2020 NW Diversity Learning Series Topics

Click on the topic of interest in the list below or simply scroll down the page to learn more about all of the sessions!
January 29, 2020:            Intersectionality: Confronting the Tensions Of Our Overlapping Identities
May 13, 2020:                  VIRTUAL session Marginalizing Immigrants Is an Old Story: It’s Time to Write a New Chapter  
June 24, 2020:                 VIRTUAL session Moving Beyond the Trauma: Innovative Response to the Differential Impacts of COVID-19
August 12, 2020:              VIRTUAL session - A World Beyond Now: Eliminating the Impact of White Supremacy in our Systems
September 23, 2020:      VIRTUAL sessionLatinx Rising: Delivering on the Promise
December 2, 2020:         NEW DATE! VIRTUAL session - How Algorithms ARE Affecting You: Decoding the Bias Within
Logistics for all sessions:

Time:  9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m PST

Location: Virtual via GoToWebinar


Accessibility:  American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation, by certified interpreters, have been scheduled for the remaining session of the 2020 NWDLS.

NEW for 2020: The HR Certification Institute has pre-approved this activity for recertification credit towards the aPHRTM, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR® ,   PHRiTM and SPHRiTMcertifications. The content of the activity submitted has met the criteria of the Approved Provider Program.


To learn more about the type of credit and number of hours as appropriate for each session please contact Nicolette Graham, email nicolette.graham@i4sdi.org


How Algorithms ARE Affecting You: Decoding the Bias Within

Session 6: Wednesday, December 2, 2020 NEW DATE! To be delivered VIRTUALLY!

Four forces are intersecting to shape 21st century business and society -- speed, complexity, volatility and competition -- requiring us to rely more and more on computers. "Our technology, our machines, is part of our humanity. We created them to extend ourselves, and that is what is unique about human beings," Ray Kurzweil.


The reliance on computers creates a degree of separation between what we want to accomplish and "how we do it." Algorithms enter here -- into "how we do it."


It is important that we all learn how Algorithms fundamentally operate, because they ARE already affecting us -- at work, at home, in society.  If we understand Algorithms, then we will not be surprised by unexpected results, especially when there automated processes operate in the ambiguous areas of ethics and fairness.

There are already workplace and HR issues that have arisen from current practices, such as hiring and performance review decisions, and more are emerging as digital transformation and automation enter into virtually all business processes.  For all the examples we know about, there are countless others that we haven't discovered yet.

In this session, we will briefly review how Artificial Intelligence (AI) operates so that we can better understand when AI leads us astray.  For example, how does bias creep into Algorithms? One of the most important things missing in AI right now is a quality control and management process; for example, how would you test for bias? You will learn key questions to ask that will help provide insight to establishing these kinds of important quality controls.

earn what Artificial Intelligence (AI) means, how it impacts you as an individual, your work environment and influences how you and others think, perceive, believe and act.  Gain understanding about how AI is affecting diversity and relationships, and what we can do about it.

Learning Objectives: By the end of this session, participants will:

> Build awareness of how algorithms are created and how AL shapes the decision-making process.

> Understand how bias enters into algorithms and possible ways to mitigate it.

> Discover how to recognize key effects on individual and society-at-large, based on the ethical processes adopted in the definition of the algorithms.

> Learn how to develop exploratory questions that probe bias in algorithmic outcomes.

> Identify planning strategies that you can use to impact new AI-based initiatives in your organization.


Lorelei Carobolante is a global human capital management consultant-practitioner. As a recognized thought leader in ISO HR management standards, her research and practice interests include global workforce mobility, organizational subsidiary expansion and upstream/downstream vendor management, ethical and socially responsible AI, diversity and inclusion, workplace communication, HR certification, organizational performance metrics, and leadership development. By serving on multiple non-profit board of directors and governance, in ISO Technical Committee 260 HR Management leadership roles, and as an ISO Registered Expert, Lorelei leverages her experience and expertise as a strategic resource to strengthen global organizational effectiveness and sustainability. She leads G2nd Systems, a global HR consultancy with innovative models and proprietary technology that enhance HR management, mobile workforce effectiveness and business communication across multi-lingual and multi-cultural workplaces.


Carobolante has helped global organizations achieve their goals in various sectors, including biotech, energy (global O&G), semiconductor, healthcare, pharmaceutical, transportation, online retail, manufacturing, and major not-for-profit associations. A professional speaker and internationally published writer (articles, textbooks and learning systems, such as Workplace English - Managing Across Multiple Cultures Simultaneously, a Module in the Global HR Practitioner Handbook published by Global Immersion Press, past SHRM Learning Systems Lead SME, and others), she created workforce mobility systems for project management, the GSL® 6-Step Model™ for collaboration, and the Global Second Language® and Your Perspective Matters® Models, which ameliorate workplace interaction gaps across multiple cultures simultaneously (including language performance and speech clarity).

Carobolante is the Chair for ISO TC/260 HR Management United States Technical Advisory Committee, Project Leader of Diversity & Inclusion (ISO/TS30415) and Impact of Hire Metrics ISO/TS30410:2018 (published); she is ISO Registered Expert for: ISO 30400:2016 - Vocabulary; ISO:30405:2016 Guidelines on Human Governance; ISO:30409:2016 Workforce Planning; and ISO/TS30410:2018 Impact of Hire. Expert Panelist 2016 Global Diversity & Inclusion Benchmarks: Standards for Organizations Around the World.


Educational achievements: Global MBA, St. Mary’s College (AACSB accredited); B.A. Management, St. Mary’s College; MDE diploma, UCLA Anderson School of Management. Professional certifications: GPHR (Global Professional in Human Resources); SHRM-SCP (Senior Certified Professional), SCRP (Senior Certified Relocation Professional); and SGMS-T (Senior Global Mobility Specialist-Talent Mobility). Carobolante is fluent in English and Italian languages.


Francesco Carobolante is Principal at IoTissimo®, where he helps global organizations and young companies develop technology and business strategies to compete in today’s fast-changing high-tech world. His 10-years’ experience as Vice President Engineering at Qualcomm, combined with many years in senior leadership roles for major semiconductor firms and start-ups, enabled him to develop leading edge products for Mobile, Computing, Audio and Communication.

He established and grew multiple microelectronics design centers, assembled talented international engineering teams to develop state-of-the-art technologies and products, and contributed to foster innovation that led his teams to generate almost a thousand patents.

Creator of many industry "firsts" and recipient of Best of Innovation Award Honoree at 2015 Consumer Electronic Show, Carobolante is a renowned innovator and market development leader with extensive track record in establishing strategic technology partnerships across multiple industry sectors.

Francesco authored over 90 US patents, three of which were recognized by an independent IP firm with Worldwide Exceptional Patent awards. He is the Chair for the Compliance and Compatibility Group of the Wireless Power Consortium, Co-chair of the Energy Efficiency Workgroup for IEEE International Network Generations Roadmap, and has been invited keynote speaker and expert panelist at several premier international conferences. Carobolante is also on the Board of technology startups and volunteers his time by providing mentoring to technology incubators and universities. He received Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE) degrees from both University of Padova, Italy and UCLA, California.

Intersectionality: Confronting the Tensions Of Our Overlapping Identities

Session 1: Wednesday, January 29, 2020

“Intersectionality is a lens through which you can see where power comes and collides, where it interlocks and intersects. It’s not simply that there’s a race problem here, a gender problem here, and a class or LBGTQ problem there. Many times that framework erases what happens to people who are subject to all of these things.”  —Kimberle Williams Crenshaw


2020 promises to be a challenging year for identity dialogues of all kinds, both within and outside of the workplace. To aid participants in effectively engaging in these dialogues, our first session centers upon the concept of Intersectionality, and how to effectively apply it in the workplace. 


Legal scholar Kimberle Crenshaw coined the term, intersectionality, in the 1980s as a metaphor to understand our multiple social identities in relation to power, privilege, and oppression. In the past 10 years, however, intersectionality has emerged into mainstream conversations without being fully understood.  


Together, through thoughtfully designed experiential learning activities, we will clear up common misconceptions, explore how this concept applies to ourselves and how we can use it as an analytical tool to understand and improve workplace dynamics and relationships.


Join us as we engage this foundational topic for the 2020 Series—setting the tone and providing a springboard for each of the following five sessions.


Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this session, you will have practiced the following capabilities:


  • Effectively analyze the complexity of your own dominant and marginalized identities

  • Assist and support someone in identifying which of their identities maintain power, privilege, marginalization, or oppression in the workplace

  • Apply a systems lens to your organization’s culture to uncover how some identity groups may be privileged while others are marginalized

  • Draw from the experience of the web of intersectionality to build more trusting relationships—a process for change across levels of authority


Workshop Tools:

  • D & I Professional Awareness Scale - Pre & Post Test

  • Matrix Worksheets for Self Identity & Organizational Identity

  • Power & Oppression Wheels for Self and Organization

  • Reflection Questions Worksheet for Self & Organization

Presenter and Facilitators:

Michelle Rivera-Clonch, PhD, comes to the NWDLS with two decades of experience in higher education and community organizations. Early in her career she served as the Assistant Director of Counseling and Psychological Services at Rollins College, and as Director of the Women’s Center and Women’s Programs at Western Carolina University. After earning her PhD, she became an Assistant Professor of Psychology at historic Antioch College where she developed curricula emphasizing experiential education. Alongside her private practice - Peace Within: Counseling for Women - she currently teaches courses in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Critical Media and Cultural Studies at Rollins College.


In 2018, Michelle was the Subject Matter Expert for the Central Florida Diversity Learning Series session on Intersectionality where members included Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Darden Restaurants, and Florida Hospital.

Working in South and Southeast Asia since 2002, organizations such as the Human Rights Commission of Thailand, Men-Tsee-Khang: The Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute of H.H. the Dalai Lama, and the International Women’s Partnership for Peace and Justice, Michelle underwrote trainings where she collaboratively facilitated a range of topics such as gender justice, conflict and root cause analysis, mindfulness in activism, capacity building, mental health, and empowerment skills for allies for social change. In 2015, Michelle was selected for a Rotary Peace Fellowship in Bangkok, Thailand, where she earned a professional development certificate in Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies at Chulalongkorn University.

Michelle Ilugbusi graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Rollins College. Michelle’s hope is that her education and personal experiences can be used not just to help counsel people, but to aid others in their own work with diversity and inclusion populations. In 2018, Michelle helped facilitate the session on Intersectionality for the Central Florida Diversity Learning Series in Orlando, Florida, where participants attended from Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Darden Restaurants, and Florida Hospital.



Barb Dos Santos received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida and is currently seeking a Master of Arts degree in Mental Health Counseling from Rollins College. Barb’s life goal is to open a holistic wellness clinic to provide accessible services to diverse populations. In 2018, Barb helped facilitate the session on Intersectionality for the Central Florida Diversity Learning Series in Orlando, Florida, where participants attended from Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Darden Restaurants, and Florida Hospital.

Marginalizing Immigrants Is an Old Story: It’s time to Write a New Chapter

Session 2: Wednesday, May 13, 2020 to be delivered VIRTUALLY!

Learning Goal: Learn how to make your workplace more welcoming and inclusive of immigrant employees by knowing the historical role immigration has played in the development of the United States, the contributions of immigrants to the advancement of the country and our economy—particularly in terms of start-ups, innovation, inventions and creativity, and confront the biases and myths about immigrants, particularly immigrants of color.

Why: We believe with the recent upsurge in anti-immigrant sentiment, it is imperative to set straight the false narratives that amplify the stereotypes and assumptions about immigrants. Hate crimes, discrimination, prejudice and mass shootings have accelerated against immigrants in the last few years. Well entrenched myths abound, such as, “immigrants steal jobs from American workers.” This false narrative has been further exasperated by politicians and the media and politicians. The truth is the “non-human immigrant” (technology/automation/A.I.) is the culprit doing away with human jobs, not incoming real people.

In the context of diversity, where one comes from, in this case, one’s nationality, is an important dimension of social identity (noted in the Diversity Wheel model as geographic location). In terms of intersectionality, to be called out, denigrated and attacked for one aspect of your identity creates fear and anxiety. This is a fierce culture clash currently.

We believe organizations and co-workers can take a higher road ensuring that co-workers and leaders of more recent immigrant background be treated respectfully and fairly so that they feel a sense of belonging and engagement in our workplaces. Creating relationships that are resilient to the cultural clashes surrounding immigrants is worthy of our time and skill development.

Immigration Facts:

  • 86.4 million: Population of immigrants and their American born children in the U.S

  • $2 Trillion: Estimated contribution of immigrants to the U.S. gross domestic product in 2016

  • 43% of Fortune 500 companies that were founded or co-founded by immigrants or their children as of 2017

  • 25% of all new business and half of Silicon Valley high-tech start-ups were founded by immigrants

  • 49% of immigrants are Naturalized Citizens


Potential Tools:

  • An infographic highlighting immigrant contributions to the U.S.

  • A timeline to show the history of hateful acts perpetrated against immigrants (in other words, not new in American political and social history)

  • The Diversity Wheel (the dimensions of our social identities)

  • Create a checklist that focuses on debunking the myths

  • Guide: What does “welcoming” and “respecting” immigrants look like?


John Lopez, Ph.D., is president of Lopez Research and Consulting, LLC (johnelopez.com), and author of the Amazon bestselling book “An Immigrant in the C-Suite: From the Journey, Lessons for the Business Community.”


Dr. Lopez has over two decades of successful thought-leadership, strategic and operational management, and public policy experience as chief administrative officer and multiple vice president positions at higher education institutions, nonprofit, private, international and publicly traded organizations. His roles have included chief administrative officer of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, vice president of government affairs for Apollo Education Group, vice president of planning and research for The Institute for Professional Development, director of the minority student program in the College of Business at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, and staff for a state senator in the Nebraska Legislature.


In his book, John addresses many topics including immigrants’ lenses of competing cultural characteristics, workplace dynamics on the journey to the C-Suite, and the importance of embracing talent of all ethnicities and origins in an increasingly global, diverse workforce. He develops an approach that consists of 4 levels and 20 activities organizations can implement to increase cultural competence, enhance synergy and productivity between and among teams, and experiences diverse/immigrant leaders can pursue to prepare for or excel in C-Suite positions.


John immigrated to the United States as a young child, served in the U.S. Navy and is a father, golfer and traveler. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in higher education specializing in management and policy and is a contributor to the C-Suite Network. John holds dual U.S. and Belizean citizenship and enjoys philanthropic projects in Belize. 

Carlos B. Gil As immigration becomes more hotly debated in the United States, the arguments have become cartoonish, with one side often painted as naïve, and another as xenophobic. What has become lost is the human story of immigration to America, with all its complexity, heartache, and hope.


Professor Carlos Gil sought to understand immigration by tracing his family’s history from the 1920s to the 1970s. In the process, he discovered the excitement, culture shock, inter-family conflict, and questions of identity that many immigrants face when seeking a better life in another country. The stories are detailed in his book, “We Became Mexican-American: How Our Immigrant Family Survived to Pursue the American Dream” (2012).  A Spanish language edition of "We Became Mexican American" will soon be available.

Carlos B. Gil writes about Mexico and Mexican Americans. He is an emeritus professor of the University of Washington where he taught the history of Latin America for 30+ years. He was born in San Fernando, California, and has lived in Seattle, Washington for 40+ years.

Carlos was commissioned as a Humanities Washington Speaker for 2019-2020 for which he delivered his presentation, "From Mexican to Mexican-American: A Family Immigrant Story," based on his 2012 book. He has delivered his talk to selected libraries, museums and schools throughout Washington State during the last 14 months. Two of his recent presentations took place at the Monroe Correctional Complex, Monroe WA, and at Washington State University.


Carlos presides over The Latino Development Organization of the Monroe Correctional Complex. LDO is a non-profit organization that supports the self-improvement of Latino inmates at the MCC. LDO offers educational courses, supports guest speakers and performers and promotes the rehabilitation of the MCC prisoners who associate with LDO.

Carlos is also the president of The GilDeane Group, a small business that publishes information about diversity, equity and inclusion, and intercultural communication, in companies and organizations (www.diversitycentral.com).


Moving Beyond the Trauma: Innovative Response to the Differential Impacts of COVID-19

Session 3: Wednesday, June 24, 2020 to be delivered VIRTUALLY!

Why this session: COVID-19 has presented us with an unprecedented challenge at a scale that is completely new to us. While its effects appear to conform to what we understand with concepts like 'traumatic event,' 'catastrophe,' or 'natural disaster,' the scope and duration go beyond any of those terms or frames of understanding and response.  Presenter, Dr. Maurice Stevens, will weave into the session the current complexity surrounding George Floyd's murder and subsequent protests, and how to deepen our capacity to respond to all that events like these bring up.


It didn't take long, though, for us to see that in times of extreme upheaval, safety, belonging, agency, being enough, and worthiness come into question. When our taken-for-granted ways of knowing the world are shaken, individuals and groups often rely on habitual patterns of response to restore a sense of control, orderliness, and predictability. For example:


  • At the individual level—emotional and physiological habits of denial, rage, depression, and numbing abound.

  • At the level of group identity—we see familiar patterns of inclusion and exclusion, blame and recrimination being projected onto racial, ethnic, or political 'others.'

  • Our institutions—often relying on obsolete strategies of response and organizational protocol, reveal familiar fault lines of systemic oppression and harm as poor people and people of color see much higher fatality rates in relation to COVID-19.

  • Racism, classism, homophobia, ableism, ageism, and sexism—are now undeniably the deadly 'underlying conditions' determining life outcomes in very immediate and visible ways. Indeed, we are all in this together, but not in the same way.


COVID-19's Differential Impacts:

  • Blacks represent 70% of Chicago's COVID-19 fatalities (while making up 29% of the city population)

  • Women make up 77% of health care workers, 78% of social workers and more than 2/3rds of grocery store and fast-food employees

  • COVID-19 related closures have wiped out Native American Tribal tax bases

  • Nearly 5.8 million people have jobs in health care that pay less than $30,000 per year, 50% are nonwhite and 83% are women

  • Women account for 73% of health care workers who have been infected with coronavirus

  • People in ICE detention facilities or correctional facilities are at increased risk for infection (many of whom are immigrants and/or people of color)

  • 62.5% of Washington DC's COVID-19 fatalities are African-American (of a 46% population share)

  • Over the past 5 months we have seen a dramatic increase in Anti-Asian assaults, harassment, and hate crime in the U.S. and globally

  • As of April, the Navajo Nation had the third-highest per capita rate of COVID-19 in the country


We simply must come up with innovative responses and we must do so together. Moreover, we must do so in ways that do not simply reproduce the conditions or duplicate the social relationships that have defined our reactions to this point. We have an opportunity to learn from this unique circumstance and to create practices that will prepare us to respond in more just ways when we face future challenges of this magnitude.


Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this session, you will:

  • Increase your understanding of trauma, and the habitual ways individuals and institutions respond to overwhelming events

  • Apply an “inclusive lens” to sort out the differential impacts of COVID-19

  • As an individual, identify innovative and generative responses to trauma, to replace habitual ones

  • As an organizational leader, gain innovative ways to guide the organization through the immediate needs, then beyond toward the future



Maurice Stevens is a Professor in the Department of Comparative Studies at the Ohio State University and an adjunct faculty member for the Pacifica Graduate Institute in the department of Depth Psychology’s Community, Liberation, and Eco-Psychology Program. Dr. Stevens is also a writing coach for the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity and, in addition, offers Polarity-based individual and organizational coaching.


Dr. Stevens brings expertise in designing interdisciplinary and engaged research methodologies, participatory leadership models, and community-driven social justice informed research to their scholarly interests and community engagements. They have worked with such organizations as the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, Ohio Health, Design Impact, the Athens Foundation, St. Mary's University, Ohio State University, Capital University, Otterbein University, My Brother's Keeper, and many other organizations and community partners.


Dr. Stevens’ research interests include the formation and representation of identity in and through visual culture and political performance, critical trauma theory, disability studies, critical and transformative pedagogy, science and technology studies, popular cultural performance, theories of affect and embodiment, and participatory knowledge production. Dr. Stevens’ first book is titled Troubling Beginnings: Trans(per)forming African-American History and Identity, and they are currently working on a second book called Catastrophe’s Glow: A Critical Trauma Theory for Chaotic Times.


Stevens received their B.A. in Religion and Anthropology from Princeton University and their M.A. and Ph.D. from the interdisciplinary History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

A World Beyond Now: Eliminating the Impact of White Supremacy in Our Systems

Session 4: Wednesday, August 12, 2020 to be delivered VIRTUALLY!

One’s interpretation of the phrase “White Supremacy” depends largely on one’s understanding of systematic inequality.  When you understand systematic inequality, you understand how “white supremacy” impacts outcomes.


For some, “white supremacy” speaks to extreme but largely unsophisticated violent behavior that targets racial minorities.  Yet for others, white supremacy is a global phenomenon that has created and reinforced social inequity.  In any case, all parties would agree that white supremacy is dangerous, problematic, and distasteful. 


However, if our collective understanding of the impact of white supremacy only focuses on individual behavior and does not consider the larger systems and practices, we will not be successful in eliminating its impact. If our collective understanding of white supremacy is shared, nuanced, and systemic, then the remedy for eradicating white supremacy will be effective.


In this workshop, we help future-oriented leaders and influencers define, illuminate, and examine the notion of white supremacy at a deep level. The goal is to generate strategies that will fully uproot white supremacy from our social and workplace environment, and build norms that are aimed at uplifting and liberating all people. 


This workshop is designed to begin the tender but very necessary journey of healing from the harm that has been inflicted by the systematic impact of white supremacy.  As facilitators and consultants, Joel and Nick treat this topic with great care and our participants with great compassion.  We believe in crucial dialogue and courageous truth-telling.  We invite participants with a range of knowledge of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging to attend this session and approach this experience with curiosity, openness, and resilience.

Learning Outcomes:​

By the end of this session, participants will:


  • Gain a clear understanding of what white supremacy is.

  • Evaluate how white supremacy manifests itself at an individual, systemic and interpersonal level and how it impacts the lived experiences of people.

  • Begin the process of self-examination to uproot white supremacy at the individual level. 


Dr. Joel A. Brown is the Chief Visionary Officer of Pneumos LLC, a management consulting and coaching company based in San Francisco, USA, specializing in global diversity and inclusion, leadership, change management, and strategic storytelling. Joel is also an adjunct professor at the IESEG School of Management in Paris & Lille, France, where he teaches Storytelling for Leaders and Story Listening. As a change agent, Joel works strategically to cultivate innovative, creative, and adaptive environments where the cultural genius of everyone can be harnessed and leveraged successfully. 


Best known for his critical analysis, creativity, humor, and his ability to build consensus, Joel has partnered with Fortune 500 Companies, non-profit organizations, and government agencies to help them achieve sustained growth and organizational breakthroughs. His clients have ranged from LinkedIn to the United Nations, and his “sweet spots” have included diversity, equity, and inclusion, emotional intelligence, LGBT inclusion, interpersonal dialogue, and intercultural communication.  Joel’s is a global diversity practitioner, and has extensively studied anti-racism, the concept of race, and white supremacy in the global context.


Joel is a member of several international think tanks, including D2K, the Diversity Collegium, SIETAR, and the Global Community Dialogue. He is also an Expert Panelist with the Global Diversity & Inclusion Benchmarks.  Joel is an adjunct professor at the IESEG business management school in France, and is a nationally recognized spoken word artist in the United States. Joel is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and the Virginia School of Law, and received his doctorate in Educational Leadership from Saint Mary’s College in May 2018.

Nick van Santenis a team member of Pneumos, a full-service management consulting and performance-improvement firm.


Nick seeks to neutralize the white supremacist, patriarchal, classist, and heteronormative aspects of masculinity, and build new norms around leadership that focus on empathy, compassion, growth, and allyship. Nick specializes in creating transformative experiences by offering a wholistic approach to human development through connection and belonging.


Best known for his warmth, empathy, and his ability to get to the “deeper issues,” Nick has been coaching emerging leaders for over a decade. His focus is to connect how his client’s feelings, thoughts, and actions relate to the larger hopes and challenges. In addition, Nick’s coaching style is less focused on “fixing problems” but rather utilizing and celebrating the strengths present within each person. 


Nick is formerly the Assistant Director of Student Formation and Immersions at Saint Mary’s College of California outside Oakland, USA and currently the Associate Director of Experiential Learning at Boise State University.


Nick is a graduate of the College of Idaho, Princeton Theological Seminary, and received his doctorate in Educational Leadership from Saint Mary’s College of California in 2018.He is also an Adjunct Faculty member with the Kalmanovitz School of Education at Saint Mary’s College.

Latinx Rising: Delivering on the Promise

Session 5: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 to be delivered VIRTUALLY!

The Latinx population is a robust driver of economic, political, and cultural forces in America. As the largest nonwhite ethnic group, it comprises 18 percent of the U.S. population (Pew Research and Education Fund ). Latinx (or Latinos/Latinas) are among the most innovative contributors to the arts, culture, and the economy in the country.


Between 2009 and 2018, the number of Latinx business owners grew 34% compared to 1% for all business owners in the U.S (Stanford Graduate School of Business).  Pew projects that the 2020 election will mark the first time that Latinx will be the largest racial or ethnic minority group in the electorate, accounting for just over 13% of eligible voters.  Yet, they are rarely positioned positively in the national spotlight, face under-representation in the workforce and in top levels of leadership across all sectors, explaining why the term was coined, “the invisible Latinx,"  


In recent years, Latinx have been catapulted into the public sphere as a result of unprecedented issues such as political turmoil and sluggish hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, a mass shooting in El Paso targeting Mexican-Americans and Mexicans. Contentious immigration issues involve massive Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids in Latinx communities, family separations at the Southern border, and attempts to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).


In this session we will present the “big tent” model to understand the diversity of the Latinx community and dispel the misconception that it is a monolith population, Latinx, Chicano, Latino/Latina, Hispanic— do these terms resonate with the people being labeled?


Despite these and other persistent challenges, learn about the growth engine Latinx represents in terms of talent, leadership, purchasing power, and population Learn why and how to join forward-thinking corporate and Latinx leaders who pledge to support this resilient, hardworking population with a more inclusive work environment.  Also, know how to disarm discomfort or culture clash with trusting, productive relationships at work and in community.



Learning Outcomes: ​

By the end of this session, participants will:


  • Understand the historical and richly diverse spectrum of identity(ties) in the Latinx community.

  • Appreciate the Latinx communities’ indispensable role in the U.S. economy and society.

  • Recognize how unconscious bias adversely impacts Latinx communities from a social justice lens (e.g., disparities in health, education, housing, criminal justice, and immigration).

  • Know the importance of building trusting relationships with Latinx, and steps organizations can take to create a more inclusive environment for Latinx and others.


Cynthia Chavez, President of Chavez & Associates, is a nationally-respected consultant, coach, and author. She delivers customized services to emerging and seasoned leaders of foundations and social change organizations. She is best known for her contributions to institution and program building that is grounded in racial equity, leadership development, and transformative change.  


Her offerings include: strategic planning; diversity, equity and inclusion; and coaching. Current and past clients include: Bay Area Hispano Institute for Advancement; David and Lucile Packard Foundation; Latino Community Foundation, LeaderSpring Center;  Paula Solorio, Managing Partner of Fellom & Solorio; TSNE/MissionWorks; Vesper Society; and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. 

Career highlights include: 1) as a former member of the professional staff of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Cynthia conceptualized and led the launch of a national initiative to promote philanthropy by and among communities of color, leading to over $20 million in grants over 25 years; and 2) as legislative staff member to several Bay Area state elected officials, she helped shape statewide policies in affordable housing, consumer protection and K-12 education.

Cynthia is founder and former Executive Director of Oakland-based LeaderSpring Center which supports multi-culturally diverse community leaders of social sector organizations.  Under her 17-year tenure, LeaderSpring garnered national recognition for its results.

Cynthia’s current and past board/committee memberships include: Chicano Capitol Staff of the California State Legislature, Chicano/Latino Youth Leadership Conference, The San Francisco Foundation’s Koshland Committee, and the National Hispana Leadership Institute.

She has a B.A. in Government from Pomona College, and an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Stanford University.  As a second-generation Mexican American, whose first home was public housing in East Los Angeles, Cynthia dedicates her career developing creative, collaborative solutions for a just, equitable society.

Juan T. Lopez is the President and Owner of Amistad Associates. He has been delivering support for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) since 1983 when some of the first corporate diversity programs were offered nationally. His firm offers DEI, organizational development, strategic planning, and career advancement, including leadership training for Latinx youth and adults.  Amistad Associates was an early pioneer and one of the small number of Latinx firms providing DEI in the nation.

In the mid 1980’s, Juan and other Latinx colleagues developed some of the first career development programs for Latinx in the nation, working with Fortune 50 corporations. This evolved when  Juan and Rick Morales, of Morales & Associates, developed the Latino Leadership Education and Development Program, and offered career development strategies to employees from AeroSpace, NASA, Lawrence National Laboratory, and other organizations that desired to invest in the careers of Latinx scientists.

Juan has been active in helping provide Latinx youth leadership training, assisting Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, and coaching  leaders of Latinx social justice organizations.  Juan has been active in Chicano initiatives since his early days in college, both in campus governance, and as a community organizer for the United Farmworkers. He works to increase engagement between local government and the Latinx community by increasing communications, building trust, and developing partnerships designed to improve equity and remove institutional barriers.

Juan received his Masters in Social Work from the University of California at Berkeley, School of Social Welfare, with a focus on organizational planning and community health services. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Latin American Studies from Sonoma State University.

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