DENVER — Last April, the Denver Broncos named China Jude the first-ever Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. After a little more than a year on the job, Jude said they've set important groundwork for the future.
"Where I see the organization is just evolving, just continuously evolving, engaging, internally as well as in the community," she said.
That work in the community earned the Broncos the 2022 Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year award from ESPN. Jude said she takes pride in her work with the Community Development team and the players.
"[I] have the opportunity to stay connected in those weekly power hour conversations with the players, so I can learn what is important to them," Jude said. "I've also had the opportunity to participate in a number of community service projects, one of them being the gun buy-back program, which I had a lot of familiarity in my past life working in the sheriff's office in Florida, so this constant connecting with players and finding out where they're passions are."
The next item accomplished on her agenda: improve the methods of diverse hiring.
"What I do bring to the table are different resources," she said. "I'm really encouraged when hiring managers lean in and not only self-reflect, but to evaluate their staff and to move forward when it comes to diversifying their applicant pool."
Engagement and investment in the local community go hand-in-hand. Jude and the Denver Broncos hosted a DE&I consortium to network with different companies in Colorado.
"It gives us the opportunity to exchange ideas and talk about different strategies," Jude said. "I'm ready to open my ears up wide because I want to get some of those ideas to bring them to the Broncos and then of course, I would like to contribute to those conversations."
On Tuesday, the Broncos officially named Condoleezza Rice, Mellody Hobson, and Sir Lewis Hamilton the first three black minority owners of the Denver Broncos in team history. Jude said she's encouraged by the direction of the organization and its leadership.
"You know, we're going to continue to move forward and we're going to grow in this space and I'm just so excited about how we're going to grow and connect with others."
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