconscious bias. It has also developed a tool for evaluating racial equity.

2. Lily Zheng, a DEI consultant and writer. Zheng has helped nonprofit organizations, startups and Fortune 550 companies manage their diverse workforce. Zheng has authored and co-authored several books including Gender Ambiguity in the Workplace: Transgender and Gender-Diverse Discrimination and The Ethical Sellout.

3. Dr. Shelton Goode, an Air Force veteran and President and CEO of Icarus Consulting LLC. Goode has more than 10 years of experience in the DEI field and has served as a diversity manager or director for several large companies. Goode has received many DEI awards including the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources’ 2018 Trailblazer Award.

4. Dr. Kristen Liesch, co-chief executive officer of consulting firm Tidal Equity and founding partner of Blue Switch Consulting. Liesch helps companies in New Zealand and Canada increase their profitability by increasing their workforce diversity. Liesch has more than 15 years of experience in organizational equity and an extensive background as an educator and strategist.

5. Anj Handa, founder of the Inspiring Women Changemakers movement which focuses on the advancement of women. Handa has more than 20 years of experience in employment law and has received many awards and recognitions.

6. Mary-Frances Winters, president and CEO of consulting firm The Winters Group Inc. Winters has helped hundreds of companies with their DEI initiatives. Winters has published four books on diversity and inclusion and has been recognized with various awards. These include the Winds of Change award from the Forum on Workplace Inclusion and the diversity pioneer award from Profiles in Diversity Journal.

7. Wayne Sutton, co-founder of Tech Inclusion and Change Catalyst. These organizations were formed to improve diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. Sutton is considered a thought-leader in the field of diversity and inclusion. He is also a co-founder of The Icon Project which aims to develop emotionally intelligent men of color in the tech industry.

8. Steven Matly, founder and CEO of recruiting firm SM Diversity that focuses on helping employers hire more diverse employees. He conducts DEI workshops and was voted as one of the most influential leaders in 2018 by Seattle Magazine. Matly also founded an organization in Seattle called Diversity and Inclusion Meetup. 

9. Deborah Levine, founder and editor-in-chief of the American Diversity Report. She has more than 33 years of experience in the DEI field and has written 14 books on religious diversity. Levine has designed different programs to address unconscious bias and developed the Matrix Model Management System for measuring the Big Data of Diversity.

10. Dr. Nika White, a leadership consultant head of Diversity and Inclusion at the Greenville Chamber of Commerce in South Carolina. She has more than 20 years of experience in DEI and has written two books on diversity and inclusion: Next Level Inclusionist: Transforming Your Work and Yourself for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Success and The Intentional Inclusionist.

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