2016 Theme for the NW Diversity Learning Series

The Practice of Inclusion In Times of Disruptive Change


The 2016 Series anticipated the rise of disruptive forces during the U.S. presidential election year.  We drew on the ideas and models in a new book, Diversity at Work: The Practice of Inclusion. We believed promoting inclusion as a “practice” was a new and worthwhile concept in the approach to diversity in the workplace.  “The 2016 Series framed each workshop against the backdrop of “disruption.” Each workshop presented a critical issue, identified important disruptive forces affecting it, and provided suggested solutions (such as, processes, tools, behaviors, action plans).  The six workshop topics covered the concept of the “Practice of Inclusion and the inherent dilemmas of difference; the complexity of individual identities and how we work with them; navigating intercultural conflicts of values, beliefs and worldviews; interrupting institutional racism; building relationships amidst shifting power and privilege, and how to build social capital using the new science of networks.


Session One:  Dilemmas of Difference:  Unpacking the Practice of Inclusion


If diversity is good for us, why is it so difficult? 

The practice of inclusion can help us answer this question and gain diversity’s promise.  In this session, the presenters will explore the various facets and nuances of inclusion and address the inherent dilemmas of working with and across differences in this time of disruptive change.


Learning Objectives:

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Distinguish how the concept of inclusion differs from the concept of diversity

  • Understand what it means to bring one’s whole self to work

  • Visualize how inclusion operates systemically

  • Choose inclusive behaviors and practices to apply on the job

  • Begin to recognize and learn how to manage the dilemmas of inclusion


Presenters:   Bernardo Ferdman and Barbara Deane, editors of Diversity at Work:  The Practice of Inclusion, published as part of the Professional Practice Series of the Society for Industrial & Industrial Psychology (Jossey-Bass/Wiley, 2014).

















About Bernardo Ferdman:


Bernardo M. Ferdman, Ph.D. consults, writes, speaks, teaches, and conducts research on diversity and inclusion, multicultural leadership, cross-cultural communication, Latinos/Latinas in the workplace, and bringing one’s whole self to work. A distinguished professor of organizational psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology of Alliant International University and a leadership and organization development consultant with three decades of experience, Bernardo has worked with organizations in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America to foster inclusion, to implement effective ways of using everyone’s talents and contributions, and to build multicultural and cross-cultural competencies on the part of individuals, teams, and the whole organization, as well as to inspire individuals to find their own voice and make their full contribution.


Bernardo is passionate about helping to create an inclusive world where more of us can be fully ourselves and accomplish our goals in ways that are effective, productive, and authentic; he has focused his career on supporting organizations to use their diversity to achieve better business results, while increasing everyone’s experience of inclusion. 


He has engaged in assessments, leadership team development, executive coaching, and organizational optimization in multiple regions of the world. Bernardo has also designed training and worked with managers to support their professional and leadership development and has worked with organizations to develop Latino and Latina leaders as well as other leaders of color in corporate, non-profit, and government settings. 


Bernardo has consulted for a variety of organizations, including Alcoa, Inter-American Development Bank, U.S. Department of Defense, Center for Creative Leadership, The World Bank, Burger King, Bell Atlantic, Verizon, Hilton Hotels Corporation, City of San Diego, the Federal Aviation Administration, MDC Inc., San Jose State University, Solar Turbines, Eli Lilly, Wells Fargo, Intel, Pepsico, and the US Air Force JAG Corps. He has also conducted leadership development workshops for hundreds of executives and managers.


Bernardo’s recent book, Diversity at Work: The Practice of Inclusion (Wiley, 2014), co-edited with Barbara Deane, provides a state-of-the-art, research-based understanding of inclusion and how to systematically create it, foster it, and navigate its challenges. He is a member of the Diversity Collegium, a think tank of leading diversity professionals whose mission is to advance the field of diversity and inclusion, a Fellow of the Society of Consulting Psychology and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and a past Chair of the Academy of Management's Diversity and Inclusion Theme Committee and of its Gender and Diversity in Organizations Division.


Bernardo has received several awards, including Alliant International University’s Provost’s Pillar Award for Applied Research and Scholarship, the Trailblazer Award from the Ph.D. Project’s Management Doctoral Student Association, and the Janet Chusmir Distinguished Service Award from the Gender and Diversity in Organizations Division of the Academy of Management. He received his A.B. from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in psychology from Yale University.













About Barbara Deane:


Barbara R. Deane, M.A., is a writer, editor, consultant, and speaker on diversity, inclusion and cross-cultural business issues.


She is editor-in-chief for DiversityCentral.com and the Cultural Diversity at Work Archive, an online database of articles, tools and resources. She co-founded Cultural Diversity at Work in 1988, one of the first hardcopy publications on workforce diversity with an international readership. She is the author of more than one hundred articles on topics related to inclusion, workforce diversity, diversity management, cultural differences, and intercultural communication. She is a co-editor with Bernardo Ferdman of a new book, Diversity at Work: The Practice of Inclusion (Jossey-Bass/Wiley, 2014).


Barbara is vice-president of The GilDeane Group, Inc., a Hispanic and woman-owned firm providing consulting and training services on diversity, inclusion and intercultural effectiveness, domestic and international, to Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and not-for-profit organizations. Recent clients include the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Vera Whole Health and the NW Kidney Centers.


In 1998, she co-founded the NW Diversity Learning Series, a collaborative venture on the part of progressive companies and organizations to build a world-class diversity education resource in the Greater Seattle Area.


Barbara is a member of the board and coordinator of The Diversity Collegium, a think tank whose mission is to advance the field of diversity and inclusion. She is also an Expert Panelist for the Global Diversity & Inclusion Benchmarks. And, she is a member of the board of Bailadores de Bronce, a Mexican folkloric dance group in the Seattle area. 


Session Two:  Multiple, yet unclear identities: Who am I? Who are you?

How do we work together, and why?


Isn’t the goal at work to include and leverage multiple identities and perspectives so that we achieve higher levels of engagement, productivity and organizational outcomes? 


Global diversity is transforming individual identity. Younger generations claim identities differently than past generations. These identity shifts involve gender, mixed race, invisible dimensions, national origin, and religious and cultural expressions. How do we figure out who we are among these multiple identities? Is it necessary to categorize? How do we avoid making incorrect assumptions about each other? How can we relate to each other respectfully and inclusively, as we want to be identified? Isn’t the goal at work to include and leverage multiple identities and perspectives so that we achieve higher levels of engagement, productivity and organizational outcomes? 


Learning Objectives:

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:


  • Understand why and how human beings categorize

  • Map out how that categorization leads to unconscious bias

  • Identify strategies for reducing bias in the workplace

  • Recognize how new demographic changes are impacting categorization in the United States

  • Identify tools and strategies for having conversations about changing identities and creating inclusive workplaces. 













Presenter:   Michael Baran is a cultural anthropologist who draws on insights from a wide range of social sciences to explain a whole set of concepts that many acknowledge as important but few truly understand – terms such as implicit bias, structural inequalities, microaggressions, social construction and others. He uses an engaging digital module – (Don’t) Guess My Race – that employees can play as part of a blended approach to diversity and inclusion training. Michael has his MA and PhD from the University of Michigan.


He has researched race and diversity issues from a cultural and cognitive perspective for the past twenty years in various countries. He has taught courses on race at the University of Michigan and Harvard University and has consulted on diversity-related issues for schools, businesses and non-profits. In addition to his work as President of Interactive Diversity Solutions, he works as an Associate Director of Projects at the FrameWorks Institute, a social-science based communications think tank.


In that role, he conducts and leads teams of researchers investigating a wide range of social issues, including race-related issues such as disparities in education, criminal justice reform, immigration, early childhood development, violence and housing disparities.

Session Three:  Cultural Differences as a Disruptive Change: Navigating Intercultural Conflict


Do you ever lose your cool, your patience—or want to – because of someone else’s behaviors? Are you aware of how your culture affects your responses to others—and to conflicts that may arise?


Indeed, the more diverse groups become, the more opportunities there are to mis-understand each other’s cultural values and behaviors. These mis-understandings can lead to conflict and, if people also have different conflict styles, the clashes can be further exacerbated.


What might appear to be quiet sabotage, stonewalling, reluctance to work together, or passive aggressiveness, is often a form of cultural conflict. When you encounter any of these behaviors, how do you respond? Do you see them as an irritation or as cultural conflicts that you can effectively manage? Each of us has the opportunity to more effectively recognize and manage these conflicts before they result in loss of productivity, loss of engagement, or decreased morale, for either ourselves or those around us.


This session will identify ethnic, national, and gender-based conflict style norms, and help participants identify their individual conflict style preferences. We will examine where conflict style preferences are learned and reinforced and how those differences can affect both personal and workplace relationships. And, finally, we will explore tools for minimizing conflicts and/or resolving them when they do occur. 

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:


  • Understand how their feelings about conflict and their responses to it have been shaped by their background and history.

  • Recognize the influences of ethnic, national and gender communication and conflict style norms.

  • Identify their own personal conflict and communication style preferences.

  • Recognize how their preferred conflict and communication style can affect both personal and work relationships.

  • Apply tools to more effectively avoid or resolve conflicts when they occur.


                                Cindy Ogasawara is a project coordinator on the Diversity & Inclusion team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  She is                                         responsible for co-creating the foundation’s strategy on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion; for coordination and                                                   oversight of the organization’s five Employee Resource Groups; and execution and rollout of D&I-related events and                                                     initiatives.


                                Cindy joined the foundation in 2005 as a program assistant in the Global Health division and has held a variety of roles on                                             several operations and program teams since then.  She initially worked in support roles, then as a coordinator on a diverse set of initiatives and projects, from moving to the new Seattle campus to developing a division-wide onboarding program to managing special projects for the foundation’s Visitor Center.  Three years ago she began working on Diversity & Inclusion half-time, and now is a dedicated full-time resource to that team.


Prior to discovering her passion for D&I, Cindy also had a wide variety of experiences in other sectors, including a two-year stint in the Peace Corps Volunteer in Mongolia (2000 – 2002), acting as a legal assistant on a multi-million-dollar lawsuit in federal district court in Idaho, and working for three austral summer seasons at McMurdo Station, Antarctica as a vehicle operator and then as senior administrative coordinator.  Cindy earned her B.A. in English / Professional Writing at Baylor University and completed a certificate in Memoir Writing at the University of Washington Extension.


                                 Donna M. Stringer, Ph.D. is a Cross-Cultural Consultant.   She was founder and President for 27 years of a successful                                                     organization development company specializing in cross-cultural issues, located in Seattle, WA.  A social psychologist with                                           over 40 years’ experience as a manager, teacher, researcher, and writer, Donna specializes in cross-cultural instructional                                             design, cross-cultural communication and value systems, team building, and culture change strategies for organizations in the                                   U.S., Asia, Latin America, and Europe.

                                 She has co-authored three books: 52 Activities for Exploring Values Differences, 52 Activities for Improving Cross-Cultural                                           Communication, and 52 Activities for Successful International Transitions. She has written articles on preparing the next generation of diversity trainers for the 2007 Pfeiffer Annual Training Series and on preparing global leaders for the 2012 Pfeiffer Annual Training Series.  Her most recent publications include a chapter on Diversity and Inclusion for the Multicultural America Encyclopedia and chapters on Generational Diversity and Global Diversity Management for the Encyclopedia of Intercultural Competence both published by Sage.  Donna currently lives and works as a solo practitioner in Seattle, WA.

Session Four:  Institutional Racism: Disrupting Silence & Collusion


Why is it so hard to talk about race and racism? Why don't diversity efforts assure equity in upward mobility? What do we need to understand in order to cultivate authentic racial inclusion?


"Any white person living in the United States will develop opinions about race simply by swimming in the water of our culture. But mainstream sources — schools, textbooks, media — don’t provide us with the multiple perspectives we need.”  Yes, we will develop strong emotionally laden opinions, but they will not be informed opinions. Our socialization renders us racially illiterate. When you add a lack of humility to that illiteracy (because we don’t know what we don’t know), you get the break-down we so often see when trying to engage white people in meaningful conversations about race."

—Robin DiAngelo, co-presenter of this session.


This session provides an orientation to institutionalized racism and will be facilitated by an interracial team, Robin DiAngelo and Darlene Flynn. The session is designed to be relevant for both those who are new to the discussion and those already involved. Through lecture, discussion and exercises, we will explore: basic anti-racism theory; how white racial identity is formed; dynamics of internalized racial oppression for people of color; what makes racism so hard for whites to see; and building cross-racial alliances. Weaving information, analysis, stories, images, and familiar examples, the facilitators will provide the framework needed to begin developing cross-racial skills.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Differentiate between: prejudice, discrimination, and systematic racism

  • Understand the basic dynamics of current race relations in the U.S.

  • Examine the dynamics of internalized racial oppression and internalized racial dominance

  • Identify and make everyday patterns of whiteness recognizable

  • Recognize common barriers to bridging racial divides and identify more constructive cross-racial practices

  • Recognize all of the above as an on-going process and provide resources to continue










Darlene Flynn has over ten years of experience providing racial equity training to build capacity for creating

racial justice in Seattle, Washington. In this capacity she has worked extensively with cross-racial teams seeking to bring about institutional and structural change to create racial equity in the city of Seattle. Equity in educational opportunity has been a focus of Darlene's work as a community activist and ultimately led to her serving a four-year term on the Seattle Public School Board. She counts that experience among the most valuable and challenging tests of moving from theory to action for racial equity. She strives to teach and model an approach to others across the country who are seeking to become more effective social change agents. Her explicit purpose in this work is to bring the healing and perspectives that support people of color in their leadership development and effectiveness.

Dr. Robin DiAngelo is a former Associate Professor of Education. She is a two-time winner of the Student's Choice Award for Educator of the Year. Her scholarship is in White Racial Identity and Race Relations. In addition to her academic work, Dr. DiAngelo has extensive experience as a workplace consultant in issues of race relations and racial justice. She and Darlene Flynn were appointed to co-design the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative. She has numerous publications and just completed the 2nd edition of her book, “What Does it Mean to be White?: Developing White Racial Literacy.  Her work on White Fragility has been featured in Alternet, Salon.com, NPR, and Colorlines. Her clients include UC Davis, Vanderbilt University, PNB Bank, Harvard Law School, Harborview Hospital and the Hollywood Writer's Guild.

Session Five: The Demographic Explosion: Building Relationships Amidst Shifting Power and Preferences

Dramatic disruptions continue to shape the future for workers, the workplace and the work. Research suggests that by 2030 workers will be older and younger at the same time, more ethnically and culturally diverse, more educated and less skilled, more hyper-connected through new technologies, and more vulnerable to automation, to name a few. With such demographic and technological explosions, how will individuals form the relationships necessary to get the work done so that they and their organizations are successful?

In this session participants will examine the new relational landscape where power, privilege and preferences of the past are being redefined or even scuttled. Participants will identify the new leadership and collaborative models necessary for leaders, managers, and employees to better navigate these differences and cultivate relationships effectively. 

Dr. Shirley Davis, SHRM-SCP, CSP, a recognized authority on the global workforce, a thought leader in Diversity & Inclusion, a leadership coach, and a certified Senior HR executive, will guide us in exploring these issues through engaging and provocative group discussions and skill-building activities.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe key demographic and technological disruptors expected for the global workforce by 2030

  • Identify significant ways increasing diversity is changing power, preferences and privilege in workplace relationships

  • Increase knowledge of one’s own personal power, privilege and preferences

  • Apply selected skills for collaborative leadership and inclusive team functioning


Dr. Shirley Davis, Ph.D., SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CSP, is an accomplished corporate executive, global workforce and talent management expert, an international speaker, a master certified trainer, leadership strategist, executive coach, and author. She has been described by her clients as very knowledgeable, engaging, practical, and high energy. She has consulted, coached, and presented to leaders at all levels of the organization, including in all business sectors, and across a number of industries. She has also worked in more than 12 countries around the world and worked with more than 10 government agencies. Her programs are interactive, informative, and relevant, and her audiences and clients include all ages, races, genders, backgrounds, and stages in their careers.

Dr. Davis’ educational accomplishments include: a Bachelor of Arts in Pre-Law with a minor in Communications; completed a certificate in Organizational Change from the Darden School of Business Executive Education Program; Harvard School of Business Management Development courses; a Master of Science Degree in Human Resources Management; and a Ph.D. in Business & Organization Management. She is certified as a Senior HR Professional through the Human Resources Certification Institute and The Society for Human Resource Management. Additionally, she is a Certified Speaking Professional earned through the National Speaker’s Association.

She also possesses an accomplished history as an executive with Fortune 500 and 50 companies and the world’s largest HR membership association. These positions include: Society for Human Resource Management as Vice President of Global Diversity and Inclusion and Workplace Strategies; Constellation Energy Group (an Exelon Company) as Head of Diversity; Capital One Services, Inc. as Senior Manager for Global Diversity and HR Initiatives, Senior Change Leadership Consultant, Site Training Director and Senior Human Resources Consultant; Circuit City Stores, Inc. as Senior Management Acceleration Program, Sr. HR Analyst, and Management Development Training Manager; and with Bank IV Oklahoma (now Bank of America) as Corporate Training Coordinator and Community Reinvestment Act Representative.

She has been named one of the Top 100 Corporate Executives in America by Uptown Professional Magazine four consecutive years (2011-2014). In 2011, she was named as a 2012 “Woman Worth Watching” by Profiles in Diversity Journal and she received the “Strategic Star” Award by Diversity Woman Magazine in Dec. 2012.

Dr. Davis has also been a featured expert and quoted on NBC’s The Today Show, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, USA Today, HR Magazine, Profiles in Diversity Journal, CNN.com, Smart Meeting Magazine, Uptown Professional, Diversity Woman, to name a few. She is the author of the new book, “Reinvent Yourself: Strategies for Achieving Success in Every Area of Your Life,” and will be a featured expert and co-author of another new book, “Leadership: Helping Others to Succeed,” being released this summer.

Session Six: Innovation in Disruptive Times: The Network Opportunity

Every effective employee of an organization today exercises leadership! One of the most important of these leadership exercises is using and building a dynamic professional network. Why? Because networks open up the paths to growth, productivity and success! 


There’s new science about networks emerging—successful leaders can be distinguished by their social capital—particularly this means they have powerful personal networks that allow them to mobilize resources, foster collaboration, and win the commitment and followership of their colleagues and customers.


However, research shows that many leaders build networks low in social capital, thus hampering their potential to succeed. In this workshop, you will learn what kind of network you have, and what you can do from one meet and greet to another to enhance your personal network. You’ll learn the effective strategies for building a powerful network that will propel you to new levels of success!   


Innovative businesses and organizations that support leaders who understand the incredible power of invisible personal networks will be a step ahead of all others.  The most successful networks will connect people across demographic differences, geography and skills. Those who know how to create connections and relationships with networked expertise will excel in innovation, creativity and bottom-line results.



As a result of this session, you will:

  • Understand networked organizations and why they are important to leaders and employees in 21st century organizations

  • Understand the properties of powerful networks and why they are increasingly linked to achievement and innovation

  • Be able to apply practice tools for assessing my personal network (structure, strengths, weaknesses)

  • Gain strategies for expanding and using my personal network so that it is diverse, inclusive and productive

Innovation in Disruptive Times: Remaking Leadership Networks

Signature Sponsor: The Boeing Company

The new science of networks reveals that what distinguishes top executives is their social capital—namely the powerful personal networks through which thriving leaders mobilize resources, enhance collaboration, and gain the commitment and devotion of their colleagues and clients.


Yet, research shows that many executives inadvertently build networks low in social capital, reducing their potential to succeed. In this special briefing, learn what kind of network you have, what you do handshake-to-handshake that leads you to have one kind of a network vs. another kind, and the effective strategies for building a powerful network that is a vehicle for achieving new heights of success.


Leaders with the most successful networks will connect people across demographic differences, geography and skills. Leaders who understand and embrace the growing diversity of global stakeholders and know how to create connections and relationships with network expertise will excel in innovation, creativity and bottom-line results. 

Who should attend this event: CEOs, COOs, VPs, Senior Directors, Board of Directors, Executive and Agency Directors, Employer Resource Group leaders and sponsors, Diversity Council leaders, and HR and Diversity & Inclusion leaders.


This session is designed to provide the following:

  • An overview of networked organizations and why they are important to leaders and employees in 21st century organizations

  • The properties of powerful networks and why they are increasingly linked to overall business achievement and innovation

  • Demonstrate the importance of expanding personal networks to include more diversity

  • Provide practice tools for assessing your personal network (structure, strengths, weaknesses) and strategies for building and using your network

Session Six and Executive Session Presenter: Brian Uzzi, Kellogg School

Dr. Brian Uzzi is a globally recognized scholar, scientist, and consultant.  He currently holds the Richard L. Thomas Distinguished chair in leadership at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. He also co-directs NICO, the Northwestern Institute in Complex systems and holds professorships in Sociology and in the McCormick School of Engineering.  He has taught around the world and been on the faculties of Harvard, INSEAD, University of Chicago, and Berkeley where he was the Warren E. and Carol Professor of Leadership.                                  

Dr. Uzzi advises and speaks at major organizations and associations around the world, including the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO), Baker and McKenzie, Deloitte, Pepsico, Kraft, Abbott Labs, UNITE, Total Quality Schools, Hearst Media, ABN AMBRO, CreditSuisse, P&G, McKinsey, the World Bank, FBI, Intel, Thomson Reuters, and other corporations, firms, associations, and non-profits worldwide.


His research uses social network analysis and complexity theory to understand outstanding human achievement in finance, R&D, and the arts. Brian lectures on leadership, persuasion, and change and has won 13 teaching awards, including the Alumni teacher of the year award.

Among Uzzi's scholarly awards are NSF, NIH, Army Research Labs, and NBER grants, and multiple scholarly contribution prizes.  Two of his papers are citation classics.  His book, Athena Unbound, examines gender differences in science.

His research has appeared in all the leading scientific journals: Nature, PNAS, Journal of Physics A, and Science, and has been written about in Newsweek International, Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, The Economist, and major TV news programs.  

Before turning to science as a profession, Brian worked as a management consultant, carpenter, and a musician. He earned his M.S. (social psychology) from Carnegie-Mellon University and Ph.D. (sociology) from Stony Brook.  Follow his work at: