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2021 40 Under 40: Daniel Ogunyemi

Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Ozarks Technical Community College

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Daniel Ogunyemi, 25, is elevating inclusion in Springfield. Ogunyemi joined Ozarks Technical Community College to lead its diversity efforts after serving as the learning, development and inclusion partner at Burrell Behavioral Health.

Ogunyemi influences other equity and inclusion work through his involvement on The Arc of the Ozarks Board of Directors as well as the city of Springfield Mayor’s Commission on Human Rights and Community Relations. On an individual level, he has connected contacts directly to job opportunities in the STEM fields, where Black women are traditionally underrepresented.

“Right now, Springfield is not the most inclusive place for economic, workforce and community opportunities,” he says. “I hope to continue to influence change that invites many voices, perspectives and identities to the table.”

Best productivity hack? Build meaningful, impactful and genuine relationships.

Professional aha moment? When I started meeting with Wes Pratt consistently and soaking everything in like a sponge.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not to my own understanding. Acknowledge him in all I do and he will direct my path, Proverbs 3:5-6.

Theme song? “Optimistic,” originally by Sounds of Blackness, but August Greene’s version featuring Brandy, Common, Robert Glasper and Karriem Riggins.

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