Busta’s Person of the Week: Diversity and inclusion should never be an afterthought

Busta’s Person of the Week:  Diversity and inclusion should never be an afterthought
May 19
13:36 2021

By Busta Brown

I shared with Krishauna Hines-Gaither that I meet so many people who don’t know their worth. Her big, beautiful smile immediately lit up my computer screen, as if she was waiting for me to make that statement. The Winston-Salem native’s reply was a perfect mixture of power and humbleness. 

“I had a contract with a school in Charlotte to help them with their diversity goals and this one young lady watched everything my team and I did. She called me recently and said, ‘I want to get into consulting, I already have my LLC set up, but I have no idea what to charge. 

“I coached this young woman for free; I didn’t charge her anything because I thought this important. I had an open conversation with her and also shared what I charge, which I don’t do with everyone, but I wanted this young lady to charge what she’s worth and deserving for the work she’s about to do. 

“Then I asked if she has a contract and she said no. I told her that all of my contracts were carefully vetted by my attorney and I’m going to send them to you, and to change the language and tweak them for your purposes. She called me yesterday to tell me she got the contract, and it was her first contract. 

“As entrepreneurs, we must have these open conversations to help each other, and understand that there’s enough out here for everyone.”

Krishauna Hines-Gaither is the owner of Hines-Gaither Consulting, LLC. After that beautiful testimony, she’s definitely getting my business. 

Hines-Gaither Consulting, LLC focuses on providing diversity and inclusion consulting services with the highest levels of client satisfaction. They will do everything they can to meet your expectations, and that’s extremely important. The company specializes in race relations and racial equity, and is also well versed and professionally trained to support multiple social identities, including, but not limited to, race and ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, national origin, immigration, faith and more. 

“You never want to limit yourself to one group of people or businesses,” said Dr. Hines-Gaither. 

I asked her what should drive our diversity and inclusion needs. “Most of my clients now are driven by what’s happening nationally, such as George Floyd, Briana Taylor, and others. That is what’s driving their outreach to me.

“The most important thing is this work must be ongoing. You have to have a serious commitment to this work every day, so you can’t have one training with a consultant and think it’s going to solve your issues with diversity and inclusion. Because once the world stops talking about George Floyd, Briana Taylor and other national news, you have to deal with real people that are trying to navigate through life every day. Based not just on race, but class, gender, race relations, sexuality, and so many other identities. That’s where we come in,” said Dr. Hines-Gaither. 

She said clients come to consultants because they need answers, and that’s why it’s so important to build your knowledge base and your team, not just for you, but for your team. “I’m shocked by the amount of diversity consultants that don’t read about diversity. I read about things I have no expertise in because we’re dedicated to meeting all of our clients’ diversity and inclusion needs. We want to come in to support your work before it becomes a crisis.” 

Dr. Krishauna Hines-Gaither is not one to separate herself from the East Winston-Salem community where she was raised. The marriage between her upbringing and academic journey to earning a Ph.D. has molded her into the phenomenal woman and consultant that she is today. She serves as the associate vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion and the director of the Intercultural Engagement Center at Guilford College in Greensboro. She has taught Spanish, race and ethnicity studies, women and gender studies, and Afro Latin American studies. She’s been featured on episode on The History of Black English and has worked with Forsyth Tech’s Small Business Center since 2011. The center offers many free services to the community by seasoned professionals. 

Dr. Gaither has taken many of their courses on a variety of topics and also received mentorship by key staff members and volunteers. “These resources have increased my business savviness, and given me tools to take my consulting business to the next level,” said Dr. Hines-Gaither. She was also invited to Princeton University to speak with all of the language instructors to give them information and education on how you include race in their classroom. 

Even with such an impressive resume, this amazing woman remains grounded. “I’m proud of the beautiful principles I’ve learned from my parents and community, so I don’t separate myself from where I grew up. It enables me to relate to all types of people and backgrounds, if you are working class or have a Ph.D., on public housing or a property owner. I can relate to you no matter what end of the spectrum you’re on. If you speak English, Spanish or French, I can relate.” 

As an aspiring entrepreneur myself, I took the opportunity to ask the powerful yet humble business woman to share some tips on how new entrepreneurs can prepare so that they don’t have to repair. “The first thing you need is integrity. Then, build a team before you need a team. I always ask my team for feedback on different ideas, because you will never have all the answers that people need. So, understand at some point you’re going to have to give up some of your earnings. You can’t keep it all and that’s OK. Remember, you must prepare or you’ll find yourself having to repair. I hired a caterer one time for 80 people and she was excellent. I hired her again for 300 people and she brought the same amount of staff she had for the 80 people. The lines were long and it took a while to get our food and it got cold. It’s because she wanted to keep as much money as possible for herself and I remembered that when I started my business. As a business owner, integrity must come first.” 

I also asked Dr. Hines-Gaither to share with Black businesses and entrepreneurs the importance of diversity and inclusion as well. “I had that conversation the other day! A lot of white universities will do diversity work, but a lot of the HBCUs feel we’re all people of color, so it looks differently on our campus. So, I would say to that everyone needs an inclusion purpose. Everyone! You need it to expand your client base or you will be limited if you only speak to one group. Understanding diversity, equity and inclusion will help you market to African Americans versus someone from the Caribbean. Your approach will be different. Although we specialize in race relations and racial equity, we can help with this as well. 

“I started my business with mostly schools and I realized my work is relatable and compatible with nonprofits, businesses, and other industries. I understand how corporate America and the school system work.” 

Dr. Hines-Gaither is also knowledgeable in working with different religions as well. “I advise certain clients in such a way that I respect their religion and culture. What works for someone in America might not work for someone in Sudan,” she shared. 

The work speaks for itself. Here’s a testimony from one of Hines-Gaither clients: “I’ve had a number of coaching meetings with various professionals. They were all helpful in one way or another, but my time with Krishauna has been the most helpful by far. Instead of leaving with a few scribbled notes, I have a numbered list of action steps and strategies to put in place. Her warmth and loving disposition outshine even her knowledge and expertise, making this session not just informative, but rejuvenating.”

My phenomenal Business of the Month is Hines-Gaither Consulting, LLC. You can learn more about Dr. Hines-Gaither and her company by callling 336-602-8315, or visiting Email her  at She’s also a popular diversity blogger at 

About Author

WS Chronicle

WS Chronicle

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors