Editorial: Virginia’s Cabinet-level diversity office is good for business and all Virginians – Richmond.com – DC Initiative on Racial Equity
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Editorial: Virginia’s Cabinet-level diversity office is good for business and all Virginians

With less than a month before Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin takes office, there is much for the incoming administration to reflect upon and review. Amid the work of transition teams connecting with Cabinet-level departments, one such unit of note is Virginia’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Established in 2019, in the months after the February fallout from disturbing racist photos that were identified in Gov. Ralph Northam’s 1984 medical school yearbook, the office became the nation’s first statewide Cabinet-level DEI unit. By September, Northam appointed Janice Underwood, Old Dominion University’s diversity director, to bring her talents to lead the new office.

Some might say the DEI office was born largely to counter Northam’s public image fiasco, but regar


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