Woodbridge Sentinel

October 17, 2013

Woodbridge Sentinel providing coverage of local news, sports and events in and around Woodbrige, NJ.

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20 WOODBRIDGE SENTINEL GREATER MEDIA NEWSPAPERS • www.gmnews.com October 17, 2013 CEO helps others 'build bridges,' embrace diversity studying, diversity and inclusion was not a field of By JESSICA D'AMICO Staff Writer work," she said, adding that advertising brought with it the study of various demographics. "I kind ome people work for a living in a passionof honed in on that aspect of it." less career. That couldn't be further from Upon entering the workforce, Williams-Riley the case for Elizabeth Williams-Riley. As president and CEO of the American Confer- took an internship in community relations at a school district — a post that she said involved "unence on Diversity, the Woodbridge resident exderstanding group relations and dynamics across udes a true enthusiasm for her work, which in cross-cultural lines." When she looked into the disessence is to bring people together. "To me, this work is more of a life commitment," trict's history for an anniversary celebration, Williams-Riley said she Williams-Riley said. "It's a became intrigued by the way of being. [It's] being journey from discriminarespectful to all folks, retion and segregation to gardless of their backthe current state of integrounds." gration. It was her commitment The glimpse back in time to the diversity field that seems to reinforce a sentiearned Williams-Riley ment that serves as recognition in the 12th anWilliams-Riley's mantra in nual "Women Worth her career: "You never Watching" issue of Profiles know how much your past in Diversity Journal. The will affect your future until it national diversity magashows up in your present." zine annually honors fe"That resonates for me," male executives and she said. leaders in an effort to enNow in her 15th year courage others who seek Elizabeth Williams-Riley with the nonprofit Amerito reach such heights. can Conference on Diver"I think this is a journey … and I think it requires a sity, Williams-Riley also served as national director lot of people working individually and collectively to make things happen," Williams-Riley said of her work. for programming for the National Conference for Community and Justice, founded in 1927 as the Her journey began in Orlando, Fla., where she grew up before attending the University of Central National Conference of Christians and Jews. Whether working with high schools, universities, Florida, studying advertising and public relations. Although her coursework may seem a far cry from corporations or other entities, the work of her current path, Williams-Riley said it planted the Williams-Riley and the New Brunswick-based organization is the same. seed for her career. (Continued on next page) "During the time when I was in college and S

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