The following interview with Tiffany Newmuis, Deputy chief of staff, Democratic National Convention, is courtesy of Philadelphia Gay News.
Newmuis heads diversity and community-engagement efforts for the Democratic National Convention Host Committee. She also serves as director of diversity for the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
PGN: Do you have a total count for diverse vendors in the vendor directory?
TN: We have nearly 30 percent of the directory that's diverse and we have a little over 2,500 vendors registered in the directory. It is posted on our website and published for anyone who's coming in leading up to or during the week of the convention, so it's really accessible to anyone that wants to host an event, have a small meeting.
PGN: What role do you think enhanced and visible diversity will have on the actual dialogue and discussion at the convention?
TN: Between our vendors and our volunteers for the communities we targeted, we will definitely have a great representation of what the makeup of Philadelphia is. We have really worked well with and have involvement from the greater community that is reflective of Philly. I think when delegates come and media come the week of the convention that's what they'll see: true representation.
PGN: This is set to be the most diverse DNC in history. Do you anticipate the work done here in terms of diversity will continue and be built upon for the next convention?
TN: I do think that this convention has spurred conversations throughout leaders in Philadelphia that this needs to be replicated. I think it can be a definite model for what we need to do moving forward on how to engage the community.
PGN: What are some personal takeaways for you from this work that you'll bring back to your position as the director of diversity for the Pennsylvania Convention Center?
TN: Honestly, information is what business owners want and need to be able to market effectively to entities like the Convention Center, to diversity leads like myself. That's the most important part: They need to know what we need, what we're looking for out of vendors. I plan to continue my efforts at the Convention Center by engaging the local leaders I engaged with during this effort, like IBA [LGBT chamber of commerce Independence Business Alliance]. IBA has been instrumental and a great partner in assisting with engaging the local LGBT business community.