DALLAS – African-American News & Issues presents Dennis Kennedy, CEO of the Texas Diversity Council. Kennedy has an unwavering passion to ensure that all individuals receive equal opportunities in the workplace regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation and etc… He founded the National Diversity Council to champion diversity as a business imperative, with a primary goal to turn all communities into inclusive environments where individuals are valued for their talents and unique characteristics and have opportunities to reach their full potential. In addition, he is a consultant in the following fields: Workforce Diversity, Mentoring and Personal Branding.
The first branch of the National Diversity Council — the Texas Diversity Council — launched in February 2004. Since then, state councils have also been established in California, Florida, and the Midwest. The websites are: National Diversity Council, Texas Diversity Council, Florida Diversity Council, Kansas Diversity Council and California Diversity Council. His vision is to have state and regional diversity councils across the United States.
Along with the state councils, Mr. Kennedy has launched several state wide conferences focused on both leadership and diversity. Currently there are conferences taking place in the following states: Ohio, Texas, California, Florida, Kansas, Virginia and Washington. The websites include: Texas Diversity Conference, Ohio Diversity Conference, California Conference, Florida Conference, Midwest Conference, DMV Diversity and Leadership Conference and Washington Conference. Some additional websites that belong to Mr. Kennedy include: Mentoring Programs, Diversity Jobs, Diversity Consulting, Texas Diversity Magazine and Florida Diversity Magazine.
The Texas Diversity Council Staff includes: Angeles Valenciano, President and EVP National Diversity Council; Jason DeGroot, Vice President Finance & Administration; Mae Marshall, Program & Event Manager; Laura Alvarado, Communication & Program Director; Dr. Shanta Proctor, Director, Women Initiatives, National Women’s Council; Trinita Semien, Executive Director – InGirls Program; and Irene Williams, Ph.D., Manager – West Texas Diversity Council.
Furthermore, Mr. Kennedy spent several years as a college professor at the following universities: University of Houston Downtown, Texas Southern University and University of Texas at San Antonio. Some of the courses he taught include: Business Statistics, Economics, HR Management, Compensation Management and Diversity Management. All courses were taught in the business school. He also spent 5 years working in a corporate environment in the field of Human Resources. Although Mr. Kennedy graduated from the University of Houston Main Campus (UofH) with undergraduate degrees in economics, business management and political science and a MBA from University of Houston Main Campus, his success story wasn’t purely one would think a successful individual would have.
Kennedy says, “without a doubt, my most embarrassing moment took place during the second week of my senior year in high school. My English teacher, Mrs. Ward, asked me to read aloud in class. Sounds easy, right? However, as I began to read, Mrs. Ward and the other students realized something I’d kept secret until that moment—I could barely read. Mrs. Ward responded very quickly and asked the student behind me to continue reading the page that I had started (For the duration of the school year, I was never asked to read aloud again. Whenever it was my turn to read, I was invariably skipped over by Mrs. Ward). I was so embarrassed, yet simultaneously relieved when she asked me to stop.
For the rest of the class period, I sat uncomfortably in my seat with my eyes fixed downward as if I were reading the book; I did not want to see my classmate’s faces. I sat anxiously waiting for the bell to ring hoping that my newly exposed secret would somehow stay inside the room. When the bell rang, I got out of my seat and high stepped to the door. As I hurried down the hallway, I heard a loud voice calling my name. I looked back and saw one of my classmates, Kelly Roberts, standing with a briefcase in one hand and pointing at me with the other. Her face was fixed into a victorious smirk. She walked up to me and said, “What are you going to do with your life? You can’t even read a book!” I only had one response, “I am going to be a Pro Football Player.” Kelly’s hunter-like sneer became more exaggerated as she said, “You are going to be a garbage man, a ditch digger.” With that, she laughed and walked away. Her words definitely pierced my heart and I have never forgotten them.”
At the age of 31, he decided to go to a campus testing center, where a series of tests were conducted, and he was diagnosed with dyslexia. He graduated from the University of Houston Main Campus (UofH) with undergraduate degrees in economics, business management, political science and physical education; he also earned a MBA from University of Houston Main Campus as well. While at the University, he spent 8 years (From 1991-1999) in a full-time campus ministry. In addition, he was a scholarship athlete for football.
Mr. Kennedy is currently working on his book titled, CreatingYourSignificance™, which is a unique self-marketing strategy that allows individuals to create a successful personal brand. That was published in April, 2013. Individual membership is $99.00. The benefits of individual membership include: opportunity to volunteer at TXDC Events and Programs in your city; free participation at one event in one city of choice. The events include Women in Leadership Symposiums, Diversity Luncheons, Diversity Summits, Diversity and Inclusion Training; 20 % discount on all other yearly events except for the Annual Texas Diversity & Leadership Conference with a 10% discount on registration; access to job postings and career fairs; free participation in two (2) Webinars per year (cost per webinar is 99.00 regularly); newsletters (online access) and free entry to networking opportunities.
The Texas Diversity Council will host 10th Annual Best Practices & DiversityFIRST Awards Luncheon on Thursday, June 20th, at Southern Methodist University’s Umphrey Lee Center/Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom, 3300 Dyer Street, 75205. The Luncheon Keynote Speaker will be Nina Vaca, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Pinnacle Technical Resource, Inc. Dennis Kennedy, Founder & CEO, Texas Diversity Council, will present“Workplace Bias” and Danon R. Carter, D.M., Leadership, Culture & Diversity Specialist from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.
For more information, call (281) 984-7043.