Governor Lincoln D. Chafee today signed a Proclamation announcing March 17-23, 2014, as «Diversity & Inclusion Awareness Week». The Proclamation builds off of Governor Chafee’s May 2013 Executive Order on Diversity, which had two main goals: increasing diversity in the state workforce and increasing the utilization of Minority Business Enterprises in state contracts.
Governor Chafee also welcomed Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri to the State of Rhode Island. As Miss America, Davuluri is currently traveling across the country promoting her platform «Celebrating Diversity through Cultural Competency». A Meet and Greet with Miss America was hosted by the Miss RI Scholarship Program after the ceremony, where members of the public were able to meet Davuluri in person.
«The demographics of our state are changing rapidly and it is important for state government to reflect our population,» stated Governor Chafee. «I am proud to sign this Proclamation today, stressing the importance of diversity and inclusion. Diversity brings strength, both to our state workforce, as well as to our state’s economy.»
«It is an honor to visit the Ocean State, a place with such rich history and natural beauty,» stated Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri. «Successful diversity initiatives require leadership at the top. I want to thank Governor Chafee for his leadership promoting diversity and inclusion.»
«The Miss America Organization is one of our nation’s leading achievement programs and the world’s largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women,» added Miss Rhode Island 2013 Jessica Marfeo. «It is a pleasure to be here with Governor Chafee this evening, a true leader when it comes to supporting education and equality for all.»
«It is an honor to support the implementation process of Governor Chafee’s Executive Order on Diversity,» stated Armeather Gibbs, Manager of Urban Finance & Business Development at the RI Commerce Corporation, who is currently assisting the Department of Administration full-time with diversity efforts. «Today’s event reminds us of the importance of coming together as a community to honor our diverse and collective strengths.»
In his FY15 budget, Governor Chafee has proposed creating the Office of Diversity, Equity and Opportunity, a new division focused on diversity within state government.