YMCA Director Honored for Inclusion Efforts

Friday, September 8, 2017

Dexter Hebert, Branch Executive Director of the Southeast Raleigh YMCA, has been honored as one of Triangle Business Journal’s Leaders in Diversity Award winners. Dexter and 12 other winners were honored at a lunch on September 8 at the Raleigh Marriott City Center.

Award recipients were chosen based on their demonstration of respect for inclusive treatment of others, advocacy for underrepresented groups and multicultural marketing.

“I believe as a community we should be addressing racial equity to advance the movement for social equity, diversity and inclusion,” Dexter said.

Committed to Diversity and Inclusion

Dexter has been instrumental in fostering diversity and inclusion within the YMCA of the Triangle, in particular the Southeast Raleigh YMCA Project. Through his initiative, he helped launch a volunteer committee that has been intentional in partnering with the Southeast Raleigh community. Through shared vision with partnerships such as the Southeast Raleigh Promise and the Wake County School System, the campus of the Southeast Raleigh YMCA will bring much-needed services and support to a largely minority-based community in an area where such resources are sparse. 

“We have to work together in order to serve the whole community,” Dexter said. “Our partnership with the community has been eye-opening and helped us address gaps in affordable housing, education, health and wellness. We continue to work with the community and have listening sessions to make sure voices are truly heard. It’s so important that the community is able to give narrative to this vision and really own it. That has and continues to be a vital piece of our work.”

Dexter has also encouraged YMCA leadership to attend Racial Equity Institute (REI) training and have conversations about what they have learned.

“Most of our leadership has attended REI training, which has resulted in the creation of small employee resource groups to help guide our organization and begin to close gaps in our organization,” he said.

“Most of us are essentially a sum total of our life’s experiences. Getting people to see that this world is not what they thought it was and that the world is bigger than the bubble they live in is tough. This not only requires a cultural change at work, but also a personal change involving the mind as well as the heart.”

Dexter’s vision is for the Triangle region is to recognize there is a problem, understand the difference between equality and equity, and do something bold about it.

Please congratulate Dexter for the great work he is doing to reflect the rich tapestry of our community!

About the Leaders in Diversity Awards Program
Now in its fifth year, the Leaders in Diversity Awards program is designed to recognize the accomplishments of Triangle businesses, individuals and nonprofits as they strive to reflect the diversity of backgrounds and beliefs that make the Triangle a great place to live and work.