First Responders

Diversity Matters knows that a first responder’s ability to recognize and correctly and accurately analyze people and situations is essential to a first responder’s safety and performance.

Our  trainers have experience serving the community in the first responder role and have over 100 years of combined  first responder training experience .

Diversity Matters materials and trainings are built around a sensible business case for Diversity and a practical “no shame, no blame” problem solving approach . Our curriculum and trainers bring real life  experience and examples to help your organization increase citizen engagementlessen liability and come home safely at the end of your shift.

Neal SemelCo-Founder, Civil Rights, Diversity and Inclusion Expert
Neal helps first responders address diversity/inclusion and culture change locally, nationally and internationally. Neal is instrumental in working with organizations to prevent outside governmental intervention.
Neal holds certification from the State of Ohio Attorney General’s Office Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy (OPOTA) and has worked extensively with first responders and governments in townships, municipalities and cities throughout Ohio, including:
Cites of Columbus, Canton, Athens, Westerville, Sandusky and Plain, Washington, Clinton Townships.
In addition he works with communities throughout the United States. Neal serves the U.S. Department of State, Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and the National Police Force of Belgium.
While being the lead diversity trainer and a civil rights investigator for the City of Columbus for 20 years, Neal established and advised Diversity Councils for stakeholders such as; businesses, Ethnic community organizations and surrounding suburbs. Neal currently provides diversity and inclusion training for governments businesses, schools and universities utilizing his over 25 years of extensive knowledge and practice in, community building, mediation, communication and fostering positive culture change.

Jacqueline FofanaJackieProfile1
Jacqueline is a 27 year member of the Columbus, Ohio Division of Police. Jacqueline has a BS in Organizational Leadership and MA in Liberal Studies. She has trained in the Reid interview and interrogation technique. She has also been trained FBI-LEEDA in current trends in identity theft and fraud and has 13 years of experience as a fraud detective. She is also OPOTA certified as a Community Diversity instructor. She developed core curriculum for in-service training of police personnel in Cultural Diversity, Work related stress and burnout, and the history of women and minorities in policing, Received Commendation for increasing attendance in Citizens Police Academy, Collaborated with other instructors to manage and coordinate training for 1700 police officers. Jacqueline lives with her husband and two daughters in Columbus.

Willard McIntosh Jr. (Mac)Presenter specializing in Cultural Competence for First Responders
Willard McIntosh has over twenty years’ experience at the Columbus Police Department as a police officer; with over ten years at Police Training Academy at recruit level. He is OPOTA (Ohio Police Officer’s Training Academy) Commission Certified. For nine years, he has been a cultural awareness instructor. His skills include facilitating discussion, discovering students’ views on culture, creating a classroom atmosphere conducive to sharing facts, beliefs and opinions. He schedules speakers to provide insight into their various cultures; prepares quizzes and exercises to develop students’ awareness of cultural identity. Mac served in the Air Force in Alaska and grew up in Columbus. He has grown children and a strong faith-based perspective on diversity. For Diversity Matters, he conducts training for first responders including police and fire fighters.

Thomas PaigePresenter specializing in Cultural Competence for First Responders

Thomas Paige is a twenty year member of the Columbus (Ohio) Division of Police. Currently he works in the Recruit Training Unit specializing in Ethics and Diversity Training, Incident Command, and Executive Protection. Concurrent with this position he instructs at Columbus State Community College. Thomas has been honored with the Bronze Star for outstanding service in Iraq. He retired from the U.S. Army as a criminal investigator after serving 20 years. Currently he is working executive protection missions worldwide and performing threat vulnerability assessments locally and globally.

Rick Eaton – Presenter and Lecturer specializing in Terrorism and Hate Crimes

Rick has been a senior researcher for the Simon Wiesenthal Center/ Museum of Tolerance for over 25 years. Rick’s responsibilities are research of terrorism and domestic extremism, and monitoring of extremists groups worldwide. He supervises the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s continuing investigation into the use of the Internet by extremists groups, and serves as a liaison to civic, religious and law enforcement organizations. Rick has been a lecturer/presenter for audiences including California Police/ Highway Patrol, Michigan State Police, FBI, Miami-Dade Police, U.S. Attorney’s Office, National Institute Against Hate Crime, Texas Association of Hostage Negotiators, New Mexico Gang Task Force, American Library Association, Ohio Library Association, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, California Schools, Columbus Police Department, Columbus City Schools, Ohio Education Association (Columbus Education Association).