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​NENA Launches First-Ever Diversity in 9-1-1 Leadership Program

Tuesday, September 15, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Chris Nussman
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NENA: The 9-1-1 Association is launching a new program aimed at promoting greater diversity and inclusion throughout the nation’s 9-1-1 organizations.

The Diversity in 9-1-1 Leadership Program will equip new and diverse voices with the skills, knowledge, and training necessary to advance to upper-level positions in 9-1-1 agencies and become leaders in the 9-1-1 community.

With support from RapidDeploy, OnStar, Microsoft, GeoComm, and Esri, the initial investment will provide more than three dozen scholarships to NENA’s multi-day leadership and management courses, with a goal of facilitating the advancement of under-represented populations within the 9-1-1 community. Additional sponsors are invited to join the effort.

“Diversity, equity, and inclusion are more than just words to us here at NENA; we are committed to opening doors and removing barriers to growth and leadership in the 9-1-1 community,” said NENA President Gary Bell, ENP. "We are grateful for our partners in this effort to attract and retain future leaders who reflect the diversity of the communities we serve.”

The scholarships will help increase the number of diverse participants in NENA’s three flagship education offerings: the Center Manager Certification Program; Center Supervisor Program; and Center Training Officer Program. The scholarship program will be administered jointly by NENA’s Education Advisory Board and its Diversity & Inclusion Special Committee.

“At RapidDeploy, we believe that diversity of thought and experiences drives performance,” said Kimberly Storin, Chief Market Officer at RapidDeploy. “Our investment in the NENA Diversity in 9-1-1 Leadership scholarship program represents our commitment to building a more diverse and inclusive industry.”

“At OnStar we believe diversity among emergency responders is an important priority and want to be a part of that change,” said Sherry LeVeque, Emergency Services Outreach Leader at OnStar. “We know how difficult 9-1-1 dispatchers' jobs are, and we recognize the critical role they play in emergency response. Workers in this field deserve an inclusive environment, and NENA is taking action to ensure this.”

Richard Zak, Director of Public Safety & Justice Solutions, Microsoft State & Local Government, said, “Microsoft commends NENA for taking strong action to diversify and strengthen the 9-1-1 community. These scholarships will help to ensure that education and success is attainable for everyone in 9-1-1.”

More information from NENA on the Diversity in 9-1-1 Leadership Program, as well as an invitation for applications, will be available this winter.