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Four CNO associates were recently honored with the first annual Ally Awards for their proactive and sustained support of diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives in the workplace.
Each of CNO’s four respective business resource groups (BRGs) selected one winner as an outstanding ally to recognize and celebrate their contributions to CNO’s culture of inclusion.
- Jason Adams, Director, IT Strategic Change, recognized by the S.O.U.L BRG
- LaShawn Moussa, Legal Interface-Market Conduct Analyst/Operational Risk Management, recognized by the PRISM BRG
- Kami Reuter, Director, Well-being, recognized by the Veterans BRG
- Jeremy Wigden-Wright, Director, IT Strategy and Performance, recognized by the Women’s BRG
“Allyship isn’t easy,” says Aaron Mapp, senior director, diversity, equity and inclusion. “On one side of the fence you are advocating for a marginalized group of individuals, while on the other side of the fence you are raising awareness and educating another group about the challenges that may exist for that marginalized group and then rallying for additional support for change.
“These associates have committed themselves to be outspoken about issues impacting our BRGs and have taken the stage front and center alongside our BRGs. They have taken their learnings and spirit back to their own departments and continue to openly advocate for our issues that are important to our BRGs.”
Congratulations to these four CNO associates whose behaviors exemplify CNO’s core value of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Check out what our Ally Award winners had to say:
“I'm dedicating this award to my mother and grandmother who raised me to be the man I am today,” said Widgen-Wright. “I’m only doing what they taught me was the ‘right thing to do.’ Be kind, think of others first, admit your own mistakes, forgive others, stand up for what you believe in. All these things are what everyone should be doing. I'm grateful to be recognized. And yet, I feel like my level of allyship is the minimum expectation for all of us. I’m certain I could have done more.”
“Participating in DE&I-related events has been a blessing for me,” said Moussa, winner of the PRISM Ally Award. “It has been very educational and eye-opening in many ways. Being able to connect with others across the enterprise – especially in this remote environment and through difficult times, has been extremely helpful and inspiring. I am grateful to CNO for providing this opportunity for us all.”
“I'm a better person for the exchanges that I've had with BRG colleagues,” said Adams, S.O.U.L. award winner, “There is a huge commitment to conversation (answering tough questions to advance education and respect amongst all people). The BRGs are committed to advancing awareness, through conversation (education), and at their core simply want equity and respect for all. Additionally, I've met more people across the enterprise through my BRG involvement, and for that I'm thankful.”
“This is really a great honor and I’m truly grateful and humbled to have been chosen by the Veterans BRG for the Ally Award,” said Reuter, “I’m not a veteran myself, but my love for veterans runs very deep. My dad is a proud Marine and served two tours in Vietnam, I have family members who have or are still serving. I have so much respect and love for our military and their willingness to stand up and put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms. It’s just really amazing!
There are so many people at CNO doing great things to help others. I'm just thankful that my contributions are seen as valuable to the BRGs and the people we are serving. Lots more work to do, but I’m taking a moment to soak in this recognition.”