White Paper – “Transparency in Sharing Diversity and Inclusion Practices”

This is an interesting white paper on “Transparency in Sharing Diversity and Inclusion Practices” that I came across through an organization I am involved with, the Global Diversity and Inclusion Foundation. It is very interesting and certainly something I encountered last year when working on the Inclusive Excellence Case Competition.

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Reflections on the University of Denver’s 10th Annual Diversity Summit on Inclusive Excellence

[This should have been posted four weeks ago!  Wow, May has been incredibly busy!]

10th Annual Diversity Summit on Inclusive Excellence

Friday, May 6, 2011 was the University of Denver’s 10th Annual Diversity Summit on Inclusive Excellence – the largest program I work on in my role at the Center for Multicultural Excellence.

The Summit has grown significantly.  Ten years ago, 25 people participated.  When I got involved 250 people participated in the Summit.  This year, I wanted to grow and expand the Summit both in terms of content and participation.  We have been spending the daylong conference on understanding diversity and inclusion and discussing research in the field.  Our community was ready for putting these ideas into practice and understanding why diversity and inclusion truly matter.

I co-led a committee of 32 students, staff, faculty, administrators, and alumni in the development of a new program: we built on the educational foundation of the summit while expanding into three tracks: Business & Industry, P-20 Education (pre-school through higher education), and Philanthropy & Community.  There were many more opportunities for focused tracks, but we thought these would be a good testing ground for focusing on how diversity and inclusion are of value in each of these arenas and why our constituents need to learn about and apply diversity and inclusion in order to be successful now and in the future.

We had approximately 650 participants and evaluations have been extremely positive.  University leadership connected with our keynote message more than ever before, we connected with the broader community in news ways, and gained national exposure for our program.  Our speakers actually began to make their own connections and our Summit resulted in multiple new partnerships with long-term value and donations to the University.  Participants left with real, tangible action items and a better understanding of our focus areas.  In addition, our committee was able to embed the program as a University-wide program through a focus on cross-functional collaboration.

The feedback I received has been both positive and personally meaningful.  A friend who is a first-year student commented the following to me on Facebook:

I’m sorry I did not get the chance to attend the Diversity Summit today, I was REALLY looking forward to it, but I got very ill and ended up having to see a doctor to prescribe some medicine. Hopefully I can attend next year! You’ve been a great role model to many of us freshmen and i wish you luck on your endeavors after you graduate!

I was in the library the day after the event and someone else came up to me and said “I saw you at the Diversity Summit on Friday and wanted to let you know that you did a really good job – it was a great event.”

I share this feedback because I believe that the collective efforts of multiple people made the Summit a success.  If my role in that and in the other things in which I have been involved have positively influence people, then I am leaving the legacy at the University of Denver that I hope to.  All of us need to think about how we can improve our communities and how we can develop meaningful interactions, relationships, and friendships.

So many people helped make the event a success.  Thank you to our amazing committee and the great speakers and presenters who contributed to an amazing event!

Click here for a copy of our e-program with details on the 10h Annual Diversity Summit on Inclusive Excellence.

Click here for some pictures from the Summit.

Global Diversity and Inclusion Foundation

Since it seems I never posted anything about this: In January I became a Board Member of the Global Diversity and Inclusion Foundation (GDIF), a 501(c)3 non-profit.  It is an organization that is doing some great work in the diversity and inclusion arena.  I am privileged to be associated with such an organization and the leaders who comprise its board.  Here is some information of the organization and I suggest reading more on their website:

The Global Diversity & Inclusion Foundation (GDIF) is a 501 (c)3 nonprofit.  We are much more than simply a list of best practices, Global Diversity & Inclusion Foundation leads the pack with standing out above the rest.  The way we do this is to understand and address diversity & inclusion by focusing on Business Cultural Intelligence in everything we do.  That means we help develop a mind-set that can be applied to any number of countries, cultures, and business situations. It is a systematic way to approach the tremendous variety of interactions and challenges that business people must face around the world – much easier and more realistic than documenting every trait of every culture and preparing to cater to each. We apply all our divisions’ activities in a three-stage process for becoming culturally intelligent. These steps involve learning the fundamental principles of cross-cultural interactions, such as what cultures are, how they might vary, and how they affect behavior; practicing mindfulness and paying attention in a reflective and creative way to cues; and developing a collection of behavioral skills that can be adapted to different situations.  This value helps us to understand diversity while working towards inclusion, especially how it affects the bottom-line of all organizations.

Mission Statement: The Global Diversity and Inclusion Foundation enables businesses to achieve optimum revenue and market share growth while providing employees with equal opportunity to attain the highest returns on their personal talent.

As GDIF grows in the years to come, you can expect great things to come.  In addition to the standard board responsibilities involving organizational development and oversight, I am managing GDIF’s presence and growth on social media, online networking, and blogging.