nCino’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) 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, encouraging professional and leadership development, mentoring and community outreach. Each ERG 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 ERG. This month, in celebration of Black History Month, we’re highlighting The Diaspora.
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 by technical writer Moriah Yancey and is currently led by Zedrick Applin, nCino’s Head of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Community Involvement. 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.
“Having the access to show up and make a difference in my community is why the Diaspora is important to me,” says Arthur James, Senior Implementation Consultant. “While other places show diversity only within the workplace, nCino has empowered the Diaspora to share our stories, culture and perspectives of the world to those who may or may not share our complexion.”
While the programming is specific to the needs of Black employees, The Diaspora welcomes membership from all nCino employees.
Zedrick 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. Each year, members march in the Martin Luther King Jr parade in downtown Wilmington to celebrate MLK Day.
“Having the Diaspora Affinity group is important because it offers a sense of community for Black employees who are often marginalized in business and corporate settings,” says Charlon Turner, Employee Relations Specialist. “Current events and political climates change, and what was once the topics of many conversations can be forgotten or moved on from. However, many of the issues and concerns still exist for people who belong to those affected groups. It’s great to be a part of a company that understands the importance of diversity and the benefits of ERGs, and honors those spaces with opportunities to come together and connect with one another.”
This year, to celebrate Black History Month, the Diaspora is hosting events throughout the month of February. The group will host two social events, a Black History Month kickoff on the first of the month, with an nCino Night the following week. A movie screening of Devotion will include a panel discussion and take place in nCino’s Headquarters. At the end of the month, the Diaspora will unveil the portrait of John C. Dancy, a local politician and educator who was forced out of Wilmington in the 1898 insurrection, which will hang in nCino’s Headquarters.
Past events have included a panel discussion on Juneteenth moderated by UNC Wilmington’s Upperman African American Cultural Center, which focused on what equity and freedom looks like for Black Wilmingtonians today, poetry slam nights, and bachata dancing lessons. Earlier this year, the Diaspora hosted award-winning director, producer, actor and drummer Ameenah Kaplan, who presented “Breaking Barriers: Using Your Unique Gifts to Carve Your Career Path.”
“Most importantly,” says Arthur James, “the Diaspora provides a space for us to be our authentic selves without compromising the integrity of our wellbeing.”
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!