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Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Local Spotlight: Introducing LINC’s DEI Council

LINC is working to collectively promote a diverse, equitable, and inclusive Lehigh Valley. Our DEI Council is made up of regional leaders, working together to support Lehigh Valley employers in advancing and sustaining their DEI Initiatives. For our next feature, we connected with Dr. G. Christopher Hunt of Moravian University. Dr. Hunt spoke with us about his experience in DEI and his motivations to serve on LINC’s DEI Council 

Here is what he had to say: 

Why did you want to serve on the DEI Council? 

Like many opportunities that we eventually become involved with, serving on the DEI Council was presented to me by my friend, Scott Blair. I have known about the great work LINC has done in this region to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, so when someone that I highly respect, such as Scott, suggested I consider becoming more involved, I quickly paid attention.  

Why is DEI important to you?
What is known today as “diversity, equity, and inclusion” was known when I went to college as “multicultural affairs.” But the work to support historically underrepresented and marginalized individuals and to promote diversity to all people has been referred to by many terms. Unfortunately, some of those terms are not particularly flattering in our increasingly polarized society. At the end of the day, DEI is important to me because it calls on all of us to respect and acknowledge the humanity of each individual.

What brought you to the Lehigh Valley? 

After being born and spending my first couple of years in New York State, my parents moved here in the early 1980s, so I have been in this region for most of my life, so “ABE” has personal meaning to me. My father was a pastor in downtown Allentown before he passed in 1990, and my mom retired after teaching for over 30 years at Paxinosa Elementary School in Easton. I grew up in Bethlehem and graduated from Liberty High School. 

What’s one of the Lehigh Valley’s best-kept secrets?
Newer residents of the area should know that the Lehigh Valley has a total population of just over 860,000 residents as of the 2020 U.S. census, which makes it the third-largest metropolitan area in the state and the 68th largest statistical area in the country. 

What has been your proudest moment working on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion? 

My proudest moment working on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion is seeing the community come together to support the Black and Latino Male College Readiness Program of the Lehigh Valley at Moravian University. We are now into our second year of facilitating an initiative to bring rising 10th, 11th, and 12th graders to campus for several days in the summer as well as local Black and Latino male leaders from across the region for mentorship, guidance, and college preparatory discussions.

How do you describe your company’s business case for DEI? 

Central to our mission at Moravian University is reflection and transformational leadership in a world of change. Promoting a campus environment where we are reflective and mindful of the diversity of people, their unique and individual journeys and backgrounds, and strategies to make sure everyone can engage is most certainly a leadership approach to ensure a company or institution’s product or service is appealing to consumers and customers. 

What is one piece of advice you have for leaders of companies just getting started on their DEI journey? 

If you think you learned about the history of diversity in the United States, go back and either relearn or unlearn what you thought you learned.   

Thank you, Dr.Hunt, for sharing your story!