FOCUS on Policy: Corporate Responsibility & Racial Justice
Date(s) - November 10, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
This event will be presented virtually; Zoom link and details will be sent with your final confirmation ahead of the event.
What role and responsibility do corporations have in the fight for racial justice? What are area corporate leaders doing internally and externally to further advance equity, both for their employees and for our greater community?
In our next FOCUS on Policy session, FOCUS President & CEO Dr. Yemi Akande-Bartsch will sit down with leaders from major corporations in the region to explore how they see their role, they actions they’re taking, and where there is still work to be done to truly “walk the talk.”
- Sharon Harvey Davis, Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion, and Chief Diversity Officer, Ameren
- Vanessa Okwuraiwe, Principal, Edward Jones Inclusion, Equity & Diversity
- Rodney White, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Director, Diversity & HR Strategy, Nestlé Purina PetCare Company
FOCUS members – $10 (must log-in to access discounted pricing)
Non-members – $30
Non-member Young Professionals (ages 30 & under) – $30, includes a one-year Young Adult FOCUS membership
About Our Panelists
As Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for Ameren, Sharon Harvey Davis is responsible for diversity training, the Ameren Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Academy, Employee Resource Groups, community partnerships, diversity communications and the Corporate Diversity Councils. Prior to joining Ameren in 2002, Sharon worked for HBE Corporation as Vice President of Corporate Affairs. A native of St. Louis, Sharon graduated from Washington University with a bachelor’s in political science, St. Louis University with an executive master’s degree in international business and Cornell University’s Diversity Management Certification Program. She is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources by the Society of Human Resource Management and as a Certified Diversity Professional Advanced Practitioner by Cornell University. Sharon is extensively involved in the St. Louis community as a Past Chairman of NCCJ-St. Louis and a Teach For America and St. Louis Public Schools Foundation board member. Sharon is a graduate of the 2016-17 class of Leadership St. Louis and serves as Chair of the FOCUS Board of Directors.
Edward Jones Principal Vanessa Okwuraiwe is responsible for helping the firm increase its representation of different groups, foster engagement and inclusion. Vanessa joined Edward Jones’ former United Kingdom affiliate, Edward Jones Limited, in 2001 as an academic training leader. In 2007, Vanessa joined Financial Advisor Recruiting and Hiring, and she was named an Edward Jones principal in 2008. In 2010, Vanessa relocated to the firm’s St. Louis headquarters to assume responsibility for the hiring and training support of the new Branch Office Administrators. Five years later, she moved to lead Financial Advisor Career Development. In 2019, her responsibilities were expanded to include Branch Team Talent Acquisition Branding and Marketing. She assumed her current responsibilities in 2020. Vanessa earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Edo State University in Nigeria, a master’s degree in Development Economics from the University of Kent in Canterbury and an executive MBA from Washington University in St Louis. She serves on the board of the St. Louis Community College Foundation and is actively engaged in the Arts and Education Council of St. Louis.
Rodney White has been employed by Nestlé Purina PetCare Company for 30 years and currently holds the position of Director Diversity & HR Strategy. His primary responsibilities include leading the organization’s efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion. His other duties include serving as HR Business Partner for Corporate HR and Business & Technology Services functions. Rodney earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Food & Resource Economics from the University of Florida and MBA from Florida A&M University. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and an alumnus of the St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative. He serves on the Board of two St. Louis based nonprofit organizatons – VOYCE and Cultural Leadership. Rodney also holds senior certifications in Human Resources Management. He is a member of the 2020-21 class of Leadership St. Louis.