2021 Workshops

The conference serves as an effective personal and professional development resource for faculty, staff, students, and professionals seeking to broaden and deepen their perspectives around topics such as bias awareness, discrimination policies and practices, identity development, social justice education, and identity-based topics such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity. Workshop presenters include both UNT and external community members from around the country.

Click each title to view the presentations of these workshops. Note: Not all workshop session recordings and materials are available. Please contact Equity.Diversity@unt.edu if you have questions.

Welcome, Dr. Bertina H. Combes Inclusive Excellence Award, and Hilti Presenting Sponsor Address (8:30 - 9:00 a.m.)


Concurrent Sessions 1 (9:45 - 11:00 a.m.)

Academic Track

Corporate Track

  • Equity Leader Essentials: What Corporate Leaders Need to Know (Presented by Michaels logo)| Level: Intermediate

    Speaker(s): Tanika Byrd, Ed.D. (she/her/hers), Pam Chao, M.A. (she/her/hers) Panelist(s): Jennifer Laflam, M.A. (she/her/hers)
    Keywords: Institutional Change, Organizational Development, Anti-Racism

    Equity leaders seek to create change that results in equitable outcomes for specific under-resourced groups. To achieve these results and avoid perpetuating the status quo or causing additional harm, leaders must possess and be willing to develop essential knowledge and skills. This session will define and describe these essentials and offer specific strategies for developing as an equity leader.

  • Exceeds Standards: Leveraging Employee Evaluations for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (Presented by Peterbilt logo) | Level: Beginner

    Speaker(s): Rachel Jackson, M.S. (she/her/hers), Laurel Spurgeon, M.S. (she/her/hers)
    Keywords: Organizational Development, Promising Practices, Diversity and Inclusion Metrics and ROI

    The employee evaluation. Often a document we only engage with once or twice a year and because we are required to. But, what if thought of employee evaluations more critically? The evaluation is often a lost opportunity, especially when it comes to employees of color. Evaluations provide critical data and are a vital touchpoint supervisors can use to help support and advocate for their employees of color in the workplace. In this session we'll discuss leveraging the evaluation for workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  • Queer, Dyke, and Other Words | Level: Advanced

    Speaker(s): Elena Joy Thurston (she/her/hers)
    Keywords: Identity-Based and Other Diversity Programming, Promising Practices, Recruitment and Retention

    With the recent SCOTUS ruling that prevents discrimination based on sexual orientation or identity, it is more important than ever that organizations understand there is a difference between tolerating LGBTQ employees and valuing them. While only 8% of GenX’rs identify as LGBTQ, 33% of Gen Z currently identifies as LGBTQ. With Baby Boomers currently being in the majority in the workforce, preparation is needed to retain diverse talent and prevent lawsuits. Best practices will be taught and discussed.

Concurrent Sessions 2 (11:15 - 12:30 p.m.)

Invitation-Only Conversation with Keynote Speaker Jeff Chang


Academic Track

  • Adult Social Emotional Competence and Wellness | Level: Beginner

    Speaker(s): Sharon Bradley, M.Ed. (she/her/hers)
    Keywords: Self-Care

    Educators will deepen their understanding of SEL and engage in reflective experiences to assess their own social emotional health and tend to their own self care. Participants will acquire tools and strategies to incorporate into their daily practice to be primed and ready to effectively support students and their social emotional needs.

  • Challenging Capitalistic Exploitation: Black Feminist/Womanist Commentary on Work and Self-Care | Level: Advanced

    Speaker(s): Altheria Caldera, Ph.D. (she/her/hers)
    Keywords: Self-Care

    This presentation reveals how imperialist, capitalist, white supremacist patriarchy can shape the lives of women of color academics. I discuss ways that a toxic work environment along with the myth of meritocracy negatively impacted my physical and mental health, until the COVID-19 slow-down allowed me to engage in self-care. I describe self-care that is rooted in love and political resistance, explain how Black feminist/womanist self-care challenges capitalistic exploitation, and pose important questions about the impact of hard work on Women of Color.

  • De-Dichotomizing Diversity, Beyond “Whites and Non-Whites” and “Women and Minorities” (Presented by UNT Division of Research & Innovation) | Level: Beginner

    Speaker(s): Audon Archibald, M.S. (he/him/his), Madesen Briggs (she/her/hers)
    Panelist(s): D'Lexis Strickland (she/her/hers), Tironé Tennessee (she/her/hers) Keywords: Identity, Inclusive Language and Microaggressions, Anti-Racism, Workplace Climate

    The words we use in professional communication carry meaning that we may not always intend. In the case of phrases such as “Women and Minorities” or “Whites and Non-Whites”, these phrases may have the intention of conveying an inclusive professional environment, but may on some level be inadequate in conveying the importance of both intersecting marginalized identities and marginalized identities not at the center of mainstream attention. We highlight communication considerations in light of these current perspectives on identity and language.

  • Fostering Inclusivity in Classrooms: A Student Perspective | Level: Beginner

    Speaker(s): Elyse Smith (she/her/hers)
    Keywords: Access and Equitable Practices, Ally Development and Coalition Building, Bias Awareness

    In this workshop, we will discuss how you can bring issues of race and equity into your classroom, regardless of your discipline, and ways you can create a sense of belonging for all students. With a focus on a student perspective we will think about how we can help you to implement and foster inclusive environments within classrooms and departments.

  • No Letting Down Anytime Soon: Engaging Today’s Civically-Engaged College Students (Presented by Fidelity Investments logo) | Level: Beginner

    Speaker(s): Brandon Kitchin (he/him/his)
    Keywords: Ally Development and Coalition Building, Bias Awareness, Identity, Institutional Transformation, Privilege and Systemic Oppression, Social Justice Education, Anti-Racism

    In times of pressing and concurrent social issues, higher education has a unique role in both educating and supporting their communities. Educators and professionals should be prepared to engage today’s students who are increasingly involved in leading movements and spreading awareness regarding social change – and whose efforts may not let up until they see what they view as necessary reform. This presentation will prepare participants to facilitate tough but necessary conversations surrounding today’s most pressing social issues.

  • Unpacked: Stereotype Threat in the Classroom | Level: Beginner

    Speaker(s): Reginald Robinson, M.Ed. (he/him/his)
    Keywords: Access and Equitable Practices, Bias Awareness, Identity, Inclusive Language and Microaggressions, Institutional Transformation, Privilege and Systemic Oppression, Anti-Racism

    Steeped in Dr. Claude Steele’s seminal work on the stereotype threat phenomenon, this engaging learning experience explores the problems with and solutions for stereotype threat within the classroom all learners. Come away with actionable insights to disrupt tacit microaggressions that plague everyday classroom interactions.

Corporate Track

  • Are We Doing the Right Things the Wrong Way? | Level: Intermediate

    Speaker(s): Laura Corkery (she/her/hers)
    Panelist(s): Lisa Amoroso (she/her/hers), Monique Stennis, M.B.A. (she/her/hers) Keywords: Institutional Change, Organizational Development, Identity-Based and Other Diversity Programming

    The intent of diversity and inclusion is to bring people together and create equity and a sense of belonging in the workplace. The current approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion can focus on one cohort or one side of a conversation at a time. This can create a culture of blame, shame, avoidance, dismissal, or exclusion.

  • Maximizing ROI for ERGs (Presented by Comerica logo) | Level: Advanced

    Speaker(s): Maiya Winston, CDP (she/her/hers, Black)
    Keywords: Employee Resource Groups, Identity-Based and Other Diversity Programming, Diversity and Inclusion Metrics and ROI

    It’s great for a company to have Employee Resource Groups to support traditionally underrepresented populations within corporate environments, but how do you ensure that these groups are not more than “culture clubs”? During this session, the importance of a defined ERG program structure, metrics and demonstrated connection to company and department business goals will be discussed to ensure your ERGs are both giving and receiving value throughout your enterprise.

  • Navigating Boundaries in the Workplace with Staff of Color | Level: Beginner

    Speaker(s): Rachel Jackson, M.S. (she/her/hers), Laurel Spurgeon, M.S. (she/her/hers)
    Keywords: Workplace Climate

    Can I ask this? Can I say that? Sometimes our curiosity and ignorance can get the best of us and we ask questions or make comments which can make our co-workers of color feel uncomfortable. In this session, we will discuss common “boundary crossing” that people of color experience in the workplace, how to avoid those scenarios, and strategies for engaging in a diverse workforce.

Keynote Address by Jeff Chang (12:45 - 2:00 p.m.)

Remaking America

America is at a crossroads. How do we make sense of racial inequity and this divided moment? Writer and activist Jeff Chang draws on his own story, the long history of justice movements, and a deep understanding of the tense present to discuss how together as allies and advocates, we might take action to restore hope to our communities and our country.


Concurrent Sessions 3 (2:15 - 3:30 p.m.)

Academic Track

  • Design for Impact: Organizational DEI Strategic Planning | Level: Intermediate

    Speaker(s): Jessica Howard, M.A., M.A. (she/her/hers)
    Keywords: Institutional Transformation, Organizational Development, Diversity and Inclusion Metrics and ROI

    Organizations, institutions, and businesses across the globe have vowed their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in theory. In practice, leaders prioritize short term recruitment investments over transformational culture work, resulting in psychologically unsafe workplaces and revolving doors of talent. This workshop offers practical tools for designing impactful DEI organizational strategy and a theory of change to center historically marginalized experiences and transform culture over time.

  • Disability and Inclusion | Level: Beginner

    Speaker(s): Jessica Stone, M.S., CRC, LPC (she/her/hers), Randalynn Johnson (she/her/hers)
    Keywords: Access and Equitable Practices, Identity, Inclusive Language and Microaggressions, Privilege and Systemic Oppression, Social Justice Education

    Creating a truly inclusive and equitable environment includes acknowledging the benefits and diversity our students bring to our campuses, as well as challenging unconscious or conscious ableist views. Often not known is how intersectionally diverse our students with disabilities are and how to recognize and embrace all of these identities in our practices. This also includes learning how to make our instructional and programming affairs accessible utilizing Universal Design concepts. Our presentation will particularly highlight serving students who are d/Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Blind/Visually Impaired.

  • Equity Leader Essentials: What Academic Leaders Need to Know | Level: Beginner - CANCELED

    Speaker(s): Tanika Byrd, Ed.D. (she/her/hers), Pam Chao, M.A. (she/her/hers) Panelist(s): Jennifer Laflam, M.A. (she/her/hers)
    Keywords: Institutional Change, Organizational Development, Anti-Racism

    Equity leaders seek to create change that results in equitable outcomes for specific under-resourced groups. To achieve these results and avoid perpetuating the status quo or causing additional harm, leaders must possess and be willing to develop essential knowledge and skills. This session will define and describe these essentials and offer specific strategies for developing as an equity leader.

  • Managing Towards Inclusion with Courageous Conversations | Level: Beginner

    Speaker(s): Ticily Medley, Ph.D., LMFT-S (she/her/hers)
    Keywords: Ally Development and Coalition Building, Institutional Transformation, Workplace Climate

    Organizations are finding that mid-level and senior managers are often unprepared to have courageous conversations with their employees about issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. Several factors are essential for ensuring that these courageous conversations will be growth-oriented or even curative, rather than triggering or toxic. This session will explore bias and inclusion, and provide specific recommendations for preparing managers to engage in courageous conversations.

  • Student Employment & Social Consciousness: Training for Inclusivity | Level: Beginner

    Speaker(s): Brecken Wellborn, M.A., C.S. (he/him/his), Kevin Sanders, M.S. (he/him/his)
    Keywords: Bias Awareness, Identity, Inclusive Language and Microaggressions, Organizational Development, Social Justice Education

    At UNT, student employees of The Learning Center facilitate thousands of hours of academic support services each year, making them some of the most active members of the UNT community. For this reason, The Learning Center began inclusivity-minded training with its student employees five years ago. This workshop overviews the office’s efforts to develop and facilitate inclusivity-minded trainings, presents qualitative data demonstrating the trainings’ impacts, and helps attendees address questions and concerns related to training student workers outside of the scope of their job duties.

  • White Ignorance: Creating Teacher Awareness | Level: Beginner

    Speaker(s): John Essington, Ed.D. (he/him/his)
    Keywords: Access and Equitable Practices, Bias Awareness, Identity, Privilege and Systemic Oppression

    Seventy-nine percent of public school teachers are white. These educators are caring, idealistic individuals who are not racists, but ignorant to the harm caused to minorities due to the default whiteness of schools. This workshop will focus on how to help future and existing educators become aware of their privileges, the biased nature of school systems, and overcome these inequities. This workshop is not centered on guilt, but rather awareness and service to help implement practical change in schools.

Corporate Track

  • Beyond Bubble Baths: Self Care & Mindfulness | Level: Beginner

    Speaker(s): Rachita Sharma, Ph.D., LPC-S, CRC (she/her/hers), Cassidy Baker, LCSW-S, ASCW (she/her/hers)
    Keywords: Self-Care

    With our lives turned upside down because of COVID-19, and not enough bubble baths to keep us feeling mellow all day long, wouldn’t it be nice if instead of having a mind full of worries, we could just be Mindful? Mindfulness is a self-care practice achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations: Daily practice can help us respond to pressures in a calmer manner that benefits our heart, head, and body.

  • LGBTQ+ 101 - Aspiring Allies Want to Know | Level: Beginner

    Speaker(s): Emily VanKirk, M.Ed. (they/them/their)
    Keywords: Identity, Inclusive Language and Microaggressions

    LGBTQ+ 101 will provide aspiring allies with some of the groundwork needed to begin their own journey of supporting LGBTQ+ persons, including reviewing terminology, discussing some commonly asked questions, and addressing common faux-pas within ally and LGBT+ community relations.

  • Workplace Policy Reform is Essential to the Pursuit of Equity | Level: Beginner

    Speaker(s): Daniel Murphy (he/him/his)
    Keywords: Workplace Climate

    Hiring and training new employees costs businesses billions of dollars annually. But these same businesses that incur such exorbitant costs are challenged by turnover. What if employers could reduce turnover and increase employee longevity? In this workshop participants will gain a deeper understanding of how the unique obstacles faced by those in poverty contribute to employment separation and how businesses serious about equity can and already are finding tangible solutions to end the cycle of instability through creative and compassionate reforms of workplace policy.

Concurrent Sessions 4 (3:45 – 5:00 p.m.)

Academic Track

Corporate Track

Closing Statements & Post-Conference Discussion (5:15 – 6:00 p.m.)

What are your key takeaways from the conference? How do you wish to apply these key takeaways?


Making Your Presentation Accessible

As you deliver your presentation to your audience, assume that some of them will be unable to hear or see you and your content. If offering interactive hands-on activities, be mindful that some people may be unable to raise their hand or move a mouse. Some people may be unable to talk. Some people may not understand you depending on how you convey the information. Below are a few quick tips to help you in making your talk and your presentation materials accessible to everyone.

  1. If selected, we require that if you use slides for your presentation, that they be created in Microsoft PowerPoint.
  2. Caption everything – videos within PowerPoints need to be captioned before they are added to the presentation because captioning them after the fact is very difficult.
  3. If there are interpreters or CART providers as communication access, the providers need to have the presentation early.
  4. In your presentation slides, use one standard sans-serif font such as Verdana, Helvetica, or Arial. Use one font only if possible. Ensure font size is adequate for different viewing experiences (e.g., from a distance, on a mobile device).
  5. If you are using images and other visual content that is informational, be sure to describe them adequately.
  6. If using complex images such as maps or charts, keep high color contrast between text and background and do not rely on color alone to label trends and variables – use, for example, different patterns or full vs. dotted lines.
  7. Say all of the information that is presented on the slide.
  8. Use plain English when talking, keeping it jargon-free and idiom-free. If using an acronym, state its meaning in full.
  9. Share your presentation materials with your audience in advance. Be sure to follow best practices for making your materials accessible.

If you wish to learn more about how to make your presentation materials and your live talk accessible to everyone, check out How to Make Your Presentations Accessible to All.

Questions? Contact Diversity.Inclusion@unt.edu