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From Critical to Curious: Finding Common Ground with DEI Late Adopters

Webinars Mar 23, 2023

Thursday, March 23 • 12pm ET

Join us for a webinar to hear from a panel of seasoned diversity advocates as they share their perspectives, advice, and lessons learned in counteracting DEI resistance.

About the Webinar

Champions of diversity, equity, and inclusion believe passionately in the power of DEI to create better relationships and workplace cultures, so resistance can be difficult to understand. But the fact is, negative attitudes, skepticism, and cynicism are common when organizations launch DEI efforts. Inclusive leaders and DEI champions shouldn’t silence or avoid these critics. Instead, they have a duty to find common ground through conversations that can be, at times, difficult and uncomfortable.Join us for a free webinar to hear from a panel of seasoned diversity advocates as they share their perspectives, advice, and lessons learned in counteracting DEI resistance.

We'll cover:

  • Top causes of DEI resistance
  • How to approach skeptics
  • Ways to ensure your DEI efforts continue forward

Meet the Panel

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Shelley Willingham, CDE

VP, Business Strategy, The Diversity Movement

Shelley is a serial entrepreneur and business strategist with more than 20 years of corporate and small business experience. In 2003, Shelley founded the National Organization for Diversity in Sales and Marketing (NODSM), a company focused on helping corporate America recognize the increasing purchasing power of diverse segments and helping them market to these groups without using stereotypes or being offensive. In 2006 she partnered with FORTUNE magazine on a special diversity section highlighting her work in this space. Shelley speaks at various business events and conferences, coaches and consults aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners, and is a frequent on-air contributor to CNBC. Shelley is a Certified Diversity Executive and leads the client acquisition strategy and execution while supporting each of the TDM business units in the development of their respective strategies.

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Dr. Brian Ralph

President, William Peace University

Brian C. Ralph, Ph.D. took office as the 11th president of William Peace University in August of 2015. As president of WPU, Dr. Ralph oversees a student body approaching 800 full and part-time students enrolled in undergraduate day, evening, and online programs, over 275 full and part-time employees, and an alumni body of more than 12,000. Under Dr. Ralph’s leadership, the University has launched the Believe in Peace Strategic Plan - a bold and aspirational plan focused on four strategic themes – Immersive Learning, Innovative Partnerships, Strategic Growth, and Distinctive Identity. The University has executed over 100 new initiatives including the addition of 10 new majors, the creation of an Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, improved student retention and success, increased alumni engagement, created a new campus plan, and added six new NCAA Division III athletics programs.

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Jessica Jolley

Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Pendo

Jessica has a decade of experience in DEI, organizational design, and community engagement. She previously worked as Deputy Director of Strategy and Operations for My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, an initiative of the Obama Foundation. At MBK Alliance she worked with Fortune 500s to diversify their hiring pipeline and organized Opportunity Summits across the country, resulting in thousands of job placements for men of color. Jessica also previously worked at Deloitte, where she co-founded Communities of Color. This program supported more than 400 women of color through training, community building, and mentorship.

Demand from corporations for help establishing DEI programs led Jess and her colleagues to form consulting firm Generation Titans. Jess worked with organizations including Ben and Jerry’s, the NBA, Prudential, Comcast, Google, and American Eagle to implement community engagement and DEI efforts. The team eventually launched a community and crowdfunding platform called Join Reunion to connect Black, LatinX, and Indigenous founders to investors and corporate funders.

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Deke Copenhaver

Principal, Copenhaver Consulting LLC

Deke Copenhaver is a bestselling author, leadership coach, and podcast host who serves as principal of Copenhaver Consulting LLC. He is the former mayor of Augusta, GA where he served for nine years. Deke is a passionate advocate for inclusive, compassionate, and servant-minded leadership.

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Amelia Hodges, CMM, CMP

Director of Channel Distribution & Experience, NCACPA

Amelia ensures functional, educational, and financial success with NCACPA events. Along with her hard-working team, she covers all pre-meeting planning and logistics, on-site management, post-event follow-ups, and much more. Most importantly, Amelia and her team are responsible for providing attendees with the most inclusive experience possible at all NCACPA events. Amelia is the Past President of the Carolinas Chapter of Meeting Professionals International. She graduated from East Carolina University with a political science and communication studies degree. A member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Amelia enjoys community service, and mentoring young ladies in her nonprofit organization.


TDM Staff

A disruptor in the world of diversity training vendors, our experts leverage the intersection of education, coaching, technology, and analytics to help build thriving, sustainable workplace cultures.