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Employee Spotlight: Chief Diversity Officer Damita Brown

Recent News | October 9, 2023

Damita Brown

At the heart of every National Church Residences community is a group of people dedicated to improving the lives of seniors. That dedication includes taking steps to better serve everyone involved in those communities, from our employees to the families of our seniors.

One of those people is Damita Brown, the chief diversity officer of National Church Residences. In this position, Damita is focused on building a diverse and inclusive workplace and culture throughout every aspect of National Church Residences, including the numerous communities, partners, and seniors we serve. Fortunately, Damita is no stranger to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Driving Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in Central Ohio

Before Damita joined National Church Residences, she already had a long history of making a difference in the Columbus area. For the past two decades, Damita has been at the forefront of building thriving, diverse, and inclusive environments throughout Central Ohio.

Damita’s professional journey included multiple stops where she drove positive change for her local community. During this time, Damita supported diversity and inclusion initiatives in roles for the United Way of Central Ohio, Columbus Regional Airport Authority, and Huntington National Bank. She was eventually hired by the city of Columbus to serve as the chief diversity officer of America’s 14th largest city.

Impacting Communities on a National Stage

Throughout her career, Damita showcased a drive to transform workplaces and communities. After more than 20 years of city government and local community work, Damita had an opportunity to take the next step at an organization with a national footprint – National Church Residences.

According to Damita, joining National Church Residences gave her an opportunity to achieve some important goals. Damita has a long history of working with various communities and workforces around Central Ohio, but National Church gave her the means to work with employees, families, and seniors in communities across the country. The position was also a welcome chance to grow personally and professionally by expanding her knowledge base and network while staying true to her own ideals.

“I was very attracted to the idea that I could be a part of something that has such a mission that was so in line with my own personal values,” Damita explains. “I get to do something that’s much bigger than myself and my local community, but it really has the effect of impacting thousands of seniors and families and communities around the country.

A Philosophy of Equity and Inclusion

Damita trusts that DEI can be truly transformative in very tangible and meaningful ways, and her work at National Church Residences backs up that belief. This process all starts with a very simple strategy – making sure people are heard.

“I listen to understand and respond in ways that are most meaningful for those I’m serving, whether that’s our employees or our seniors,” Damita says. “I listen in a manner that honors the person, brings compassion for where they are in that moment, and seek to bring the best of everything we have to offer.”

Since she joined National Church Residences, Damita has worked with her team to create a culture that makes everyone feel welcome and empowers people to bring their best selves to the workplace. With more than 20 years of experience, Damita brings a great deal of partnerships and ideas to build a collective community effort that achieves better business outcomes.

The new culture extends beyond the effectiveness of the workforce – it also impacts the quality of life for the residents that we serve. According to Damita, having a diverse and healthy workforce translates into better outcomes for the residents in our senior living communities. That work touches everyone including employees, seniors, and their families at some point, and Damita finds it rewarding to be a part of a mission that is vitally important to the health of our families and communities.

“That is the reason I get up and come into work every morning,” Damita says. “DEI touches individuals and communities at the core of their existence, and identities.”

Continuing the Collective Community Effort

While Damita began her work at National Church Residences in November of 2022, there is no end date for the value of DEI. Her efforts are now intrinsically tied to the organization’s core operations to help create more diverse communities that positively impact key aspects of our business success, including:

  • Recruitment
  • Sales and marketing
  • New innovations
  • Competitive advantage
  • Cost containment
  • Corporate Citizenship

“To regard DEI as a program or project with a start and end date, or a set of targets and goals is short sighted and not sustainable,” Damita explains. “We are being very intentional at National Church Residences to ingrain the philosophies and strategies of equity and inclusion into our core business processes.”

So, what’s next for Damita and National Church Residences? According to Damita, she hopes to see continued growth, both in terms of market share and the health and strength of our collective communities. She also plans to spend as much time as she can with family, whether they’re cooking large dinners, attending Friday night football games, or enjoying game nights together.

Family is very important to Damita. As the youngest of eight children and a mother to a 13-year-old son, joining National Church Residences has shown her just how important the organization’s mission is for the health and strength of families and communities around the country.

“It’s been eye-opening to really understand the impact of the work that we do and the relevancy of it to myself and my family and those in my community who I hold dear,” Damita says. “At some point, we can all see ourselves in the work that we do, so it’s meaningful to say that I’m a part of something greater than myself that has such meaning and importance for the lives of people who I care about.”

Looking for a job where you can make an impact in your community? View our senior living job opportunities and start your next career.

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National Church Residences does not discriminate against individuals based on race, color, disability, familial status, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, payment source, or any other class protected by applicable law, whether in employment or its activities, programs, or services. National Church Residences also does not discriminate based on age, except as required by government entitlements or permitted by applicable law for seniors.