Diversity Promising Practices Conference

2020 Conference
An Inspired Pathway: Pursuing Leadership Intelligence Through Inclusion

February 10-11
The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center • Auburn, Alabama
February 10, 2020
7:30 - 9:00 a.m.
Registration Open and Check-In
8:00 - 9:00 a.m.
Continental Breakfast/Networking
Prefunction Area
Opening Ceremony
Accelerating Organizational Change through Inclusion: Strategies for Institutional Transformation

In an effort to create a more-equitable campus environment, executive-level inclusion and diversity practitioners are required to stay abreast of issues impacting organizational culture and behavior. This session will highlight chief diversity officers at institutions of higher learning who are working to leverage time-tested and contemporary strategies that focus on organizational transformation through a lens of inclusive excellence.


  • Dr. Carol E. Henderson, Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, Chief Diversity Officer, and Adviser to the President, Emory University
  • Meshea Poore, JD, Vice President for Diversity, Equity and INclusion at West Virginia University
  • Dr. Marco Barker, Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Dr. Christine Taylor, Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, University of Alabama
  • Moderator, Dr. Taffye Benson Clayton, Vice President and Associate Provost, Auburn University

Concurrent Workshops A
Breaking the Binaries: Expanding our Understanding and Support of Sexual and Gender Diversity on Campus

Through this workshop, we will provide a baseline knowledge for understanding and addressing sexual and gender diversity in various campus contexts. Participants will discuss a variety of topics that will help them become better allies and provide support to members of the LGBTQ+ community. After attending this session, participants will be able to define and describe common concepts and language relating to sexuality and gender; explore the experience of homophobia, heterosexism and genderism; and identify specific actions to create welcoming, affirming and inclusive spaces for people marginalized by their sexuality and/or gender in higher education and beyond.

Brian Patchcoski
Director for the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, Penn State University

Legacy Ballroom I
Examining the Benefits of Inclusive Leadership

Camilla Collins
Diversity and Inclusion Director, CNA Insurance

Terrace Room
Unpacking the Relationship between Environmental Justice and Civic Engagement

Catherine Coleman Flowers
Senior Fellow, Environmental Justice & Civic Engagement, Center for Earth Ethics

Oak Room
Curricular Approach to Diversity Training and Education: Insights from the University of Mississippi

Influenced by the Foundations of Residential Curriculum, the University of Mississippi utilizes a curricular approach to Diversity Education and Training that factors in meaningful progression of knowledge and active learning principles to advance the campus's ability to engage with equity. During this session, participants will gain insights from the University of Mississippi's approach and explore their opportunity for similar promising practices.

JuWan Robinson
Coordinator of Diversity Education, University of Mississippi

Legacy Ballroom II
Lunch and Keynote Presentation

Candi Castleberry Singleton
Vice President of Diversity Partnership Strategy and Engagement, Twitter

Grand Ballroom
Concurrent Workshops B
Let's Talk about Age: Embracing Generational Diversity in the Workforce

As people are living longer, many are working longer. Today, it is common to see five generations working side-by-side in the workplace. This interactive session will take an in-depth look at how age is viewed in America and discuss ways to leverage the value of the multigenerational workforce. Let’s have a conversation about how we can disrupt aging in the workplace!

Dr. Lori Trawinski
Director of Banking and Finance, AARP Public Policy Institute

Oak Room
Utilizing Data to Narrate your D&I Story

This session will share how the Office of Research and Policy Analysis for the University System of Georgia leverages its mission to meet the information needs of the system to ensure that diversity and inclusion inform planning and initiatives, decision making, and policy development. This ranges from data on who we are serving and population trends that impact future enrollment to our success in serving diverse students and research on what will improve that success. Effectively employing data to enhance diversity and inclusion requires staying up to date in technology and data resources, utilizing partnerships to bring an interdisciplinary approach to data analysis, accounting for intersectionality of populations, and working to raise the analytic capacity of all of the system's diverse institutions. Higher education leaders today are asked to have data inform everything they do; this presentation shows how diversity can and should be central to that information strategy.

Dr. Angela Bell
Associate Vice Chancellor, Research and Policy Analysis, University System of Georgia and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Higher Education, University of Georgia

Legacy Ballroom II
It Takes More than a Diversity Officer: A Collaborative Approach to Diversity Planning and Implementation

In recent years, many universities and academic units have hired a diversity officer and, in some cases, supported the opening of a fully staffed diversity office or center. As beneficial as this can be for our communities, we have learned this is not the silver bullet. This presentation will focus on a collaborative effort of administration, faculty, students, staff, and researchers to create and implement a diversity, inclusion, and belonging strategic plan at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Science. The framework was designed to establish a culture of shared responsibility for prioritizing diversity, inclusion, and belonging as central to the School’s mission, the excellence of its community, and the work they do.

Dr. Alexis Stokes
Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University.

Terrace Room
The Elephant in the Room: What You’re Missing When You Think About Creating Inclusive Workplaces

This workshop invites both employers and employees, current and future, to explore the role they each play in shaping meaningful, inclusive workspaces. Employers will have the unique opportunity to examine the policies and practices required to shape an equitable work environment while employees examine practices for becoming more financially empowered early in their careers. By embracing social change and identifying critical touchpoints for intergenerational understanding, this session allows all practitioners on the employment continuum to explore strategies for promoting generational wealth and working together to advance principles of a modern money mindset for employers and employees, alike. Students transitioning into the workforce will especially benefit from this session as they examine the ways that they can advocate for an equitable work environment upon graduation.

Julien and Kiersten Saunders, Founders, Rich & Regular.

Legacy Ballroom I
Student Track Sponsored by Delta Air Lines
Concurrent Workshops C
Exploring Inclusive Classroom Strategies for Students with Autism

This session will go over the current state of autism in higher education along with some strategies for ensuring autistic students are successful in your classroom. Suggestions are based on the presenter’s qualitative research with autistic adults on post-secondary opportunities and are in line with Universal Design, meaning they are useful for a range of students.

Dr. Jennifer Sarrett
Lecturer, Center for the Study of Human Health, Emory University

Oak Room
From the Inside Out: Building an Inclusive Organizational Culture

Creating an inclusive organizational culture is necessary for long-term success, yet it is challenging to do and remains elusive for many institutions. This session will provide an overview of effective strategies that have been used in academic settings to advance diversity, equity and inclusiveness. We will also provide practical solutions and explore case studies that will help guide us to lead transformational change in our classrooms and work environments.

Dr. April Carson
Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Legacy Ballroom II
Panel Discussion: Exploring the Intersections between Inclusion and Entrepreneurship

Creating a thriving business requires more than just a great idea. It also includes long hours, commitment, capital, strategy, investors and the right team. For historically underrepresented groups looking to launch a startup, the issues are often more pronounced. This panel will examine the challenges that are present for diverse entrepreneurs and unpack powerful strategies for change.

Terrace Room
Student Track Sponsored by Delta
4:15 - 5:15 p.m.
Plenary Discussion
Examining the Essential Elements of a Global Workforce

This panel discussion designed to explore how Cintas has leveraged its prominence throughout the market to attract, retain and develop a global workforce.

February 11, 2020
7:30 - 8:00 a.m.
Registration Open
Breakfast & Plenary Session

Exploring the Implications of Disruptive Demographics

Dr. Jim Johnson, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

9:30-10:30 a.m.
Concurrent Workshops D
How Artificial Intelligence Will (and Won't) Change Hiring and Employment

Artificial intelligence is on everyone's mind these days, but what is it, and why should business leaders care? The truth is that almost any workflow within HR can be automated today, but the critical question is whether we should. Does automating create a less human experience for the workforce, or can it create a more personalized employee experience to drive engagement? In this session, participants will learn about the key concepts that define AI, including practical use cases for how it applies within HR, recruiting, and employee development. In addition, this session will explore the core human skills of work that AI can't easily replicate, drawing from over a dozen pieces of research to highlight the best way to balance human and machine in the workplace.

Ben Eubanks
Principal Analyst, Lighthouse Research & Advisory

Oak Room
Panel Discussion: Fostering Equity and Inclusion in the Classroom

What does it mean to lead an equitable classroom? We believe that it encompasses the intentional removal of interpersonal barriers, environmental conditions, and structural hurdles that negatively impact student learning and success. During this panel discussion, we will engage this question through the lens of multiple academic disciplines and provide insight on theoretical and practical choices that promote academic success for all students.

Terrace Room
Developing Intra-institutional Partnerships for a more Holistic Approach towards Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity

As universities and colleges across the nation become more diverse, it is important to develop intra-institutional partnerships to address diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice in a more holistic way. This often requires work across campus that bridges the gap between academic and student affairs. While these areas oftentimes are seen as operating within their own silos, we suggest that diversity, inclusion, and equity serve as the foundation for all university work and demonstrate the collaborations that are essential across campus. For administrators and other university leaders, this means acquiring a type of leadership intelligence characterized by self-awareness, mutuality, and response agility that results in a high-impact and inclusive campus culture that prepares students for a global society. This presentation will address three key areas for partnerships. First, we provide examples of purposeful recruitment and retention efforts aimed at increasing the number of underrepresented students and faculty. Second, we focus on partnerships with academic units for new educational and curricular initiatives that extend beyond campus. Lastly, we describe a collaboration with student affairs that is framed within a place-based educational model that provides students with a co-curricular experience and opportunities for civic engagement.

  • Dr. Andrea N. Hunt
    Associate Professor of Sociology and Director, Mitchell-West Center for Social Inclusion, University of North Alabama

  • Ron Patterson
    Chief Enrollment Officer & Assistant to the President for Diversity, University of North Alabama

  • Alyson Bergner
    Program Assistant, Mitchell-West Center for Social Inclusion, University of North Alabama

Legacy Ballroom II
Student Track Sponsored by Delta Air Lines
10:45 - 11:45 a.m.
Concurrent Workshops E
Inclusive Pedagogy: Challenges & Strategies

In this one-hour interactive workshop, we will define "inclusive pedagogy," reflect on our own classroom landscapes, and begin to map out the challenges we encounter when trying to create inclusive spaces on campus. We will discuss specific response strategies such as microresistance and microaffirmations. Finally, we will develop strategies and discuss resources that can move us toward more inclusive classrooms, departments, schools, and universities.

Dr. Donna Troka
Senior Associate Director, Center for Faculty Development and Excellence, Emory University

Terrace Room
Adaptation of the Advocates and Allies program at Auburn University

The Advocates and Allies program was developed at North Dakota State University (NDSU) with support from an NSF ADVANCE project to improve gender equity through direct and proactive engagement of men faculty. The approach is for senior men faculty (Advocates) to educate themselves on gender equity issues and then train other men faculty (Allies) to be proponents for gender equity in their departments. The focus is on changing the attitudes and behaviors of the men faculty who are in the majority, especially in STEM disciplines, rather than equip women to succeed in the current environment. Although, the focus of the program is on the men faculty, the Advocates work closely with women colleagues to ensure the critical issues are addressed and addressed appropriately. Auburn University has a group of Advocates who went through the NDSU ADVANCE FORWARD training and will be developing workshops to train Allies at Auburn. The Advocates work closely with women faculty who are members of the Commission on Gender Equity for guidance and input on developing the workshops and other activities. In addition to workshops targeted to different groups, there are plans to develop other resources for individuals to understand gender equity issues as well as strategies for addressing them. This session will include a general introduction to the Advocates and Allies approach as well as it is being adapted at Auburn University. The session will also provide an opportunity for the audience to provide input on how the program might be modified to address needs particular to Auburn.

Legacy Ballroom II
The Future of Business Innovation

Today's businesses and organizations are spending an enormous amount of time and energy with innovation. They want to be the first to introduce 'the next thing' while trying to ward off disruption or be disruptive. This session will look at innovation through the lens of Diversity and Inclusion. We'll discuss how organizations can differentiate themselves as a preferred employer and retain diverse talent leveraging innovation.

Lance Bennett, Director of Diversity Admissions, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Legacy I Room
Student Track Sponsored by Delta Air Lines
12:00pm- 1:30pm
Closing Keynote Lunch

Embracing Generational Diversity in the Workforce

  • Ernest Adams
    Vice President, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Danaher Corporation

Grand Ballroom
Last updated: February 06, 2020