February 26, 2024

At Centric Brands, we are committed to celebrating our diverse associate community while continuing to build a more inclusive workplace and equitable world. In February of 2023 we launched RISE, our Black associate Employee Resource Group, with the mission to create an inclusive and safe space for the Black associates at Centric Brands to find connection, community, and support.

In celebration of Black History Month, we interviewed the RISE ERG Co-chairs, DeQuan Kinney and Nafeesah Tate, to discuss the importance of RISE and how the ERG has affected their experience at Centric Brands.

DeQuan Kinney is an Associate Manager of Sales Operations at Centric Brands and has been with the Company for 2 years. Nafeesah Tate is a Data Management Coordinator for Supply Chain Operations at Centric Brands and has been with the Company for 2.5 years.

Can you tell us about your role(s) as Co-chairs of RISE?

DK: As a RISE Co-chair, I am responsible for helping to strategize and to set the initiatives and priorities that align with our mission and four pillars.

NT: [We] help foster inclusion, lead a group of diverse individuals, strengthen acceptance, camaraderie, and fairness across the organization. We strive to provide a safe space where a member can be their authentic self. We make sure that the employee’s expectations and DEI priorities are aligned. Doing this boosts the visibility of those that are not often represented, and this helps boost their feeling of inclusion. My job as Co-chair is to make sure members are Represented, Included, Supported, and Empowered (RISE).

How has RISE impacted your experience at Centric Brands?

DK: RISE has impacted my experience at Centric Brands by allowing me to connect with like-minded individuals and offer a space of connection and empowerment that drives diversity in the corporate workplace.

NT: This experience has allowed me to become more engaged with the people I work with, and it has enhanced my diversity awareness. I have a broader picture of what it takes to ensure that people feel more included in the workplace. This experience has also boosted my emotional intelligence, and that’s what makes me feel more relatable to others. I have gained a lot of support from executive sponsors and business leaders. It has strengthened my leadership skills and confidence. I get the chance to work with the DE&I team, the L&D team and most importantly, I get the opportunity to represent the members of RISE as Co-Chair.

What do RISE members have to look forward to in 2024?

DK: In 2024, RISE members can look forward to opportunities for professional development, collaborating with other ERGs and clubs and camaraderie among members in all offices.

NT: Black History Month and Juneteenth celebrations, Lunch and Learns, Meet the Members programs, more collaboration with Centric Brands’ other ERGs, and cross-cultural communications. Meaningful opportunities to make an impact both internally and externally.