Dawnita Wilson

Cues and Views

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion executive Dawnita J. Wilson, in brief.

Dawnita Wilson

Home: Currently in Clarksburg, MD, but Pittsburgh is “home.”  Age: Knocking on 50’s door.  Birthplace: Grew up in Western Pennsylvania in a small town called Everson (right outside of Pittsburgh).  Profession: Diversity and Inclusion leader, but a pretty darn good writer.  Organization: JBG SMITH.  Title: Vice President, Diversity + Inclusion.  Preferred pronouns: She/Her/Hers.  Significant other: It’s complicated.  Alma mater: University of Pittsburgh.  Languages spoken: English (I was a bit of a slacker in school when it came to foreign language class).

Current project: I love to write.  I currently have a greeting card company that I started a few years back called Inclusive Expressions.  I lost inspiration and momentum during the pandemic, but looking forward to a new found commitment and motivation this year. Recent recognition: I was recognized on the 2021 “Top 100 Diversity Officers” list by the National Diversity Council and was featured as one of "The 10 most Influential Black Women in Business to Follow in 2021" by CIO Views magazine.  I was also a 2021 Washington Business Journal “Diversity in Business Award” honoree.  Recent professional development: I’m currently participating in the McKinsey Black Leadership Academy.  Last book read: I just started Will, by Will Smith.

Personality profile: Direct.  What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Funny.  How do you define a perfect friendship? One that allows me to be unapologetically authentic.  How do you define an ideal business relationship? Respectful and transparent.  What is your greatest joy? Laughter.  What is your greatest fear? Losing loved ones.  What natural talent have you neglected? Writing.  What occupation, other than your own, do you most admire? Caretakers.  I admire people who have the compassion and the patience to take care of others in need.

What three emojis best describe you? 🤣🎤💃🏽.

How do you relieve stress? Exercising or spa days.  What ingredient is essential to your perfect vacation? A beach, a luxury hotel and some good food/drinks.  What is your go-to workout? My Peloton.  I love it!  What's always in your fridge? Chocolate and champagne.  What else do you need?

What’s featured prominently on your office wall? The letters "D" and "I" for Diversity & Inclusion.  What movie have you repeatedly watched? Love Jones.  Who has had the greatest influence on your life? My mother.  What is the best advice you received growing up? Treat people the way you want to be treated.  What is the best advice you received in your career? Everything great happens outside of your comfort zone. What modern technology innovation do you most appreciate? Texting.  I hate talking on the phone.  What is your favorite app? Instagram.  What is your go-to source of news and information? Social media.  What is your go-to source of creative inspiration? Other people who are on their grind.

What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field? Changing hearts and minds; inspiring people to simply be better and do better.  What change would you like to see in the world? More compassion and empathy for one another.  What message do you want to send out into the world? Work hard and be nice to people.  What widely held belief do you reject? Good people don’t do bad things.  What mega-trend most concerns you? The metaverse.

Who would you like to spend an evening with, in Heaven? My grandfather.  As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? A lawyer.  How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day on earth? Partying with my family and friends.  What advice would you give your younger self? Never let anyone steal your shine!  What day in your life would you like to re-live? Any day wasted not being happy.  What period in your life would you do differently if you could? High school.  I would have gone to a more diverse school.

Personal mission: To change my little piece of the world.  Personal motto: Don’t regret anything that made you smile.  Favorite quote: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” (Maya Angelou).

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