More than 1,100 local leaders and members of the community joined us for this annual conference presented by the Triangle DEI Alliance and the Raleigh Chamber to gain the tools to support DEI within their organizations and the entire community in pursuit of “A Better You, A Better Us!”
At the 2022 Diversity, Equity, & Inclusivity Conference, in partnership with Bank of America, we gained new tools and insights to strive for more inclusive work and community environments through cultural competence and awareness. The day began with an opening charge from Jamaal Livan of Bank of America before our Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity took the stage for the first interactive activity and panel discussion: Privileges for Sale.
|“Today is the day to ask why does this make me uncomfortable? Embrace leaving here with more questions than you have answers!” – Torri Staton, Ph.D., VP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity.
Participants had to identify which privileges they would purchase with a hypothetical budget in only ten minutes, and over 53% of the audience identified race as their most salient identity during the process. When asked to describe the activity using only one word, more than 50 people responded that it was “insightful,” while others believed it was “eye-opening”, “interesting”, “challenging”, and “enlightening.”
Attendees also engaged in impactful conversations during breakout sessions throughout the day including vital topics like:
- 5 Ways to Overcome DEI Fatigue
- Advocating for DEI in Your C-Suite (Panel)
- Creating Inclusive Spaces for the LGBTQ+ Experience
- Driving DEI with Data
- Hiring and Retaining Diverse Talent (Panel)
- Introduction to Culture and Cultural Competence
- Equitable Mentorship and Sponsorship
- Justice-Based Trust Building
- Racism and Its Effect on Mental Health
- Supporting People Impacted by the Criminal Justice System: Redefining Second Chance Hiring
After a delicious networking lunch, the 2nd Annual Phil Freelon DEI Award was presented to Courtney J. White, Head of Human Resources at BASF Agricultural Solutions, who has demonstrated a sustained commitment to championing change and positive impact in diversity, equity, and inclusivity in our community. Courtney was very surprised and proud to accept the award, leaving the audience with a motivational plea, “I just hope we keep on making it do what it do!”
A key learning moment followed with a focus on local developments in economic mobility, health, education, and criminal justice from the A Better Wake: Dismantling Systemic Racism project. Those in attendance were also inspired by the Accessibility in the Workplace Panel, with memorable takeaways including, “Assume good intentions and save space for grace,” from moderator Calandra Jarell
of Bank of America, and “I may not be able to see, but I can sure read a room,” from panelist Kamille Richardson
of iSee Technologies.
At the end of the day, participants returned to the main ballroom to debrief, set goals and intentions for the upcoming year, and reflect on the many new questions about diversity, equity, and inclusivity that resulted from a day of exploration and learning. Every attendee left more aware that the continuous improvement and self-development of yourself leads to the systemic payoff to our community and organizations – and together we can make it happen!
You can find more coverage of the event here.
Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 2022 Diversity, Equity & Inclusivity Conference for “A Better You, A Better Us!” View the full agenda and list of speakers here.
We are also extremely grateful for the dedication and support of our sponsors who made this event possible.