Diversity & Inclusion Professionals

Annual Leadership in Diversity & Inclusion Awards

Each year, DAIP recognizes organizations and individuals who champion the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our community gathers each fall for our Annual Leadership in Diversity & Inclusion Awards Reception to honor the winners and explore timely and DEI topics.

DAIP’s 13th Annual Leadership in Diversity & Inclusion Awards are taking place on Friday, September 27th from 5:30-8:30 pm at Farm Fresh Rhode Island in Providence, RI. 

What are we looking for in nominees?

  • Inspires a sense of belonging and support within their sphere of influence.
  • Recognizes and celebrates the presence of differences within their business, organization or community. This can mean differences in race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, protected status, or any number of things.
  • Creates an inclusive culture in their workplace or community by challenging inequities, barriers, and bias.
  • Empowers folks in their organization and their community to work towards the goals of diversity and inclusion.
  • (For Linda Holmes Newton Legacy Award only) In addition to the characteristics above, nominees should be a seasoned DEI leader with 20+ years of experience (formally or informally), have an impressive depth of professional and community service experience, and be seen as a role model and mentor for others.

Do you know a local organization
or individual that should be recognized?

Nomination form closes on Tuesday, August 15th.
Click here to view the nomination form questions.

Do you know a local organization or individual that should be recognized?

Fill out the nomination form below!

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2023 Award Winners

Linda Holmes Newton Legacy Award Winner:

Carolyn Belisle

Managing Director, Corporate Social Responsibility at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island

For always representing the voices of the vulnerable—whether at BCBSRI, when testifying at the State House, or out in the community. For her ability to create a safe haven for expressing difficult views and feelings. For championing differences and making astute decisions regarding philanthropic efforts. For her work on campaigns and programs in support of at-risk demographics—often in partnership with community partners and nonprofits. For her advocacy for under – or uninsured Rhode Islanders. For her championship of DEIB principles both inside and outside BCBSRI.

Individual Award Winner:

Michelle Wilson

Chief, Health Equity Institute at Rhode Island Department of Health

For her dedication to health equity and creating access for vulnerable communities. For being a connector of people and resources through the Health Equity Institute. For bringing people to the table where there are gaps, and connecting groups to expand conversations. For being willing to sit with issues, discuss concerns face-to-face, and seek resolutions. For making space for all people to create, fail, and create again—which leads to progress. For her vulnerability and transparency. For bringing people together and always cheering on her peers.

Organizational Award Winner:

Coastal1 Credit Union

Pictured: Brian Azar President & CEO Coastal1 Credit Union

For its long history of supporting organizations and events that recognize, celebrate, and empower diversity and inspire a sense of belonging. For investing time and energy in the aftermath of the pandemic to reconnect employees to the organization’s mission—and one another—through a series of initiatives focused on embracing and celebrating employees and improving organizational communication and connection. For expanding investments in DEI initiatives across the organization internally, as well as externally by investing in events and projects of community nonprofit partners.

Past Award Winners

2022 Winners:

Individual Award Winner

Angela Bannerman Ankoma
(Vice President, Executive Director at Rhode Island Foundation)

Organizational Award Winner

Amos House

2021 Winners:

Individual Award Winner

Nina Pande (CEO of Skills for Rhode Island’s Future)

Organizational Award Winner

Rhode Island Community Food Bank

2020 Winners:

Individual Award Winner

Dr. Nicole Alexander Scott (Rhode Island Department of Health)

Organizational Award Winner

Providence Promise

2019 Winners:

Individual Award Winner

Ethan Huckel (Huckel Inclusive)

Organizational Award Winner

Sojourner House

2018 Winners:

Organizational Award Winner

Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island

2017 Winners:

Individual Award Winner

Vanessa Flores-Maldonado
(Providence Community Police Relations Act)

Organizational Award Winner

Robert A. DiMuccio (Amica Mutual Insurance Company)

2016 Winners:

Individual Award Winner

Dr. Jodi Glass (Rhode Island for Community and Justice)

Individual Award Winner

Lucy Rios (RI Coalition Against Domestic Violence)

Organizational Award Winner

Year Up

Kevin Matta


Kevin Matta  (he, him, his) is a strategic differentiator, comfortable challenging the status quo, and brings both passion and experience to ensure client success and human engagement with his brilliant ability to make connections.

Kevin’s interest in justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion work developed as he witnessed his parents encounter inequities and injustices while navigating the American healthcare and workplace landscape. His passion for this work continues to be strengthened by the systemic injustices people around the world continue to experience.

Kevin serves as president of DAIP’s board of directors.