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[ORLANDO, Florida] – Monday, March 25, 2024 – The Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management (I-DIEM) proudly announces receiving two esteemed awards at the 2024 National Hurricane Conference. CEO, Chauncia Willis, has been honored with the prestigious Neil Frank Award, while the organization was also recognized with the Outstanding Achievement in Media Award for their recent documentary release, “Muted: Climate Marginalization in America.”

Named in honor of the longest-serving Director of the National Hurricane Center, the Neil Frank Award celebrates outstanding career contributions in disaster and emergency management, particularly in promoting hurricane preparedness, response, and recovery efforts. Ms. Willis’ selection is historic as she becomes the first person of color and the second female to receive this esteemed accolade, underscoring her exceptional leadership and commitment to promoting equity in disaster management and resilience-building efforts.

“I am deeply honored to receive the Neil Frank Award from the National Hurricane Conference,” said Chauncia Willis. “This recognition is a testament to the collective efforts of the entire I-DIEM team in advocating for equity in disaster management. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue our work in promoting resilience and justice for marginalized communities.”

I-DIEM, co-founded by Chauncia Willis and former Virginia Division of Emergency Management Director Curtis Brown in 2019, has made significant strides in promoting equity in disaster response and management. The organization’s influence extends to Capitol Hill, where it has provided witness testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives on diversity, equity, and inclusion matters, leading to the establishment of the first Disaster Equity and Building Resilience Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2023.

In addition to the Neil Frank Award, I-DIEM was recognized for its groundbreaking documentary, “Muted: Climate Marginalization in America,” receiving the Outstanding Achievement in Media Award. This pioneering film sheds light on the impacts of extreme weather events on communities, exposes exclusionary practices, celebrates human traditions, addresses urgent global issues, and shares narratives of individuals profoundly impacted by climate change.

I-DIEM recently announced its expansion as a global nonprofit, with plans to open the organization’s first Global Outreach and Resilience Center in June on the African continent in Ghana. This expansion reinforces I-DIEM’s commitment to addressing equity in disasters worldwide and advancing its mission of creating a more inclusive and equitable future.

About the Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management
The Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management is a 501(c)3, global non-profit organization established to facilitate change by integrating equity into all aspects of emergency management. Our focus is on humanity, and our vision supports the empowerment of marginalized communities within all phases of the disaster management cycle. For more information about I-DIEM and its initiatives, visit



Contact: Greg Padgett, Director of Communications – Media Relations


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