Session and Workshop Descriptions

Opening Session and Kickoff – 9:00am to 10:15am

 Bringing Your Best “I” to the Inclusive Table- The “Love Principle”

Opening Session Keynote:

Doug Harris
CEO  | The Kaleidoscope Group

Keynote Description:

Sometimes Inclusivity is discussed as a means to create a strategy in order to “check a box”. You will learn from Global Transformation Leader Doug Harris that true inclusivity must come from a much deeper place. Mr. Harris will take you on a journey of transformation that will leave you understanding how you, as a Leader, have an internal tool that when utilized properly can serve as a source of empowerment to others and create lasting impact.

Workshop 1 - 10:30am to 11:30am

Select 1 workshop from 4 sessions offered - Click the circles to scroll through the options

Courageous Leadership



Minda Harts
CEO & Author of “The Memo” | The Memo, LLC



Leslie Haas
Speaker, Influencer + TV show Host, Principal / Leslie Haas Social 


How can leaders and managers incorporate courageous practices while managing diverse talent?

In this session, attendees will learn how to become a courageous listener and tools for having critical conversations that foster equality.

Build Inclusive Cultures by Speaking Up About Microaggressions



Michael Baran
Senior Partner | inQUEST Consulting



Catherine Hall
Sr. Talent Acquisition & Diversity Recruiting Consulting


Have you experienced feelings of exclusion when people try to bond with you or compliment you or ask questions about your life? Have you worried that you’ve said something offensive in the workplace but didn’t quite know why? Have you wanted to take a stand about something someone said but didn’t know what you would say? You are not alone!

Leaders, managers, and employees often commit microaggressions in their efforts to bond, to be funny, to show familiarity, to show curiosity. The microaggressions then make people with marginalized identities feel excluded (not valued, welcomed, respected), and workplace culture suffers. But the term “microaggressions” itself can be offputting to everyone. Those committing the microaggression gets defensive (“I wasn’t being aggressive!”). Those who were affected feel minimized (It’s just “micro” so what’s the big deal).

This session will provide a way forward a new term, deeper understanding, and a more productive way for addressing these “subtle acts of exclusion” (based on the new book by Dr. Tiffany Jana and Dr. Michael Baran).

They Too



David Rowell
Associate Consultant | Fowlkes Consulting



Natasha Porikova
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager / Nika White Consulting


There has been a great deal of progress in the areas of gender equality and feminism. Movements such as #metoo and HeForShe, are changing conversations, changing culture, and changing laws. But there is no such shift occurring for the LGBTQ+ community. Awareness and progress are stagnant.

The questions are: 1) How can the lessons of one successful movement benefit, another? 2) How can one movement be broadened to be more inclusive of others? 3) How can we ensure advances for one group don’t come at a cost to another? 4) How can we scale down public movements to fit workplaces? Movements are not mutually exclusive, nor do they live in a vacuum.

This session will explore intersectionality and inclusionary concepts as they relate to movements and groups. The focus will be on redefinition and will include topics such as (trans)gender awareness and inclusive feminism.

Merging his international career experience advancing gender equality, and his expertise in LGBTQ+ issues Mr. Rowell’s session, ‘They Too’, will highlight means to advance awareness of the LGBTQ+ community without taking away from any other movements such as gender equality.

Building Inclusive Leadership Skills Utilizing NCBI Methodology and Principles



Dr. Idella Glenn
Senior Trainer | NCBI Carolina Coalition



Dr. Roger Callanan
Assistant Vice Provost Emeritus / Division of Academic and Student Affairs | NC State University



Mie Potter
Managing Owner / Finding Peace LLC


NCBI, The National Coalition Building Institute, is an international, non-profit, leadership training organization based in Silver Spring, MD (Washington, DC) USA. Since 1984, NCBI has worked to eliminate racism and all other forms of prejudice and discrimination through work with affiliates in places around the world. Over the past 35 years, NCBI has developed an international network of resource teams that has grown in influence and reach. NCBI currently is represented by teams in cities, on campuses, and in organizations.

Companies, organizations, and institutions need to be sensitive to creating environments that welcome individuals and groups which are of different ethnic backgrounds, ages, religions, sexual orientation, abilities, etc. Whenever we make the error of not including a person or group, we do not just cut ourselves off from others, but we weaken the fabric of the system.

In this interactive and experiential session, leaders will begin to explore the following:

• The many similarities and differences that exist among its members by acknowledging and respecting them

• How their social identity groups impact their leadership

• The importance of listening as an inclusive leadership skill and the opportunity to practice it

• The many ways people have experienced discrimination/oppression and begin to learn how to stop this discrimination and be more effective allies.

Join us for a taste of this unique leadership for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion model. You will leave empowered to take leadership, with skills to authentically welcome diversity, and nurture an environment in which everyone wants to belong.

Noon Session Fireside Chat – Noon to 1:15pm

Fireside Chat – DEI Leadership: The Bank of America Story



Sandra Quince
Global Diversity and Inclusion Executive | Bank of America



Stacy Brandon
Upstate Market President | Bank of America


Sandra Quince will be sharing about DEI Leadership: The Bank of America story in a fireside chat, moderated by Stacy Brandon.

Workshop 2- 1:30pm to 2:30pm

Select 1 workshop from 4 sessions offered - Click the circles to scroll through the options

The Salvation of Mass Incarceration: The Business Case for Second-Chance Hiring




Jeffrey Korzenik
Managing Director, Chief Investment Strategist



Jerry Blassingame
CEO | Soteria Community Development Corporation



Shalynne Jackson
Shalynne Jackson, Founder and Principal Consultant / Shalynne Jackson Consulting


America incarcerates more citizens than any other nation in the world. The majority of people with a criminal background are usually minorities from underserved communities.

In this workshop, you will hear how previously incarcerated individuals are taking a stand and reclaiming their lives through education and entrepreneurship.

Determining the ROI of DEI



Dr. Janice Gassam
Consultant, Professor, Writer and Speaker | BWG Business Solutions LLC



Nichelle Harrison
Director of Operations / The Center for Courage & Renewal and Founder / The MAP Agency

Workshop Description:  

This session will explore how organizations can assess not only their level of diversity and inclusion but also their level of equity. As more and more organizations prioritize DEI in their organizational strategy, it is becoming more important to understand how to measure DEI efforts so that effectiveness of implementations can be assessed.

This session will provide attendees with specific tools to measure DEI within their organizations.

Transform Team Rapport



Dr. Shayanna Whitaker
The Institute for Dynamic Leaders



Jalitha Moore
Director of Business Engagement and Inclusion / OneSpartanburg, Inc.


Team members can reframe how they identify and dissolve conflicts.

Leadership Development Through The Submarine Way: Lens of Inclusion



John Gregory Vincent
Principal Consultant | The Submarine Way a Genesis Group LLC Company



Elizabeth Ruffin
Owner / The Everyday Inclusionist


In this workshop, we will take participants down the hatch and get underway on a mission to utilize our patent published leadership model to drive inclusion as a business strategy for their teams and organizations.

Closing Keynote - 2:45pm to 4:00pm

Handle with Care: How to Create a Culture of Support and Empathy at Work


Keynote Speaker:

Liesel Mertes
Workplace Empathy Consultant | Handle with Care Consulting


Many of us feel overwhelmed and under-equipped when a co-worker goes through a disruptive life event. When an employee receives news of a death, a divorce, or a diagnosis, they need meaningful support. However, most co-workers and managers have little idea of what to do or say. Instead of offering impactful and relevant support, many default to silence or toss out a tired cliché.

Social support erodes and affected men and women find themselves feeling very alone. Coworkers turn the other way, avoiding uncomfortable situations. The stress and feelings of isolation mount, negatively affecting the work environment.

A 2019 report on workplace empathy showed that 82% of employees would consider leaving their work for a more empathetic employer. 78% reported that they would work longer hours for a more empathetic employer. How your organization supports people in the midst of hard times matters; it drives retention, helps to attract talent, alters brain chemistry, and lets people know that you truly care.

What if you could feel empowered to competently care for those around you at work? What if people felt like they could bring their whole self to work? In this interactive and inspirational session, workplace empathy expert Liesel Mertes will equip your staff to be workplace first responders, offering empathy, inclusion and compassion when it matters most.

In this session, attendees will learn:

• What is empathy and why does it matter?

• What is the real cost of isolating someone in their pain (let’s talk dollars!)

• Identify common personal and organizational roadblocks to compassion

• The magic words that always communicate support

• Three things you should never say to an employee experiencing a disruptive event

Networking - 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Multiple virtual chat rooms will be available that will cover an array of DEI topics.




Save the date for next year!
October 20, 2021