In The News

Pennsylvania Convention Center Announces the Formation of the Philadelphia Diversity Professionals Consortium


Published: Jun 1, 2020

The Center Continues Its Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Philadelphia, PA – The Pennsylvania Convention Center (PCC) announces the formation of the Philadelphia Diversity Professionals Consortium (PDPC) spearheaded by Diversity and Inclusion Manager, Erika White. The consortium is co-lead by Bridgett Battles, Project Manager Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement, Supplier Diversity for Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health. The PDPC is a dynamic group of professionals that will serve as an informal network of local diversity and inclusion professionals to use as a resource for questions, idea sharing and overall general support. “The PDPC’s mission is to strategize, unify and engage the diversity professional community in the city of Philadelphia to make us collectively stronger.  Diversity and inclusion is a major priority for the PA Convention Center Authority Board of Directors and an integral part of the Center’s culture,” said Erika White, Diversity and Inclusion Manager for the PCC and co-founder of the PDPC.

The PDPC recently hosted their inaugural event—a virtual networking event. Diversity professionals from across the city enjoyed an engaging program that kicked off with music from Philly artists and a warm welcome from PDPC co-founders White and Battles. The program included an interview with Jefferson’s new Chief Diversity Officer, Lisette Martinez, who just relocated to the City of Brotherly Love. Martinez not only shared what flavor of water ice she wanted to try first but also a touching story from her childhood that connected her experiences to why she chose to enter the diversity & inclusion space. Attendees also heard from Shamyune Jones, Vice President and General Counsel for the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority and Greg DeShields, Executive Director of PHL Diversity. DeShields remarked that, “Unifying Philadelphia’s Diversity Professionals will be significant.” During the event, DeShields emphasized the need for further collaboration especially as the city seeks to define the new normal post pandemic. Iola Harper, Deputy Commerce Director – Entrepreneurship and Economic Opportunity highlighted the need for resilience, recovery and reimagining as the city and its industries move forward.

The program closed out by awarding Betsy Lee from the Asian American Chamber of Commerce the book Presidency in Black and White by April Ryan as part of the raffle that was open to all attendees.   Attendees and any diversity and inclusion professionals are encouraged to join the PDPC LinkedIn group.

For more information on the PDPC and the latest news about the Pennsylvania Convention Center, visit paconvention.com.

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About the Philadelphia Diversity Professionals Consortium

PDPC was founded in 2020 by Erika White and Bridgett Battles, leaders in branding, diversity, equity and inclusion. The PDPC mission is to make available, to as many fellow practitioners as possible, the resources discovered while navigating the diversity and inclusion space in Philadelphia. The consortium was founded so that all diversity professionals in the area could benefit from an informal network to meet and serve as a resource for each other.