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The Great Stagnation: Accountability is More Than a Hashtag
March 24, 2022 - 9:00am to 11:30am (PDT)
Presenter: Dax-Devlon Ross

#Blacklivesmatter, #MeToo, #Missing women, #AAPIHate. We all know the hashtags! We know that many companies and organizations have made or reaffirmed their commitments to fairness and equity, and stated their intentions publicly. For example:

  • removing bias to achieve racial equity in hiring, evaluation, and promotion processes;

  • providing anti-bias training and racial equity education for employees;

  • supporting a community of Black professionals; and

  • amplifying the voices and experiences of Black employees and customers.

What is the nature of these commitments and intentions? Are they lip service or hard-core commitments that actually bring about systemic change?


In this session, we will go beyond the hashtags and dig into the data and the results—to see whether progress has been made. In the process, we will discover if we have BS or whether some actions are substantively changing lives.

Learning Outcomes.

By the end of the session participants will:

  • Gain key insights into three ways racism harms white people from Dax's book.

  • Learn/Be introduced to the LENS framework for engaging others in antiracist work.

  • Learn to diagnose common dysfunctions that undermine DEI progress.

  • Identify and rebut claims of ineffectiveness and wastefulness that continue to pervade DEI approaches.

  • Gain practical tools that they can apply to their organization’s DEI efforts to ensure they are properly launched, resourced and sustained.

Headshot Dax-Devlon Ross.Credit Doug Segars.jpg

Meet the Presenter:

Dax-Devlon Ross is the author of six books and his journalism has been featured in Time, The Guardian, The New York Times, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Washington Post Magazine and other national publications. He won the National Association of Black Journalists’ Investigative Reporting Award for his coverage of jury exclusion in North Carolina courts and is currently a Puffin Writing Fellow at Type Media Center.

His most recent book Letters to My White Male Friends, published by St. Martin’s Press in June 2021, is a call to action and a reflection on race. Dax details how racism has harmed Black people for generations but has also hurt white people by robbing their lives of fullness and meaningful relationships. 

A New York City teaching fellow turned non-profit executive, Dax is now a principal at the social impact consultancies, Dax-Dev and Third Settlements, both of which focus on designing disruptive strategies to generate equity in workplaces and education spaces alike. Dax received his Juris Doctor from George Washington University. He currently resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Alana, and their young children. 

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