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Welcome to another post in our Diversity at The Dude series. With this series, we aim to amplify diverse voices within our company by sharing personal stories, experiences and perspectives, while championing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. 

This month, meet Eric Anazia, Senior Solutions Consultant for Education.  

Q: Give us a little background on who you are and your journey to The Dude. 

  • I have been in the tech space since my first job out of college. I spent three years working my way up from a contractor to full-time employee, working remotely and travelling often. In 2017, I made my way back to the RDU area and became a Dude! 

Q: We hear congratulations are in order — can you talk about Blacks In Technology?  

  • Blacks In Technology is a tech focused community and media organization dedicated to increasing the representation and participation of black women and men in the technology industry.  

  • Last month, our application to host a Blacks in Technology chapter in the RDU area was approved! We're providing a space where black people working in technology can build community, meaningful relationships and connect with professionals at all levels of their careers. There are a lot of technology companies in this area, and this is something needed in effort to be a resource for those entering the space, appeal to new talent and assist where we can in skill sharing and growth. We want this group to be a home environment where we can share personal experiences, promote personal and professional growth, and be a voice in the technology community. Taking on the role of chapter President, I look forward to getting this local organization off the ground. 

Q: You are also a founding member of the Hues of Dude, can you share more about that? 

  • The mission statement for Hues of Dude is the 1st Employee Resource Group at Dude Solutions focused on development and inclusion for people of color to transcend all odds and do the best work of our lives. 

  • One thing I want to point out is that I am one of many working toward this goal. Everyone who’s involved deserves a ton of credit! I am the Hues of Dude Vice President; there are four of us that make up the executive board and we have around 24 members total! As a team, we put in a lot of time and effort outside of our normal responsibilities to create a space where everyone feels welcomed, their voice matters, and we are working towards reshaping the norm for people of color at Dude Solutions. 

Q: What is the focus of these initiatives?  

  • While there are a couple of focuses with these initiatives, we ultimately want to put a spotlight on a group of people whose voices aren’t heard, and faces aren’t seen to advocate for change. Over vision for Hues of Due is to thrive in a culture that fosters diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Where people of color can reach the crest of our achievements (community, representation, education, service, and transparency) and inspire future generations at all levels within the company.  

Q: Allyship is a large part of these initiatives. What are some ways we can all be allies? 

  • The Dude has always taken a strong stance on being different, on being thought leaders and assisting others in doing the best work of their lives; the same applies to allyship in my opinion. This starts with being honest, genuine and practicing empathy when approaching racially sensitive situations, people of color, and people with different perspectives or lifestyles. The opportunity to learn can be tough and uncomfortable at times but that’s where growth happens. Educating yourself/others, the willingness to have uncomfortable conversations and putting words to action can all lead towards being a great ally. Also, take part in all the educational events provided the Dude, D&I Committee and the Hues of Dude! 

Q: Do you have any words of advice for those entering the tech field?  

  • Be yourself! Entering a corporate environment where you might not be as widely represented, it is easy to lose yourself in following the previously successful blueprints. Your personality, your word choice, your experience level, use all of these to your advantage and create success by staying true to who you are. Also always remember, you deserve to be there, and you can make a difference.  

If you want to hear more about Hues of Dude and Blacks In Technology, check out our Operate Intelligently Podcast here and visit the BIT site here.  

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