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Robyn Afrik, who is an adjunct member of the faculty at Hope College and Director for the Ottawa County Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, will give the keynote speech “The Power of Belonging” as the 2022 Asian Heritage Lecture at Hope College on Thursday, April 7, at 5 p.m. in Schaap Auditorium of the Jim and Martie Bultman Student Center.

Afrik, a Korean born, American adoptee, will summarize her work from the County office and share how her identity uniquely shaped her desire to also teach at Hope College.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

Robyn Afrik is an accomplished diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) practitioner and thought leader. With more than a decade of experience leading DE&I in multiple industries across the U.S., which include for-profit, public and non-for-profit sectors, she has developed a deep expertise in identifying, evaluating and mitigating risks and opportunities as a business and community advisor to board and senior level management. She’s also developed and consulted on leading DEI frameworks for high profile and global level projects.

She serves as the first director for the Ottawa County Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I), established in 2019. With over 290,000 residents and the fastest growing county in the State of Michigan, the office convenes key relationships with local community, business and policy leaders; including local units of government in order to lead and develop a DEI strategic plan. She assesses implicit bias in current policies and decision-making processes with a goal of operationalizing DEI throughout the organization.

Over the last decade, Afrik is most notably known as a national speaker, consultant, adjunct and author on issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion. She co-authored “Becoming Like Creoles: Living and Leading at the Intersections of Injustice, Culture and Religion” (Fortress Press), and designed national partnerships and projects through Afrik Advantage LLC, a minority woman owned business, building cross sectors of communities, businesses and faith-based organizations, focused on the development of inclusive leaders and key strategic DE&I priorities.

She has served on multiple boards and committees. She currently serves on Shape Corporation’s Inclusion Advisory Board (IAB), is an elected school board trustee for the Ottawa Area Intermediary School District (OAISD), and was also selected to serve on the Michigan State Court Administrator’s Office (SCAO) and the Michigan Judicial Institute (MJI) D&I Committee.  Robyn serves on the Advisory Council for the Grand Rapids African American Health Institute (GRAAHI), the Greater Ottawa County United Way’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) Committee, and the National DE&I Directors Network for the National Association of Counties (NACo). She also serves on West Michigan’s Talent2025’s D&I Work Group. She is a co-founder of Women of Color (WOC) Give, a philanthropy collective for women of color, by women of color.

The lecture is being presented by the college’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion in collaboration with Asian Student Union and the GROW diversity council.

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