Welcome to our Black History Month edition of Diversity at The Dude! 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 Tunisha Crews, Associate Consultant of Client Services for SmartGov™.
Q: Give us a little background on who you are and your journey to The Dude.
- Originally from up north, I grew up in New York and New Jersey. I attended Rutgers-New Brunswick then joined the SaaS world in a variety of sales positions before dabbling in project management roles as an implementation consultant. In 2019, someone from The Dude reached out and I decided to explore this opportunity!
- I officially joined The Dude in June 2019 as an Associate Consultant.In this position, I partner with municipalities throughout the country, helping them transition some of their current business processes into an online digital format. I also analyze their current methods and practices in order to provide a seamless transition to using the SmartGov software provided by The Dude.
Q: You are very involved at The Dude – talk a little about that.
- I am on the Diversity & Inclusion committee because it encompasses one ofmy biggest passions. I have been doing diversity and inclusion facilitation since high schoolwith my involvement with the American Conference on Diversity and all throughout college as member of the first multi-cultural sorority.
- I am also on the executive board of Hues of Dude, as well as assisting in the RDU chapter of Blacks in Technology launch. Each of these initiatives play a role in the advancement of a more inclusive environment while educating and creating opportunities for those involved.
Q: That’s incredible! What are your hopes for these initiatives?
- My goal with these initiatives is to create opportunities for the next generation. We hope to create a space where they can hold space and feel valued. Every generation, no matter background, should want to make way for the next generation to have every opportunity to succeed. That is what we hope to do and incite in others.
Q: Can you give us an inside scoop on what is planned for this year?
- Yes! For Black History Month, Hues of Dudeis hosting an open forum around black history, diversity and so much more. We also have a partner event scheduled for Women’s History Month with Women in Product on breaking down barriers, so be on the lookout for more information on that!
Q: Allyship is a large part of the Dude Solutions culture. What does allyship mean to you and what are some ways we can all be allies?
- I think allyship is being aware of your own biases and working to challenge them, as well as advocating for the underdog. Use your privilege to check biases, educate yourself and stand up for others.
Q: Do you have any words of advice for those entering the tech field?
- Do your best work! Even if you sometimes feel that your best just isn’t good enough, remember that your best is always enough. Also, be coachable! Be open to learning, pivoting and growing in all areas.
- We spend most of our time with our colleagues, so creating and having spaces where everyone is valued and appreciated for both their differences and their likenesses is crucial for a healthy work environment. Remember and create this wherever you go!
There is always something new to learn, so while we celebrate Black history every day, we challenge you to take time throughout Black History Month to continue educating yourself and be an ally to all. For more BHM resources and virtual events, check out ASALH and the African American History Month.
Interested in reading more Diversity at The Dude? Check out our interviews with Norma Kaunda and Billy Terhune.