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2016 DOT Civil Rights Virtual Symposium Speaker Bios - Session 9

Speaking with One Voice: Accelerating Access to Opportunity

How to Achieve a Diverse and Inclusive Team

Tonja Ancrum

Tonja Ancrum is a DeCA’s Affirmative Employment and MD715 Manager.  She develops innovative approaches to providing EEO Services to managers, supervisors and employees.  Tonja is an integral part of the Agency’s EEO program and the work that is done to ensure equal opportunity and inclusion for all of DeCA’s employees.  She has a passion for Diversity and Inclusion and is one of the Agency’s most prolific trainers.   Tonja is responsible for the continuance of education on equal employment education at all levels of the workforce, as well as providing equal employment advice and services to subordinate areas and stores located throughout the world.  She is an active member of several teams on projects designated to eliminate barriers and promote inclusion of all demographic groups. 

Tonja is a retired Army Master Sergeant who culminated her military career as an Equal Opportunity Advisor (EOA) where she completed her training at the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) at Patrick Air Force Base, FL.  While serving as an EOA, she was selected to train Army cadets who would soon become Commissioned officers on how to manage a diverse workforce.   Her experience as an EOA sparked her interest in training leaders and employees the importance of working in a diverse and inclusive work environment.  Tonja is a change agent committed to training leaders and employees the importance of maintaining a civil workforce. 

Tonja’s previous positions held consist of the following:  Federal Women’s, Special Emphasis, Disability, and Complaints Programs Manager.   Tonja also serves as an Adjunct Professor with Webster University where she teaches Human Resources Management (HRM) courses.  Tonja is very involved in her local community and enjoys spending time with her family.

D’Lynn Jacobs

D'Lynn Jacobs is a Intercultural Competence, Diversity & Inclusion Training Specialist in OPATS (Overseas Programming and Training Support). D'Lynn found her passion for exploring and understanding difference and intersectionality at an early age, making a commitment to promoting love-filled-inclusion for all. After matriculating through the independent school system in New England, D'Lynn left Boston to attend Spelman College in Atlanta, GA, where she majored in Comparative Women and Gender Studies with a media and film concentration. Her Spelman experience expanded her interest in exploring the rich diversity in the African Diaspora for personal and professional growth. She headed to Malawi as a Community health volunteer, focusing on gender equity projects, shortly after completing her undergraduate degree. Greatly missing her family, D'Lynn returned to Boston for graduate school upon completion of service. She was Assistant Director for the Upward Bound program (UMASS Boston) and a volunteer as an AmeriCorps leader in service as she worked toward a MA in Gender and Cultural Studies and a MS in Communications Management from Simmons College.

Prior to joining the Peace Corps OPATS) team, after serving a year with the OCRD (Office of Civil Rights and Diversity) team, she worked as the Director of Diversity for an independent school in Concord, MA.  D'Lynn worked with students, parents, and faculty to collaboratively build and revise curriculum, and foster nourishing affinity communities. She has served on various school boards and most recently served as the Community Training Coordinator for GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network) where she trained teachers and administrators across New England.  She reflects that all the positions she has ever held did not exist when she was growing up and they are in response to the inclusion needs that she felt while participating in various institutional programs; she is an enthusiastic change agent committed to raising systemic and organizational awareness of the importance of reflective intercultural engagement and understanding. She gardens, cooks, attends free DC events, surrounds herself with family and friends, and writes poetry for fun.

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