Profiles In Leadership

Showcasing diverse profiles within Ventera for Black History Month

Donald Akpovwa

Data Business Analyst

1. What does it mean to you to be African American?

It means to be an American, by way of African or indigenous descent. It means doing the due diligence to try to understand where you come from, no matter where you come from, and taking pride in that. It means trying to do better than those that came before you, and continuing to bring our people forward for a better tomorrow.

2. What is your favorite part of your heritage?

I am of Nigerian descent. My favorite part of my heritage is the customs and values established. Besides the great food and values, like respecting your elders and treating people honestly, the culture really promotes being a hardworking, forward-thinking, and loving person to the people around you.

3. How do you personally work with people to create or foster diversity, equity, and inclusion?

I love philosophy and philosophical conversations, so I ask a question that is not so straightforward… “Where are you from?”

When I ask that, they share a part of where they’re from, and then they often ask me to be more specific. “Do you mean where I was born? Where I grew up? My bloodline? Where I lived the longest or where I matured?” It becomes a funny conversation, but it includes everyone and allows us to outline our diversity in a harmonious way.

4. In what ways have your past experiences with DEI influenced how you approach your work, your colleagues, and the world as a whole?

A DEI group I was involved with asked thought-provoking questions that forced people to see the world through different lenses, and I think it opened most people’s eyes and made us appreciate others more.

5. What does it mean to you to have a commitment to diversity and inclusion? How do you think we can continue to support the need for social change?

Having a commitment to diversity and inclusion requires being a genuine person who loves and sees the brighter side of people. With social media, a lot of people are in their own world. Having a commitment to diversity and inclusion requires making a conscious effort to break that cycle and making an effort to genuinely connect to people who don’t look like you or the people you grew up around.

How can we continue to support the need for social change? First, by understanding that it affects all of us. People distance themselves from bad things happening to others because it isn’t affecting them. Understanding it affects all of us, is knowing that one day you can be in the same position you are distancing from. Teaching compassion to people to know we are a reflection of our community and our community is a reflection of us. Love.

6. Tell us a fun fact about yourself!

I have a Cat named “Athena.” 😀

"Having a commitment to diversity and inclusion requires being a genuine person that loves and sees the brighter side of people ... It requires making a conscious effort to genuinely connect to people that don't look like you or the people you grew up around."

Previously Featured on Diverse Voices

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