May 21, 2021
Warren Dukes has been named United Way of Central Indiana’s first Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. In this role, Dukes will enable UWCI’s internal and external efforts to develop and implement diversity, equity and inclusion-related strategies, partnerships and programs.
Dukes will also lead UWCI’s IDEAL (Inclusive Diversity Equity Advancing Leaders) employee resource group. In this capacity, Dukes will collaborate with UWCI employees to design and execute a strategy to ensure that diversity, equity and inclusion are deeply embedded in UWCI culture as the organization continues its work to address systemic racism in Central Indiana.
“As a social impact organization, diversity, equity and inclusion are at the heart of everything we do at UWCI. We recognize that there’s still much for us to learn, and that the transformative, systemic change that we are seeking must first come from within if we’re to effectively fulfill our mission of helping struggling individuals and families achieve their full economic potential in Central Indiana,” UWCI President and CEO Ann Murtlow said. “Warren’s unique focus and experience in DEI and organizational development as well as his ability to quickly develop trusting relationships with people across generations and with a wide array of backgrounds will help further UWCI’s diversity, equity and inclusion learning journey and position our organization to be a catalyst for change in our community.”
“I’m thrilled to join the United Way of Central Indiana as they we work to make central Indiana a better place for all residents. Now more than ever, organizations need staffing structures that support building a more equitable workplace. And as the first to hold this position, I look forward to collaborating with the leadership to ensure measurable, substantial positive changes,” said Dukes.
Since 2016, Dukes as served as an academic program manager and lecturer with Purdue University’s Department of Sociology. He also recently served as an advisor and subject matter expert for the Purdue University and West Lafayette Police Departments, where he evaluated campus police interactions with minority student and staff populations to target areas for improving cultural responsiveness and communication.
Warren also served as a consultant at The Center for Justice Research at Texas Southern University, where he offered research and insights on national standards governing police interface with ethnic minority communities
“Warren’s impact on the West Lafayette community in the past few years has been profound. His unique combination of passion and expertise has changed our community for the better,” said Troy Harris, chief of the West Lafayette Police Department.
Prior to joining Purdue University, Dukes served as an assistant professor of criminal justice at Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Dukes is a father of two and married to his wife, Wendy.
“During his time at Purdue, Warren built relationships with students and led change in our curriculum that had a positive impact on student engagement and enrollment. He had unwavering commitment to making Purdue and the sociology department the best it could be for our students. He worked to build equity and inclusion at all stages, from recruitment to graduation,” said Dr. Linda Renzulli, sociology department head at Purdue University.
Warren holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from North Carolina Central University, a master’s in criminal justice from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. in leadership studies from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
As Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Warren will report to UWCI Chief Talent and Culture Officer MeChelle Callen. He will also be a member of the organization’s executive operating committee.
Joining the Indy Racial Equity Pledge in November 2020 as its first non-profit signatory, UWCI committed to meet several diversity-related goals. The first of which focuses on UWCI’s internal processes – including enhancing efforts to promote racial equity in our hiring and staffing practices, marketing and branding, and in the celebration of philanthropy. As Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Dukes will lead substantial, measurable improvement across this internal goal and rest of our commitments.
A full list of UWCI’s Indy Racial Equity Pledge commitments can be found here.
United Way of Central Indiana is a community of donors, advocates, volunteers, and partners who fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community. United Way invites all members of our community to LIVE UNITED by giving, advocating and volunteering to improve lives in Central Indiana. Visit www.uwci.org to learn more.
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