We gathered together on June 24, 2023, at the Doubletree by Hilton Downtown Canton to honor and celebrate the retirement of Diane Stevens Robinson, a highly respected leader and President/CEO of the Greater Stark County Urban League. Diane's remarkable journey and dedication to creating positive change have left an indelible mark on our organization and community.
Diane's professional journey began at the Canton Urban League, where she gained invaluable experience working under the guidance of Joseph Smith. Diane is well acquainted with the value of community service, instilled in her by her parents, Fred and Jeanette Stevens, who emphasized the importance of giving back. This early exposure to community service and advocacy sparked her passion for making a positive difference in the lives of others.
Before her current position, Diane spent 20 years at the Hoover/Maytag Company, where she held the HR Strategic Business Consultant position. In this role, she played a crucial role in corporate diversity initiatives and worked extensively with universities, public and private schools, city government, and healthcare organizations.
Diane's commitment to diversity and inclusion extends beyond the corporate sector. As the Coordinator of Diversity Programs for the Canton City School District, she led Diversity and Inclusion Professional Development. Her groundbreaking collaborative work in promoting culturally relevant pedagogy earned her recognition from the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Educators Association. Diane was honored with the prestigious Doris Allen Blue-Ribbon Award for her contributions to developing systems to enhance cultural competence among educators.
In addition to her professional achievements, Diane holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Howard University and a Master of Arts degree in Psychology from Cleveland State University. Her passion for community activism and volunteerism is evident through her extensive local, state, and national service. She has served on various boards, including the Canton Country Day School, National Urban League (Executive Committee member), Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital for Rehabilitation, Stark State College (past chair), and Canton Urban League (past chair). Diane is a member of the Kent Area Chapter of Links, Incorporated, where she also served as past president. She is actively involved in the Malone University community as a member of the Business Advisory Board and has served on the Teacher Advisory Board of Malone University and the Center for Urban and Higher Education Advisory Board of The University of Akron.
Diane's exceptional contributions have been widely recognized. She has been inducted into the YWCA Women's Hall of Fame and received the YWCA's Women of Empowerment Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020. Additionally, she has been honored with the Canton Urban League 2001 Recognition Award, Martin Luther King Commission Award for Community Involvement, Mary Church Terrell Paralee Compton Beautiful People Award, and the ABC Doris Wilson Lifetime Achievement.
Beyond her professional achievements, Diane is a devoted community member and actively participates in her church. She cherishes time spent with her husband Preston, their two children, ten grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.
Diane's contributions to the Greater Stark County Urban League have been substantial. Her exceptional leadership, strategic thinking, and unwavering support have elevated the organization. Her visionary approach and commitment to empowering African Americans and underserved communities have transformed lives and created a lasting impact.
Diane Stevens Robinson's remarkable journey and passion for creating positive change make her an exemplary leader and inspiration to all privileged working with her.