Careers in IDBEA (DEI) Panel by Wagner Diversity Council

On November 8, 2023, NYU Wagner students and alumni heard from professionals forwarding  Inclusion, Diversity, Belonging, Equity, and Accessibility (IDBEA) in their fields. The Careers in IDBEA Panel panel, a collaboration between  Wagner’s Office of Career Services (OCS), the Wagner Diversity Council (WDC), and the Office of Student and Alumni Engagement (OSAE),  delved into building and navigating careers in IDBEA-centric roles in the private, government and nonprofit sectors.

The panelists were: 

  • Natalie Overton, Global Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) at Fresh
  • Marina Tavares, Senior Manager of Equity and Belonging at Jobs for the Future (JFF)
  • Quemuel Arroyo, Chief Accessibility Officer at State of New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), NYU Wagner Alumnus (MPA-PNP 2020)

And Maura Danehey, MPA candidate and WDC co-chair, moderated the discussion. 

Panelists painted a vivid picture of the IDBEA landscape – a complex tapestry of challenges that continuously evolves. Here are a few top takeaways from the discussion: 

  1. The Importance of Self-Awareness: Individuals need to confront personal biases and cultivate a genuine appreciation for diversity and diverging viewpoints as a life-long practice.
  2. Sustainable Diversity needs to be Organizational Culture: Diversity and inclusion need to be deeply embedded in organizational culture rather than temporary initiatives.
  3. Mentorship and Community is Transformative: Mentors and peers who empathize and guide are invaluable.
  4. Navigate Uncharted Territories: You will experience obstacles.
  5. The Role of DEI in Professional Development: Insights were shared on how DEI principles can be integrated into career development and professional growth for all employees of an organization, and how to adapt to changing environments.
Zoom screenshot of panelists, moderator, and sign language interpreter, smiling at each other.

Resources to Explore

Here are additional resources to explore: 

American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation was provided by Lou Ann Walker and Melissa Jenkins from SLR Connect

Written by Katja Kurz, co-edited by the Wagner Diversity Council