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CoastLine: Diversity At Work And On Campus

Kent Guion is Chief Diversity Officer at UNCW.

Most Americans believe they are discriminated against for their race, gender, or sexual orientation.  

According to a 2017 national poll conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 92% of Black Americans say they believe discrimination against Black people exists the U.S. today.  90% of people who identify as LGBTQ say it’s true for that group.  And more than half – 55% of white Americans say they believe discrimination against white people exists today.  That discrimnation among all the groups polled shows up most frequently in the workplace.

Professor Leisha DeHart-Davis of the University of North Carolina’s School of Govnerment told WHQR, “There are lots of reasons to diversify a workplace. For companies, it can be a smart business decision – to gain access into particular markets.

"For government organizations, a diverse workforce is an ethical imperative, to represent citizens being served and to more effectively deliver public goods and services in increasingly diverse communities. Diversity is one area where the private sector can learn from the public sector,” said Professor DeHart-Davis.

According to The Economist, a study published by the Peterson Institute for International Economics finds firms with more female executives are more profitable.   The Economist also reports companies don’t always recognize the return they get from investing in diversity -- especially because of the challenges and training associated with creating a diverse workplace.

On this edition of CoastLine, we explore how the University of North Carolina Wilmington is seeking to champion diversity both in the student body, the campus workforce, and the larger entrepreneurial community. 


Kent Guion, Chief Diversity Officer, University of North Carolina Wilmington  

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.
Rachel is a graduate of UNCW's Master of Public Administration program, specializing in Urban and Regional Policy and Planning. She also received a Master of Education and two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and French Language & Literature from NC State University. She served as WHQR's News Fellow from 2017-2019. Contact her by email: rkeith@whqr.org or on Twitter @RachelKWHQR