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Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Leadership: Practices for the Long Haul

Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel 1550 Court Place
Denver, 80202 United States

October 20 @ 1:00 pm 4:00 pm MDT


Register for this pre-conference session by registering for SPARK 2024.

Four years after the murder of George Floyd, we find ourselves at a pivotal moment in the fight to advance equity and systemic change toward racial justice in the US. The Supreme Court’s decision last year on affirmative action dealt a significant blow to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) efforts, with thousands of EDI executives and leaders leaving or losing their jobs. Groups are further entrenching themselves into singular talking points and grievances, with smaller and smaller windows for building commonality. Furthermore, pressing leadership challenges exist for leaders who are EDI allies and leaders who are directly impacted racism, inequity, and bias.

Against this backdrop of fear and cutbacks, many leaders are struggling to find a path forward. It is helpful to lean on lessons from past decades of work to keep racial equity at the forefront. This session will feature the latest insight on what organizations need to understand to successfully advance EDI, as well as leadership principles and strategies to support organizational EDI journeys. It will look to support frank dialogue and include small-group discussions on what’s at stake for EDI and how leaders can continue to make progress in their organizational goals. Participants will hear insights from around the country on how to bridge divides and make shared commitments to EDI through strong leadership principles and trauma-informed care. They will have the opportunity to share struggles and successes with each other and identify strategies to keep their work on track.

Learning Objectives

  • Strategies for navigating resistance and opposition to EDI efforts
  • How leaders need to show up and be present for the ongoing journey of embedding EDI into organizational culture
  • Common barriers that nonprofits around the county are facing
  • Strategies and actions for embedding brain science and trauma-informed practices to advance EDI in an organization



Undraye Howard, PhD

Vice President of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Engagement
Social Current

Karen Johnson

Karen Johnson

Senior Director of Change in Mind
Social Current

Phyllis Richards

Phyllis Richards

Director of EDI and Research
Social Current

Robena Spangler

Senior Director of Leadership Development and Organizational Excellence
Social Current

1550 Court Place
Denver, 80202 United States
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