Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management (I-DIEM)

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The Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management (I-DIEM) is a global non-profit that was established to positively impact people’s lives by integrating social equity values into all aspects of the emergency management enterprise. I-DIEM pairs social equity, or parity in treatment and distribution of resources, with scientific data to evaluate and plan for global resilience opportunities and challenges. Our focus is on humanity and our vision supports the empowerment of marginalized communities within all phases of the emergency management cycle.

We are facing a time when global climate change impacts are becoming more severe. Women, people of color, low-income and/or rural communities, under-represented groups, disabled populations, and other marginalized people will suffer at more extreme levels in disaster and if we continue in the same direction, these groups will suffer even more in the recovery effort. Too often, decisions, programs and policies are enacted without full participation and consideration of the groups that will be most impacted. It is imperative that Emergency Managers know where there is vulnerability and plan to address it in advance.

Mission & Vision 



The mission of the Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management (I-DIEM) is to serve as a resource and advocate for diversity and inclusion in Emergency Management.

I-DIEM leads efforts to increase representation of women and people of color in the field of emergency management, including in positions of leadership, through awareness, training and education. I-DIEM serves as the conduit for research on diversity and inclusion, social equity and the practical application of equitable Emergency Management practices to improve outcomes and build resilience.

The emergency management enterprise must adapt to address the growing threat of climate change and extreme weather by prioritizing under-served communities and leveraging the value of women, communities of color and other under-represented groups. I-DIEM supports development and implementation of innovative community-based, mitigation and adaptation projects to enhance resilience in diverse, vulnerable, and under-served communities.



Diversity + Inclusion = Resilience

The vision of I-DIEM is to enhance global resilience and improve emergency management outcomes by leveraging diversity, inclusion and equity.

Goals In Action


Promote, support, and disseminate research regarding Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management.

Increase the number of women and people of color within the emergency management profession.

Educate and train the emergency management enterprise on diversity, inclusion and equity issues as it relates to women, people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ, various religious beliefs, low-income, disadvantaged communities, and other underrepresented groups within each phase of emergency management.

Cultivate women and people of color emergency management leaders through training programs.

Promote efforts to integrate social equity within emergency management to improve outcomes for communities of color and vulnerable populations.

Build resilience in communities of color and underserved communities by supporting innovative mitigation and adaptation projects.

Diversify participation in the resilience and emergency management economy.

Highlight innovative Diversity and Inclusion best practices enhancing community resilience.

Leadership & Structure


I-DIEM was co-founded by Chauncia Willis and Curtis Brown, emergency management practitioners with many years of experience at all levels of government and the private sector. They have experienced the damaging impacts caused by a lack of diversity and inclusion first-hand, and they have been privy to many of the disproportionately biased policy and funding decisions that have negatively affected underserved communities.   I-DIEM was established out of a defined need, validated by scientific research, for professional parity for women and people of color and other marginalized groups in the field of emergency management

About the Co-Founder and CEO

Chauncia Willis

Chauncia Willis is the Co-Founder and CEO of the Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management (I-DIEM).

Before co-founding I-DIEM, Chauncia Willis served as a professional Emergency Manager for over 20 years within local, state, federal and private sector organizations.  Chauncia is a Certified Emergency Manager, Master Exercise Practitioner and Certified Professional Coach, and serves as the immediate past-President of the International Association of Emergency Managers,  Region 4.   Ms. Willis has a diverse background in disaster management and has overseen the response and recovery efforts for catastrophic hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, disease outbreaks, and civil disturbances.  Additionally, Chauncia is an expert in large scale event planning and has coordinated consequence management and homeland security activities for large-scale national and international events to include the Tampa Bay Super Bowl XLIII, the Republican National Convention, the International Indian Film Festival (Bollywood Oscars), the NCAA National Football Championships and the Women’s Final Four Championships.

Chauncia Willis grew up near the beautiful beaches of St. Petersburg, Florida.  She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Loyola University New Orleans.  She studied government and policy at the Georgia State University, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies where she earned a Master of Public Administration degree.  Her interests include the psychology of disaster trauma, vulnerable community resilience planning, gender and racial bias in disaster response, and the impacts of social inequities pre-and post-disaster. Ms. Willis is a graduate of the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching and the FEMA Emergency Management Executive Academy, Cohort II.

Statement from the CEO

Chauncia Willis

Chauncia Willis

Co-Founder and CEO

The Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management was founded to serve as a source of hope for the future of emergency management.  It is my belief that there is a fierce urgency of now. We must work together as a team to combat the negative impacts of climate change and other disasters that we know will impact the most vulnerable among us the most.  We cannot continue to do the most for the most, we must now be more intentional in efforts, doing the most for the least of us.  I know firsthand what it is like to experience repetitive bias, hateful discrimination and the pain of intentional exclusion at work based on my ethnicity, age, gender and being single parent.  I have seen and heard the bias, discrimination and the intentional and unintentional inequitable practices in disaster throughout my years in the field. The thought of disaster survivors experiencing disparate treatment at their time of greatest need lights a fire within me, demanding that we work together to create sustainable, impactful change.  As we stand at the precipice of change, let us leap together into a diverse, inclusive and equitable future for everyone.

Advisory Board Members

Ellis Stanley

Sindy Benavides

Adam Thiel

Kay C. Goss

Marcus Coleman

David Kaufman

Kellie Bentz

Ruha Devanesan

DeeDee Bennett, PhD

Henry Comas

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Ways to Give



One-Time or Monthly Contributions


Memorials and Tributes

Make a gift in memory or in honor of someone special. Your gift will be communicated with a card from I-DIEM and recognized in our annual report.
Make your contribution online or mail your check to us at:

  • 1001 Virginia Avenue, Ste. 300
    Atlanta, GA 30354

Appreciated Securities

Donations of stocks, bonds and mutual funds are welcome and can provide valuable tax benefits


Matching Gifts

Many companies offer generous matching gift programs that allow you to double the value of your gift with their help. Check to see if your company is one of them. By completing a simple matching gift form from your employer, you can have twice the impact. 


Planned Giving: The Diversity365 Club

Make a commitment to I-DIEM through your will or other estate plans, and you can receive numerous tax benefits while achieving your philanthropic goals.


Individual Donors


The Disaster Justice Society

Ensure continued operations of I-DIEM by contributing $1,000 or more annually to our organization to fight for disaster justice.

Donor Privacy Policy 

Information concerning donors and prospective donors shall be held in strict confidence by I-DIEM Partners, subject to legally authorized and enforceable requests for information by government agencies and courts. Donations to I-DIEM may be disclosed through donor listings in the website, annual report and other publications as appropriate unless specific requests of anonymity are made by the donor to I-DIEM.

I-DIEM will not trade, share or sell a donor’s personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations.