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DEON is a groundbreaking 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to transforming the community around us through the power of education. Our dynamic team of volunteers, comprising of professionals from diverse backgrounds, is committed to promoting a harmonious and inclusive environment where everyone can thrive.


We value honesty and open communication, believing that difficult conversations and acknowledging uncomfortable realities are essential components of driving change. Our trauma-informed and culturally appropriate approach to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, Acceptance and Justice, is designed to foster empathetic understanding and meaningful connections.


Whether it's working with individuals or organizations, the goal is to provide those with the necessary tools and skills to embrace corporate and public change, a transformation that leads to a more just and inclusive society for everyone. Our strategies include education, training, community outreach, youth leadership, collaboration, and events.


Join us on our journey as we empower individuals, challenge norms and champion diversity. Together we can create a future where every voice matters.



Shelja is an award winning Diversity & Inclusion leader, an activist, advocate, change maker, writer, mother and wife. She founded DEON, a non profit, in January 2021 and is the Executive Director. Her goal is to improve equity by combating racial disparities and access issues within vulnerable, oppressed and minority communities, using education and human connection as the key tool. Shelja is also an internationally qualified social worker and holds a degree in Social Work and a Graduate Diploma in Social Work Counseling. Her expertise is in youth therapy and restorative justice, along with trauma informed and culturally responsive Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging and Access. Shelja also has experience working within private, government and non profit sectors in the USA and abroad. She currently serves as the secretary and Community Coordination Committee chair with the Historic Southern Burlington County and is a writer for an online media company that focuses on providing a voice and reporting on matters relating to People of Color and other underserved communities.


Cori is an accomplished Sr. People & Culture professional with extensive experience leading strategic DEIBA and organizational development programs. A true champion of diversity, Cori excels at designing and implementing DEIBA interventions that increase employee diversity, while supporting business objectives. With a background in research, data science, public education and international business, Cori brings a unique perspective to her work. Known for her ability to improve multidisciplinary team's skills, knowledge and competencies through sophisticated and effective training, she addresses all dimensions of social impact. Cori's passion for decolonizing education and infusing non-western perspectives, drives her work with DEON, aiming to create a lasting understanding and positive change for the betterment of the human condition. As a certified crisis intervention/de-escalation trainer, curriculum writer and triple licensed educator, Cori is committed to measurable impact strategies that propel transformative societal change.


Marissa is an expert in Communications and is an advocate, wife and mother. Through her work with D.E.O.N, she is a powerful voice. Marissa uses her expertise and passion to help drive change in the community through education and donating her time and expertise to DEON initiatives. She is an accomplished professional who has made significant contributions to the field of public relations. With extensive experience and knowledge in this area, Marissa has become a powerful voice in the community. Her education and expertise in culture, leadership and organizational change, have enabled her to make a real difference in the workplace. As an advocate and social activist, Marissa is committed to promoting and creating a better future for all.

Mission Statement

To harness the transformative power of education and utilize it to improve the human condition.


Vision Statement

We believe in the strength of fairness and equal opportunities for all. Our community is built on respect, unity and a celebration of diversity. We work together with others who share our values and vision for a better world.


Our Core Values: Inclusivity, Access, Equity.


Diversity Statement

Embracing diversity is a cornerstone of our values and principles. At DEON, we take great pride in our unwavering support for historically marginalized and oppressed communities, regardless of their gender, abilities, sexual orientation, race, religion or creed. Our unwavering support is extended to their ongoing battle for equal rights and a more just society.

It takes a  whole community

 to raise a child.

Be the Change

Community Partners


Current Memberships

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