Deborah Dagit

On Thursday, April 7, the American Conference on Diversity (ACOD) will recognize the outstanding efforts of Deborah Dagit, Principal of the Washington, NJ-based Deb Dagit Diversity, during the 2016 Statewide Humanitarian Awards Fundraiser.

“The American Conference on Diversity is doing such important work to enhance diversity and inclusion in education and with employers,” says Ms. Dagit. “As a lifelong D&I advocate focused on bringing out the best in individuals, and fostering healthy and inclusive work environments, it is an honor and privilege to be part of this annual dinner celebrating and support ACOD’s efforts.”

In alignment with the American Conference on Diversity’s mission, Ms. Dagit is a longtime advocate against discrimination and the increased climate of hate. She is a sought-after consultant and speaker on the topics of diversity and inclusion. She started Deb Dagit Diversity LLC in 2013 to deliver the practical, just-in-time services and products she wished were available when she was a Chief Diversity Officer (CDO). Ms. Dagit has served on the Comcast NBC Universal Joint Diversity Council (JDC) since the spring of 2013. She contributes to the JDC using her 22 years of practical experience working across all dimensions of diversity as a CDO, as well as her personal and professional experience as a person with a visible disability who has helped to shape public policy, to inform her contributions.

As Merck’s VP and CDO for almost 12 years, Ms. Dagit was responsible for global equal opportunity, employee relations, recruiting and staffing, and diversity and inclusion. Under her leadership, the company was recognized for its exemplary work in diversity and inclusion by a wide range of business publications, government agencies, and professional organizations. Prior to joining Merck, Ms. Dagit was the leader of Learning Communications and Diversity at Silicon Graphics and head of Strategic Cultural Initiatives for Sun Microsystems.

Moreover, she played a role in the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act through her lobbying efforts, and testified before the U.S. Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee in 2011 regarding best practices for improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Ms. Dagit is married and has three grown children with disabilities.

 Along with honoring Ms. Dagit, the American Conference on Diversity will present awards to the following:

The Luing Family, Berkeley College (Legacy Award)

Jennifer Allyn, Diversity Strategy Leader at PwC (Corporate Ambassador Award)

Sue Henderson, Ocean High School Counselor (Diversity in Education Champion Award)

Seham Abdala, Director of the Islamic Networks Group of New Jersey (Diversity in Interfaith Champion Award)

This annual fundraiser is more important than ever! As hate increases in our nation, the American Conference on Diversity’s mission to build just and inclusive schools, workplaces, and communities through awareness, education, and advocacy remains relevant. By bringing together top executives and community leaders, we hope to raise $300,000 to continue to provide diversity and inclusion services, including the signature Lead for Diversity Institute. The yearlong program has positively impacted the lives of more than 3,200 high-school students over the past two decades by providing leadership development so youth can take action against hate in their schools and communities.

In addition to networking, dining, and entertainment, this year’s fundraiser will include a silent auction of artwork, sports memorabilia, and fine jewelry items. The annual event will kick off with a stellar cocktail and networking reception at 6 p.m. at the historic Pleasantdale Château (757 Eagle Rock Avenue, West Orange, NJ 07052).

Seats are limited and filling up fast! Purchase tickets today by contacting Gala Coordinator Barbara Getze at or (800) 626-8097 today. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Want to demonstrate your commitment to youth leadership-development and diversity & inclusion? Various sponsorship opportunities are also available.

About the American Conference on Diversity

The American Conference on Diversity is dedicated to building just and inclusive schools, workplaces, and communities through awareness, education, and advocacy. The nonprofit organization was founded in 1948 as the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Today the programs, services, and initiatives of the American Conference on Diversity are among the most important work focused on creating a more inclusive society. It is the unfinished business of living in a highly diverse nation: educating and empowering our next generation of leaders; enhancing our workplaces; and helping to create inclusive communities. The American Conference on Diversity builds on a historic mission and creates programs and activities relevant and vital to 21st Century life. It is a journey we can all take together. The American Conference on Diversity operates Regional Community Networks covering all of New Jersey. Visit to learn more.


Gail Zoppo

Media Relations Consultant

109 Church Street

New Brunswick, NJ 08901