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Heather Mosley | SBJ

2023 40 Under 40: Dani Lacio


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Dani Lacio is helping to build a more inclusive Springfield.

Since December, Lacio, 38, has worked as an equality organizer for Promo, an organization that advocates on behalf of the LGBTQ community.

“I am a dedicated advocate that continues to push myself and boundaries in the effort to create an environment where everyone feels like they belong and can thrive,” Lacio says.

That dedication was put to work when Lacio assisted former CoxHealth CEO Steve Edwards, prior to his retirement, with the hiring of a chief diversity officer.

“Now, through my work with Heather Hardinger, Cox chief diversity officer, they have changed their forms to provide the option of pronouns, preferred name, sexual orientation and gender identity,” Lacio says. “I helped influence Cox to create a safer and more inclusive space for all.”

What did you learn the hard way? Growing up as a Latinx, queer and nonbinary, I’ve dealt with discrimination, hostility and feeling unwelcome. I’m also a suicide survivor, a rape survivor and a cancer survivor. Through these struggles, I’ve learned what true love and acceptance not only look like but feel like.

Favorite hobby or creative outlet? I love being outside, whether that be hiking, kayaking, skydiving or even just hanging out in a hammock. I find summiting a difficult hike or jumping 18,000 feet out of a plane a great outlet for stress. In my line of work, that is needed.


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