The Rise of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Roles: Now What?

Last year’s racial and social unrest forced many to look at the racial and gender inequities in our society. Consequently, we are now seeing a rise and increased push to prioritize Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the workplace—from small organizations to large corporations, professional sports, entertainment, and education. This conversation will shed light on how to infuse the insights and commitments from 2020 into current DEI efforts with a focus on both building organizational health and making a business case and strategy as we move forward and make progress…together!

Sunday, October 10 at 3:45 pm CT


Moderator:
Femi Shabiolegbe, Executive Director and Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Wealth Management, Morgan Stanley

Femi Shabiolegbe is an Executive Director and the Head of Diversity and Inclusion for Morgan Stanley’s Wealth Management Field business.  

She joined the Firm’s Human Resources Department in 2017, and has held multiple HR Business Partner roles. Prior to Morgan Stanley, she worked at UBS for several years as a global HR Business Partner and as a Talent and Development leader. She joined UBS after a number of years as a People Consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers Nigeria, and has lived/worked in multiple countries on four continents. She also holds a NextGen Board position within a global non-profit leadership organization (FRED Leadership).

A native of Lagos, Nigeria, Femi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Lagos; and an MBA from Howard University.  

She is actively involved within the theater community, having appeared on stage in several bands, revues, plays and musicals with theater companies in her local community.  

Lawrence Alexander, Search Consultant, DEI Practice, Carney, Sandoe & Associates

Lawrence serves as the practice leader for Carney, Sandoe & Associates' Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion practice. The practice is responsible for leading retained searches for school leaders and providing consultative support for boards, executive leadership, and faculty and staff. To date, Lawrence has conducted anti-bias training with more than 50 colleges and universities, more than 30 independent schools, and a host of corporate and community-based organizations. He provides guidance related to board governance, strategic planning, climate assessment, and inclusive hiring.

Previous Experience
Lawrence started his career in higher education before spending a decade at independent schools working as a college counselor and as a Director of Equity and Inclusion.

He has worked for The Young Women's Leadership School of Astoria, The Business of Sports School, Ross School (NY), and The White Mountain School (NH). Lawrence also serves on the editorial board for Insight Into Diversity magazine.

Education & Interests
Lawrence was born and raised in Jersey City, NJ and now resides in South Dartmouth, MA. He is the husband of Monique Alexander and together they have six children. Lawrence received his bachelor's degree in finance from Kean University and his master's in counseling from Montclair State University.  

Dr. Victoria Farris, Founder & CEO, Farris Consulting

Victoria is a native New Yorker on a mission to encourage a more inclusive World. She is a disrupter, a truth teller, a justice seeker, an educator, a mother, and an activist. Her research focuses on understanding, from the perspectives of folks of color, what white people can do to disrupt and dismantle systemic racism, and Victoria has developed a framework for effective allyship that outlines an action-based guide for disrupting racism. Victoria is a dedicated higher education leader with more than 12 years of progressive experience serving students at traditional and specialized arts institutions. A skilled problem solver with a knack for working strategically across teams to drive change and enhance the student experience, she launched Farris Consulting in 2017 with the goal of supporting higher education through equity and inclusion consulting, training, and coaching. Prior to launching her consulting business, Victoria served as an associate dean of students and dean for residence life. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Marist College, a masters in higher education and student affairs from the University of Connecticut, and a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania.   

Jennifer Hunter, Senior Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Portland Trailblazers

Hunter currently serves as the Sr. Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) for the Portland Trail Blazers. In this role she leads the DEI strategy, policy and learning for the organization. wide variety of constituents within Brown University to align programmatic needs supporting inclusion initiatives. She oversees the execformulation of individual Diversity and Inclusion Action Plans, develops inclusion programs and workshops; supports student athletes and staff; provides best practices related to hiring, onboarding, retention of staff; and conducts climate assessments in regard to the department's Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan.

She previously served as the Associate Director of Campus Life, and prior to that the Associate Athletic Director for Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives for Brown University, and was responsible for the creation and growth of the Department of Inclusion & Engagement within the University of Wisconsin Athletics. Hunter has spent time working at UC-Berkeley working directly with Cal basketball. She worked in New Orleans public schools, and has held various positions within professional sports. She earned a BA in Public Relations and Sports Administration from Howard University, and holds a Juris Doctor from Thurgood Marshall School of Law.

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