Omega Man


Airdate: October 18, 2018

Michael DeVaul is Senior Vice President and Chief Social Responsibility Officer for the YMCA of Greater Charlotte. He is responsible for strategic alliances, accountability and data measurement, advocacy & public policy, global partnerships, volunteerism, and diversity and inclusion strategies. He began his career at the McGaw YMCA in Evanston, Illinois where he served for just over 15 years before joining the YMCA of Greater Charlotte in 1999. Michael was most recently honored as a Champion of Change by the White House in 2014 for his efforts in community building. Michael earned a bachelor’s degree in human services from Columbia College in Columbia, Missouri.   

This episode is perfect for anyone interested in the circumstances of black and brown boys, connecting dots, code-switching and a personal story of love and humanity.  


  • Michael explains diversity and inclusion work at the YMCA and addresses the circumstances of black and brown boys in Charlotte.

  • He discusses the historical wave we are undergoing, leaders who are emerging, and the difference between charity and philanthropy.

  • He addresses whether the YMCA is a Christian organization and the image of ‘White Jesus.’

  • Michael reflects on growing up in Evanston, Illinois, and what he learned from his parents and neighborhood.

  • He considers how public-school integration shaped him and a defining moment for him during his teenage years.

  • Michael talks about being the ‘ultimate code-switcher’ and having double-consciousness.

  • He equates playing baseball in college with the work he is doing today and explains what it means to be an Omega man.

  • Michael talks about his marriage to his wife, ‘the story of humanity’ holding each other with love and affection, and what he wants his sons to know.

plus Mark's Personal Word Essay: A Masculine Faith

To Learn More About Michael


  • What struck you about Michael's comments?

  • What issue is on your mind?

  • What dots do you connect?

  • What is your story of humanity?

We invite your posts on our Facebook page.

This episode is sponsored by Blumenthal Performing Arts, celebrating its 25th year presenting the best in performing arts. 

Further support is provided by Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, one of America’s leading urban public libraries, delivering exceptional services and programs, with a mission to improve lives and build a stronger community. 

And by the Arts & Science Council, Charlotte-Mecklenburg's resource hub and lead advocate for the regional cultural community, providing Culture for All.

Additional support is provided by the UNC College of Arts + Architecture, celebrating a decade of creative education in the arts and design.