nCino’s affinity groups are organic, employee-led groups with a focus on building community and belonging among employees and providing resources to the broader nCino community. These groups also focus on recruiting diverse talent, professional and leadership development, mentoring and community outreach. Each affinity group includes executive sponsorship and a connection to the Diversity and Inclusion Council.
In this series, we’re excited to offer a deeper dive into the members and goals of each affinity group, beginning with The Diaspora, in celebration of Black History Month.
Members of The Diaspora marching in the Martin Luther King, Jr. parade in Wilmington, NC, on January 17, 2022.
The Diaspora, nCino’s very first affinity group, was founded in 2020 and is led by technical writer Moriah Yancey. Its mission is to provide a welcoming and uplifting community for the empowerment, enrichment and advancement of the nCino employees who represent the African Diaspora.
“When I first came to nCino,” recalls Moriah Yancey, “there was a small group of black employees who made an effort to reach out to the new employees and offer a safe space. When the Diversity and Inclusion Council started discussing the need for affinity groups, I knew I wanted to be part of that.”
While the programming is specific to the needs of Black employees, The Diaspora welcomes membership from all nCino employees.
Senior Manager of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Community Zedrick Applin explains that when choosing a name for the group, they considered both differences as well as commonalities: “Some migrated from the continent of Africa and some from the Caribbean; some were Afro-Latinx, and some were African-American born here in the U.S. Given that our origins represented a wide array of those from within the African diaspora, we decided to name our group The Diaspora.”
Diaspora members Zedrick Applin, Patrick Boykin, Arthur James, and Moriah Yancey volunteer at a local event.
The Diaspora is involved in the local communities where nCino’s offices are located and participates in events related to Black history and celebration. In Wilmington, NC, members of The Diaspora volunteer at organizations such as Genesis Block, which aims to build the local small business ecosystem and support community collaboration, and the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. Last November, the group hosted a viewing of Wilmington on Fire, a feature-length documentary chronicling the Wilmington Massacre of 1898, a violent attack on the African-American community. Recently, members marched in the Martin Luther King Jr parade, attended a series of events commemorating the 1898 massacre and celebrated Juneteenth festivals.
To honor Juneteenth in 2021, The Diaspora hosted a panel discussion moderated by UNC Wilmington’s Upperman African American Cultural Center, which focused on what equity and freedom looks like for Black Wilmingtonians today. Last summer, they partnered with The Cee Suite and nCino’s Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) affinity group to sponsor an exclusive presentation for nCino employees that considered the roots of inequities in the US and the impact of racism in the workplace. In addition to bringing awareness to the mission of creating inclusive work environments, it also provided employees with action items.
“As a black person working in the tech field, it’s easy to feel othered in a predominately white industry,” says Diaspora council member Fairley Lloyd. “It’s necessary for us to have a space to meet with other Black employees, talk about shared experiences and provide support for one another. I’m thankful that nCino recognizes its importance in providing space for the Black employee population.”
This year, to celebrate Black History Month, the Diaspora is hosting events every Thursday throughout the month of February. Planned events include a virtual game day, a slam poetry night and bachata lessons. In addition to celebrating US Black History Month in February, the Diaspora also plans to celebrate UK Black History Month in October.
“When you create space for people to be their authentic selves,” says Moriah Yancey, “you give them the opportunity to plant themselves in an organization and bloom.”
We are grateful to The Diaspora for creating opportunities for education and empowerment within our communities and look forward to supporting many more incredible events!