Creating a strategic and disciplined approach to DEI, with Deanna Singh

Deanna Singh has been researching, designing and building solutions to complex social challenges for the last 20 years, but she was born into diversity, equity and inclusion work. As founder of Flying Elephant, a holding company for social impact companies, Deanna is on a mission to build innovative opportunities for underserved communities.

In this episode, hear how DEI has impacted her life, how she continues to learn and lead and how she found her purpose.


Donald Thompson: Welcome to the Donald Thompson Podcast. I’m really encouraged today about our guest.  Deanna Singh is a lawyer, an entrepreneur, a mom, a business leader, a keynote speaker. We’re going to have the opportunity today to unpack a lot of different things. But the highlight is we’re going to talk about how do you get it right with your diversity, equity, inclusion programming. Deanna, welcome to the show. 

Deanna Singh: Thank you so much. It’s such an honor to be here with you.

Donald Thompson: So, one of the things that I like to do before we kind of get into the detail of the subject matter is I like our audience to get to know our guests. Take a few minutes to talk about family, where you grew up, brothers and sisters, things that impacted you and then we’ll talk as friends. 

Deanna Singh: Oh, absolutely. So, I actually am broadcasting from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, so that is where I spent a majority of my childhood. I am a biracial woman, so my mother is African-American. Her family comes from Magee, Mississippi, and my father’s family comes from Punjab, India. So my dad comes from a very small village in India. And actually one of my, my favorite stories to just share is that my mom and my dad got married after knowing each other for just three months.

And what makes their story even more fascinating is that they did not speak the same language, not have the same religion, grew up in totally different places in the world, had totally different customs, different foods, all of it. And so, this year they’re celebrating 42 years of marriage, which is very exciting.

Right. But you think about, right, east meets west and all the reasons on paper why that wouldn’t work. If you couldn’t speak the same language even, right? Why that would be such a challenge. And so, I think one of the greatest things about my childhood is that I grew up watching them build this amazing bridge to one another, to each other’s culture, to like understanding, and for, for me, like, I got to play on that bridge. I got to run across it, bring other people on it, you know? Jump up and down, test its strength, and in many ways, you know, people ask, you know, “Well, how long have you been doing diversity, equity, inclusion work?” I’m like, “My whole life. I was born into this job.”

Full Episode Transcript

Purposeful Hustle, by Deanna Singh
Uplifting Impact Podcast
15 Purposeful Minutes
How to be an Ally Summit

The Donald Thompson Podcast is hosted by The Diversity Movement CEO, mentor, investor, and Diversity and Inclusion Consultant Donald Thompson.

Music for this episode provided by Jensen Reed from his song, “You Can’t Stop Me”.

The Donald Thompson Podcast is edited and produced by Earfluence. For more on how to engage your community or build your personal brand through podcasting, visit

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