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VCU Health Hires Its First Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Marcelle Wilson Davis began last week at VCU Health as their first director of diversity, equity and inclusion. Davis has lived in Richmond since 2012, and most recently worked at a management consulting firm in Northern Virginia. (Photo courtesy Marcelle Wilson Davis)

VCU Health has hired Marcelle Wilson Davis as its first director of diversity, equity and inclusion, referred to as DEI.

Davis says her upbringing inspired her to pursue a career in inclusive leadership. She was born in Guyana and moved to Brooklyn when she was 11. 

“And you would think Brooklyn, or New York being a melting pot, that I would fit right in, but I was uncomfortable,” Davis said. “And I didn't really feel like I fit in with any one particular group.” 

Davis went to highschool in Connecticut. She says on her first day, people spit at her. She was stereotyped and other students didn’t want to be friends with her. It was those experiences that motivated her to begin studying diversity and inclusive leadership.

Today, Davis has over 20 years of experience in the field and has served in various DEI leadership positions, including at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Although she hasn’t worked in healthcare before, she says DEI work is similar, regardless of the industry.

At VCU Health, she will help develop and implement a DEI plan to help promote an inclusive culture in the health system. Davis says a lot of work has already been done, and she believes VCU Health is ready to do more. 

“My personal motto has always been mediocrity is unacceptable,” she said. “And that was one of the reasons that attracted me to the VCU health system is that I believe that VCU embodies that mantra.”

According to a press release, she will be responsible for, among other things, setting diversity goals and supporting the recruitment of leaders and team members from underrepresented groups.

She says one key goal is to train staff and leadership in sensitive issues like unconscious bias. 

She moved to Richmond in 2012, but has worked in Northern Virginia, as the diversity and inclusion leader at a management consulting firm for the past two years.

She says she’s happy to “come home again.”

“I want to be able to do meaningful work that really impacts our community, so I’m excited to be here,” Davis said.

Davis started her position at VCU Health on November 2.

VPM News is the staff byline for articles and podcasts written and produced by multiple reporters and editors.
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