TVCP is honored to have J. Rita McNeil Danish, Esq.,Partner and Consultant with Taft Stettinius & Hollister, and Catherine Kennedy, founding Board Member for EQUAL Upper Arlington, to discuss and share information on local DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) activities and initiatives in Central Ohio.
J. Rita McNeil Danish serves as a trusted advisor leading her clients down the unconventional path to successful outcomes. Rita is a savvy problem solver, legal strategist and committed advocate with real world experience in the public and private sectors. In addition to managing a thriving legal practice, Rita serves as the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategic Business Partner at her law firm, Taft Stettinius & Hollister. Rita is also the Founder and CEO of JD2 Strategists LLC, using her expertise to consult across the country. Her vast matrix of experiences in the public and private sectors, have made her keenly adept in crisis management, economic development, government affairs, administrative compliance, personnel, and civil rights/diversity and inclusion. She brings her passion to empower economic growth in local communities through diversity and inclusion work with small, women, and minority owned business.
Catherine Kennedy is a founding board member of Equal UA, a grassroots community organization and 501c3 that champions DEI in Upper Arlington. Within Equal UA, Catherine co-leads the Pleasant Litchford Outreach Committee that has partnered with the UA Board of Education, Upper Arlington Historical Society, James Preston Poindexter Foundation, Second Baptist Church, and Ohio History Connection to capture the history of Pleasant Litchford, an African American man who purchased his freedom from enslavement in Lynchburg, Virginia, and moved to the area that is now the heart of Upper Arlington. Their aim is to honor this distinguished leader of the Black community and abolition movement; fully excavate the cemetery he created for Black and brown people, remnants of which were buried beneath the High School; and cultivate a more complete Upper Arlington history curriculum. In partnership with the Litchford descendent family, Equal UA established The Pleasant Litchford Fund with the UA Education Foundation, the first fund exclusively committed to the work of DEI within the schools.