nzinga shaw

Nzinga Shaw

SVP Diversity & Inclusion Officer for the NBA Atlanta Hawks/Philips Arena

Nzinga Shaw is currently the senior vice president of community and concurrently works as the chief diversity & inclusion officer in the Atlanta Hawks & Philips Arena organization. She is the first person to hold the CDIO position in the National Basketball Association and for all 122 North American professional sports teams. Shaw serves as a member of the Executive Committee and provides guidance to the leadership team to engender inclusion in every facet of the business. Shaw has developed a strategy to embed equity in all programmatic activities, governance and daily administration of the organization. She is focused on building a foundation that will advance this strategy as a core component of the Atlanta Hawks brand, and to drive the business. This initiative extends to fans, customers, community partners and to every employee within the workforce.

Prior to joining the Atlanta Hawks, Shaw has been at the forefront of leading organizational change through diversity. She served as senior vice president of diversity & inclusion at Edelman, the world’s largest and most profitable public relations/integrated marketing agency. Shaw also worked as a human resources practitioner at ESSENCE Magazine, the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network, and the National Football League. Recently, Shaw was appointed by the NBA to serve on the Global Inclusion Council. The GIC provides strategic guidance and serve as a catalyst for the league-wide diversity and inclusion strategy, drives an inclusive and innovative culture and increases the economic value of the NBA League office and teams.

In 2016, Shaw was an integral member of an internal team at the Hawks that launched the NBA’s first Unity Game, a unique game experience, celebrating multicultural groups, diverse populations and organizations committed to improving relations amongst different demographic sets. Employees participated in two major events prior to the Unity Game: an all-staff service day including six service projects within the city of Atlanta, and the 46th Atlanta Pride Festival, the largest event of its kind in the Southeast. The concept for Unity Day came from an all-employee internal forum on July 19th that Shaw hosted, which followed a series of unsettling and alarming events around the nation during the summer. The staff was challenged to think of ways the Hawks organization could unite the city and continue the positive and peaceful conversation taking place in Atlanta. Within the forum, the consistent themes of community service, inclusion and using basketball as a change agent/unifier led to the creation of the event. Shaw’s leadership greatly influenced the Hawks to be recognized as the winner of the 2017 Cynopsis Social Good Awards in the category of Diversity Leadership for the Unity Weekend efforts.

Shaw is a recipient of several industry awards including The Network Journal “40 Under Forty,” PR Week “40 Under 40,” the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “Women Who Mean Business,” AOL’s MAKERS Award, Pepsi’s “The Recipe,” “National Medical Fellowships “Diversity Excellence Leader” award, the Society for Diversity’s “Innovation and Inclusion Leadership Award for an Individual,” Sports Business Journal’s “Game Changers” award, the Leaders “Under 40” award, and the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “40 Under 40” award. She is also on the Board of Directors of Microsoft’s youthSpark initiative and ADMAG – Atlanta Diversity Management Advocacy Group. Shaw is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and is an alumna of Spelman College (BA), the University of Pennsylvania (MLA) and was a study abroad scholar at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

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