Announcing the 2020 Champions of Change Awards Finalists

Watch the 2019 Champions of Change Recap!

Champions of Change Celebrates Trailblazers Committed to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Austin

January 15, 2020 - Austin, TX - DivInc, Austin’s premier nonprofit organization driving diversity, equity and inclusion in the  startup ecosystem, today announced the event details and finalists for its 2nd annual Champions of Change Awards. DivInc hosts its signature fundraising event, Champions of Change, to celebrate individuals who are making Austin a truly inclusive community. 

This year’s event will take place at City Hall in Austin, Texas on March 5, 2020 from 6:30-9:00pm, followed by an after-party at City Hall from 9:00-11:00pm. 

Last year’s event held so much love – and power – in the room. We’re recreating that same feeling this year by bringing together a community of trailblazers in the Austin business community,” said Preston James, co-founder and CEO of DivInc, “As Austin grows quickly, a focus on diversity and inclusion is needed now more than ever. Champions of Change exists to honor the unsung heroes who are tirelessly and passionately promoting diversity, equity and inclusion day-in and day-out.

A selection committee, made up of local business leaders and influencers, have selected winners for seven categories. The finalists include:

Executive of the Year

  • Marcus Carey, Threatcare
  • Kim Davis, NFP
  • Quincy Dunlap, Austin Urban League
  • Christopher Kennedy, Leadership Austin
  • Colette Pierce Burnette, Huston-Tillotson University

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leader of the Year

  • Rubén Cantú, UT, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement
  • Kendall Evans, St. Andrew's Episcopal School
  • Muna Hussani, Indeed
  • Farah Muscadin, City of Austin
  • Dr. Kazique Prince, City of Austin

Investor of the Year:

  • Dr. Michael Barnes, Radical Equity Fund
  • Shaquille Gould, Former Investor at Quake Capital
  • Tom Meredith, Brightstar Partners
  • Sian Morson, Angel Investor
  • Zoe Schlag and Amos Schwartzfarb, Techstars

Student of the Year: 

  • Katherine Allen
  • Ariel Lee
  • Grant Loveless
  • Keegan McClure
  • Adithya Shakti Kumar

Nonprofit Leader of the Year

  • Elizabeth Henneke, Lone Star Justice Alliance
  • Monica Maldonado Williams, The New Philanthropist
  • Matt Stephenson, Code2College
  • Meme Styles, Measure Austin
  • Michael Ward, AUTM

Champion of the Year

  • Marcus Carrey, Threatcare
  • Chris Harris, Just Liberty
  • Erika Nguyen, Austin Recovery
  • Janice Omadeke, The Mentor Method
  • Pooja Sethi, The Law Offices of Pooja Sethi

Rising Star of the Year

  • Royce Brooks, Annie's List
  • Angelica Erazo, Oracle
  • Christine Hoang, Color Arc Productions
  • Lakeya Omagu, University of Texas
  • Kobla Tetey, Austin Urban League

People’s Choice Award:

This year, Champions of Change will also include a People’s Choice Award. Anyone can suggest a nominee who is trailblazing diversity and inclusion in the Austin community in important ways, large and small. - NOMINATIONS FOR THIS EVENT ARE CLOSED.

The 2020 Champions of Change Selection Committee consists of: Dana Callender, Rubén Cantú, Clarissa Fuselier, Lisa Graham, Josh Jones-Dillworth, Naji H. Kelley, Hugh Forrest, Lisa Graham, Mindy Gulati, Christine McCarey, Chas Moore, Janice Omadeke, Colette Pierce-Burnette, Eugene Sepulveda and Leslie Wingo.

Tickets to the event are $50 per person and available on Eventbrite hereLight bites and drinks will be provided. Proceeds from the event will go directly to support the mission of DivInc (501c3) – to bridge the gap between underrepresented entrepreneurs and the resources they need to build profitable, high-growth companies.

Champions of Change Community Partners include: Huston Tillotson University, BLNDED Media, The University of Texas at Austin Inclusive Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Notley Ventures and Capital Factory.