The Institute for Sustainable Diversity and Inclusion (ISDI) manages the NW Diversity Learning Series, comprised of six, bimonthly, half-day morning sessions for employees, managers, leaders and Diversity Champions on current and emerging issues affecting diverse, multicultural work environments.  The Series session topics are framed around building inclusive work environments and providing participants with concepts, tools, and activities that broaden understanding and increase competencies at the individual and group levels.


ISDI is developing a multi-year framework for educating, convening and supporting diversity and inclusion initiatives in the Pacific Northwest Region. 


A benefit to Sponsors and Organizational Subscribers is membership in the NWDLS D&I and HR Leaders Group that meets in a special afternoon session with the morning workshop presenter. 

The following is an overview of the 2020 theme, dates and topics planned for the morning sessions. (Note: The order of topics and/or session dates may change due to presenter availability).


2020 Theme: Culture Clash: Imagine Transforming Distrust and Discomfort

into Resilient Relationships

Culture clashes may arise when diverse groups of people with different worldviews come together and occupy the same space—a workspace, an organization, an apartment house, or a neighborhood.


Cultures clash at three levels:

  • 1st Level: VISIBLE THINGS, such as which language to speak, which ways to dress and express one’s self, which food smells good, or which style is most appropriate;

  • 2nd Level: WHAT A GROUP SAYS it believes in—what is important—values, goals, strategies, which may, or may not, align with what group members actually do;

  • 3rd Level: NOT VISIBLE—the taken-for-granted basic assumptions about the right way to do things, which drives behavior and actions. Backed up by shared beliefs, norms and rules of behavior, these assumptions create a worldview that tells members of a cultural group what to pay attention to, what things mean, what to do in various situations, and how to react emotionally.


Clashes at all three levels are occurring in our society and in our workplaces.

In 2020, we want to explore culture clashes at a deeper level. When a person's worldview is challenged, we know it can generate anxiety and discomfort; logic and reasoning may be replaced by emotional responses and emboldened positions. “Us and them” mentality may take over, distrust prevails—ripe ground for bias, prejudice, discrimination, and exercising privilege. Both individuals and institutions can get caught up in the swirling elements of culture clashes.

At the heart of the 2020 Series is the idea of resilience—how can we better recover from culture clashes that involve different worldviews? If we can transform our discomfort and distrust of others into building relationships—ones that withstand the challenges of difference—we, and our relationships, will be more resilient in this time of change.  


Dates and Topics: Click on the topics of interest to learn more information about the session.






Contact us for more information about sponsorships, subscriptions and our services:

To download and print the original proposal for the entire 2020 NW Diversity Learning Series, click HERE.