DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – On Nov. 8, NASCAR received the 2013 Diversity and Inclusion Award (DANDI) for its efforts in fostering diversity throughout the sport at a ceremony at the New York Times Building in New York City.
Eight days later, on Nov. 16 at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway, NASCAR’s diversity efforts reached another milestone when 21-year-old NASCAR Drive for Diversity graduate Kyle Larson became the first Asian-American driver to win the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in any NASCAR national series, receiving the honor in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
“Early in the last decade NASCAR made a commitment to broadening the appeal of our sport by recruiting and developing dynamic new talent on the race track and throughout our sport. As a result, we are enhancing the fan experience for NASCAR fans everywhere,” said Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR vice president of public affairs and multicultural development. “We take great pride in being recognized during the 2013 DANDI Awards for our ongoing efforts.”
Founded in 2012, the DANDI Awards recognizes exemplary commitment and focus on diversity and inclusion. The mission of DANDI is to celebrate the contributions of any individual, group or organization that is truly making a difference toward creating a more diverse and inclusive world.
This year’s award ceremony featured an Executive Forum on “Shifting the Paradigm from Chaos to Unanimity” where participants discussed the current state of diversity and tackled effective methods for improving diversity initiatives, programs, organizations and the profession. Notable speakers included Bruce J. Stewart, the deputy director for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion with the United States Office of Personnel Management, and Wendy Lewis, SVP of Diversity and Strategic Alliances for Major League Baseball (MLB). Ericka Dunlap, who was crowned Miss America in 2004, hosted the ceremony while Grammy-nominated producer Chuck Harmony made a special guest performance.
The MLB as well as the United States Tennis Association (USTA) were nominated for the award’s Sports category. Along with NASCAR, other category winners at the second annual DANDI Awards Ceremony included SiriusXM Radio (Communications), BBC World News (Media), Cornell University (Education), Daymond John of FUBU (Entrepreneur) and Prudential (Financial Services). Additional brands honored were Johnson & Johnson Vision Care (Diversity Commitment), Tara Griggs-Magee (Diversity Impact), Black Leaf Vodka (Diversity in Innovation) and Steve Mariotti of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (Diversity Lifetime Achievement).