The Diversity and Inclusion Committee is led by Vinay Manne, Dovel Chief Technology Officer, and will be supported by a Steering Committee consisting of Alexandra Afari, Kelvin McNeil, Naga Nandivelugu, Stephanie Nealis, Ron Parker, Jacquese Pompey, Dana Savage, and Niccolo Stento. The Steering Committee is made up of employees from across the organization and its role is to ensure that feedback and ideas from all committee members are represented and to lead initiatives set forth by the committee.

The Committee is currently working on three key initiatives –

  • Expanding Diversity in Our Workforce – We are committed to continuing to build on Dovel’s dedication to its mission and vision with a diverse and inclusive workforce, including diverse representation at all levels reflective of our overall society. The Steering Committee members leading in this initiative are Alexandra Afari, Dana Savage, Stephanie Nealis, Niccolo Stento, Kelvin McNeil, and Naga Nandivelugu.
  • Building a Culture that Embraces Diversity and Inclusion – We are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion free from barriers to cultivate a safe, diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment where employees feel a sense of belonging. The Steering Committee members working on this initiative are Jacquese Pompey and Ron Parker.
  • Furthering the Fight Against Racism – We are committed to deepening our efforts to connect, empower, and educate diverse communities through meaningful initiatives, partnerships, and outreach. The Steering Committee members working on this initiative are Alexandra Afari and Ron Parker.

We appreciate the growing interest and passion from employees in volunteering to be part of this initiative. Please reach out to Vinay Manne, the executive committee sponsor, any of the committee members directly, or if you would like to volunteer.


Book: We Should All Be Feminists, written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Why We’re Reading This: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie shines a light not only on blatant discrimination but also on the more insidious, institutional behaviors that marginalize women around the world. This book helps readers of all walks of life better understand the often masked realities of sexual politics and why the gender divide is harmful to women and men.

The Committee is excited to launch its first book club and has set up a private group on Goodreads to read and discuss books on a variety of D&I topics. Employees can opt in to join the D&I Book Club using their corporate email address or the personal email address that they have on file in ADP.

Book: The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, written by Richard Rothstein, illuminates the government’s historical role in why things are the way they are now.

Why We’re Reading This: The book illuminates the government’s historical role in why things are the way they are now.

Damon Griggs, CEO sat down with Engage365’s Jared Green to discuss what diversity means to him and to our organization.

The Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Committee recently hosted an online discussion of how to create a more diverse and equitable culture personally and professionally. The session featured diversity and inclusion expert, Jared Green leading discussions with Kelly Demaitre, Damon Griggs, and members of the D&I Committee – Alexandra Afari, Vinay Manne, Stephanie Nealis, Ron Parker, and Dana Savage. The session focused on detailing the importance of a growth mindset, particularly as it applies to building a company that values and prioritizes diversity and inclusion.



  • Don Lemon Silence is Not an Option – This podcast digs deep into the reality of being Black and Brown in America and explores what people can do to help find a path forward.
  • Ask a Black Guy/Ask a White Guy Part 1 and Part 2 – This podcast asks uncomfortable questions around all types of diversity and initiates courageous conversations that break down barriers and find aspects of connectivity as people.
  • “Not Racist” Is Not Enough: Putting in the Work to Be Anti-Racist – NPR TV critic, author of Race-Baiter, discusses systemic racism in media and society.
  • The Diversity Gap – Empowers people to create the cultures they say they want—cultures where all people are seen, celebrated, and given the space to thrive.
  • By Every Measure – A six-part episodic podcast that explores systemic racism in various sectors of Milwaukee, looking closely at how those systems were formed and how they can – and need – to be change.
  • Brené Brown with Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be an Antiracist – This podcast talks about racial disparities, policy, and equality, but really focuses on How to Be an Antiracist, which is a groundbreaking approach to understanding uprooting racism and inequality in our society and in ourselves.



  • I’m Still Here, Austin Channing Brown
  • When They Call You a Terrorist, Patrisse Cullors
  • Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson
  • Becoming, Michelle Obama
  • A Promised Land, Barack Obama



  • How to Be an Anti-Racist, Ibram X. Kendi
  • Me and White Supremacy, Layla Saad
  • White Fragility, Robin DiAngelo
  • We Can’t Talk About that at Work, Mary-Francis Winter
  • So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • Dying of Whiteness, Jonathon M. Metzl
  • My Grandmother’s Hands, Resmaa Menakem



  • The Color of Law, Richard Rothstein
  • The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander
  • Lies My Teacher Told Me, James Loewen
  • A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn
  • The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson
  • Caste, Isabel Wilkerson
  • Stamped from the Beginning, Ibram X. Kendi



  • Pachinko, Min Jin Lee
  • The Vanishing Half, Britt Bennett
  • Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi
  • The Water Dancer, Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison
  • Sula, Toni Morrison
  • There, There, Tommy Orange


Children/Young Adult

  • Children of Blood and Bone series, Toni Adeyemi (YA)
  • A Kids Book About Racism, Jelani Memory
  • Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History, Vashti Harrison
  • The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas (YA)
  • Stamped, Ibram X. Kendi (YA)
  • Sesame Street, We’re Different, We’re the Same, Bobbi Kates
  • The Proudest Blue: A Story of a Hijab and Family, Ibtihaj Muhammad


How to Talk to Children About Racism

  • Talking Race with Young Children | 20 minutes
    • Even babies notice differences like skin color, eye shape, and hair texture. How should parents handle conversations about race, racism, diversity and inclusion, even with very young children?
      • Don’t shush or shut them down if they mention race.
      • Don’t wait for kids to bring it up.
      • Be proactive, help them build a positive awareness of diversity.
      • When a child experiences prejudice, adults need to address their feelings and fight the prejudices.
      • No need to avoid topics like slavery or the Holocaust. Offer facts.
    • How White Parents Can Talk to Their Kids About Race | 10 minutes
      • Most people have heard about “the talk” — a conversation many black parents have with their kids about how to avoid altercations with police or what to do and say if they’re stopped.
    • How to Talk About Race and Protests with Your Kids, Explained by a Child Psychologist | 10 minutes
      • Many families are bringing their children to protest police brutality. Little kids are a big part of this moment, but how should parents talk to them about it?


Loyalty Bookstores

  • 843 Upshur Street NW, Washington, D.C.
  • 823 Ellsworth Dr., Silver Spring, MD



Augies Mussel House and Beer Garden

  • 1106 King Street, Alexandra, VA


Johnny Ray’s Sultry Soul Food (Soul)

  • 101 Executive Dr. Suite A, Sterling, VA


Caribbean Plate (Caribbean Cuisine)

  • 133 E Annandale Rd, Falls Church, VA


Matchbox (American Cuisine)

  • 1699 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD


Blue Waters Caribbean & Seafood Grill (Seafood)

  • 6349 Old Branch Ave, Temple Hills, MD


Bukom Cafe (African Cuisine)

  • 2442 18th St NW, Washington, DC


DCity Smokehouse (BBQ)

  • 203 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC


Oohhs & Aahhs

  • 1005 U Street NW, Washington, D.C.

Dates to Remember

Celebrate Diversity Month
  • Established in 2004 to recognize and honor the diversity surrounding us all.
Autism Awareness Month
  • Created to raise awareness about the developmental disorder that affects an individual’s development of social and communication skills.

Women’s History Month
  • Started in 1987, Women’s History Month recognizes women for their valuable contributions to history and society.

Black History Month 
  • Since 1976, February marks an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history.
2/12 | Chinese New Year; Lunar New Year  
  • Is the festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar.

Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

  • On December 28, 2016, President Barack Obama called upon businesses, national & community organizations, and all Americans to recognize the vital role they must play in ending all forms of slavery, and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities.

1/1 | Emancipation Proclamation Anniversary

  • In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation declaring that all slaves living within rebelling Confederate states “are, and henceforth shall be, free.”

1/5 | George Washington Carver Day

  • Dr. Carver was awarded the Roosevelt Medal in 1939 for saving Southern agriculture, which was later instrumental in feeding the United States during World War II. For this reason, Dr. Carver’s hometown was made a historic site upon his death on January 5, 1943, the first United States memorial dedicated to an African American. During the 79th Congress, Public Law 290 was passed to designate January 5th of each year as George Washington Carver Recognition Day.

1/15 | Makar Sankranti

  • Observed by Hindus at the beginning of the Capricorn period under the sidereal zodiac, and signifying the arrival of warmer days. The festival is also dedicated to the sun god and marks the six-months prosperous period for Hindus known as Uttaarayan. Makara Sankranti is believed to be a time for peace and prosperity. As it’s regarded as important for spiritual practices, people accordingly take a holy dip in rivers — especially Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Krishna, and Cauvery — which is believed to wash away sins.

1/18 | Martin Luther King Jr. Day

  •  A federal holiday marking the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.

12/10 | International Human Rights Day

  • Established by the United Nations in 1948 to commemorate the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


12/10-12/18 | Chanukah (Hanukkah)

  • Also known as the “Festival of Lights,” a Jewish holiday to recognize the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. It is observed by lighting candles on a Menorah—one for each day of the festival. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar.


12/16-12/24 | Las Posadas

  • A nine-day celebration in Mexico commemorating the trials Mary and Joseph endured during their journey to Bethlehem.


12/25 | Christmas

  • An annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. A Christian religion celebration that has become a public holiday around the world.


12/26 – 01/01| Kwanzaa

  • A holiday established in 1996 by Maulana Karenga as a time for African Americans to “discover and bring forth the best of our culture, both ancient and current, and use it as a foundation to bring into being models of human excellence and possibilities to enrich and expand our lives.”

National Native American Heritage Month

  • In 1990, then-President G.W. Bush approved the designation of the full month of November as what is also known as American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.


11/01 | Día de los Santos Inocentes

  • “Holy Innocents Day”, also known as Día de los Angelitos (“Day of the Little Angels”), celebrated in Mexico and Central America. It is an observance festivity to celebrate and honor one’s ancestors, specifically children and infants. It’s based on the belief that there is an interaction between the living world and the world of spirits.


11/14 |  Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights

  • This major Hindu holiday signifies the renewal of life and the victory of good over evil. The day before Diwali is spent cleaning the house, shopping, and decorating with flowers. A design is painted in white in front of the door of the house to bring good luck. Lamps are lit for the entire five days beside roads and streams, along edges of roofs, and on windowsills to enable Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of prosperity, to find her way to every home.


11/22 | Umoja Karamu Celebration

  • Created in 1971 by Edward Simms Jr. to inject new meaning and solidarity into the Black family through ceremony and symbol. Umoja Karamu means “unity feast” in Swahili, and is based around five colors and their meanings, which represent five historical periods in African American history. Black represents Black families before slavery, White symbolizes the scattering of Black families during slavery, Red denotes the liberation from slavery, Green signifies the struggle for civil equality, and Gold implies hope for the future.


11/30 |  Guru Nanak Jayanti

  • A famous festival in India celebrated to honor the birth of Guru Nanak, who was the first Sikh Guru. It is a special festival for the Sikh community residing in the state of Punjab.

10/4 – 10/10 | National Diversity Week

  • Founded in 1998 to raise awareness about diversity which has shaped the U.S.


10/19 | Multicultural Diversity Day

  • A national day created by Cleorah Scruggs, a fourth-grade teacher in Flint, Michigan, the 3rd Monday in October was adopted as a national event by the National Education Association’s (NEA) 1993 Representative Assembly to “increase awareness of the need to celebrate our diversity collectively.”


10/28 – 10/29 | Mawlid al-Nabi / Eid Milad Un Nabi

  • Celebrating the birth and life of Prophet Muhammad, this holiday falls on the 12th or 17th day of the Islamic month of Rabi’ al-awwal. It is a spiritual and social occasion for Muslims who celebrate and a memorial day when the Sirah (life story of the Prophet) is revisited and scholars and singers in the Sufi tradition remind Ummah members about the teachings of the Prophet(s), as well as the successes and challenges of the young Muslim community in Mecca and Medina. During this celebration, homes and mosques are decorated, large parades take place, and those observing the holiday participate in charity events.


09/15 – 10/15 | National Hispanic Heritage Month

  • September 15 is the anniversary of five countries that declared their independence in 1821: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.


09/19 – 09/20 | Rosh Hashanah

  • Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset on September 18. The ancient Jewish calendar is based on the phases of the moon. It calls for a time of reflection about the past year and the year to come.


09/28 | Yom Kippur

  • Yom Kippur the Day of Atonement in the Jewish religion, this ends the Days of Awe or Repentance. It’s considered one of the holiest days of the year as Jewish people atone for their sins. “Have an easy fast” or “Have a good holy day” are ways to greet someone who practices the Jewish faith.