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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Conference

The Third Annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Conference - Creating a Culture of Belonging. 

This conference is sponsored by the ASU Staff Council on behalf of the I.D.E.A. Committee. It is scheduled for Thursday, March 30, 2023 and will be held virtually from 8:30 a.m. - 2:15 p.m. Register NOW! This conference will be recorded and available for viewing in April. 

Conference Chair: Alejandra Dashe

Staff Council’s Third Annual DEI Conference: Creating a Culture of Belonging

Diversity and inclusion are high priorities for many institutions, but it often boils down to checking boxes and ensuring only that marginalized voices are present, not powerful.

What’s often missing from these conversations is the concept of “belonging” that enables each person to feel safe and secure in a community. When we have a high feeling of belonging, we are empowered to share daring ideas, to connect to a wider mission or purpose, and to offer constructive criticism. When we belong, we feel safe enough to drop our defenses and show people different sides of ourselves. When we belong, all of our identities are valued and respected. 

Fostering this culture of belonging at a large institution is no easy task, but it is necessary to the work of ensuring that all at ASU feel welcomed and given the opportunity to thrive. 

Join us for our third annual conference for a day of learning, growth, and connection. We will hear from an array of presenters about their stories and strategies in the effort to create a culture of belonging.

Register here


2023 Conference Overview


Dr. Jeff McGee

Dr. Jeff McGee, 2023 Keynote Speaker

Dr. Jeff McGee is a consultant, professor, national speaker, podcast guest, published author of the nationally recognized book, “One Human Race: Five Stages to Empowering Transformative Change” and thought leader in using an asset-based approach to understand cross-cultural and leadership competencies.

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The Third Annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Conference - Creating a Culture of Belonging

8:30 - 8:45Welcome to the DEI Conference & Land Acknowledgement Alejandra Dashe and Shawn Banzhaf ASU Staff Council 
8:45 - 8:55Welcome from President CrowDr. Michael M. CrowASU
8:55 - 9:00 Quick Housekeeping  
9:00 - 9:45 Being Trans/nonbinary in the Workplace - This panel of trans/nonbinary students, staff, and career professionals will discuss how gender identity and expression impacts their professional lives and how allies can facilitate a healthy and safe environment for their coworkers and the communities they serve.
A special note for participants:
1. For a better experience, participants are encouraged to have a basic understanding of some terminology used with the 2sLGBTQIA+ community such as cisgender, nonbinary, microaggression, etc. Staff/faculty can reach out to ASU Student and Cultural Engagement for more information and resources. https://eoss.asu.edu/student-and-cultural-engagement
2. This presentation is intended to educate cisgender individuals rather than holding space for trans/nb/gender-expansive individuals. Some sensitive topics and stories might be triggering for trans individuals.

DP Leighton, Assistant Director of Creative CareersEOSS - Career and Professional Development Services 
9:45 - 10:00 Break - Engagement Activity   
10:00 - 10:45Vulnerability in Writing Center Spaces: Enhancing Student Belonging through Hiring - UASP’s goal is to provide a brave space for students to feel a sense of belonging that encourages engagement in that peer-to-peer collaborative conversation. However, UASP Writing Center’s realized our student staff did not reflect our student users, which could affect their willingness to use our services. They decided they needed to rethink how potential applicants apply and engage with us through our hiring cycles. In this presentation we will discuss how the changes UASP’s Writing Center made to its writing and graduate writing tutor application expectations and marketing helped foster a sense of belonging for student users – as well as our student staff. The presentation will help the audience understand how they can connect with their student users and staff so that their departments can develop and nurture a sense of belonging in shared spaces.Lisa Diethelm, Corrdinator Senior of UASP's Writing Centers; Tristan Rebe, Program Manager of UASP's Writing CentersUniversity Academic Success Programs (UASP)
10:45 - 11:00 Break - Engagement Activity 

11:00 - 11:45Keynote - Fostering a Community of Belonging - Belonging is a basic, fundamental human need.  It is central in how we construct workplace and classroom cultures, build great relationships, and transform lives. To create a culture of belonging, it requires learning, innovation, exploration, and growth. Bringing your authentic self to the university allows for more healthy engagements, interactions, and collaboration. As our population is becoming more and more diverse, it is critical that a culture of belonging is implemented to improve performance and outcomes.Dr. Jeff McGeeCross-Cultural Dynamics
11:45 - 12:00 Intermission 
12:00 - 12:45"Hey, can you hear me?": Gaining Back Lost Connection - Whether it’s colleagues, supervisors, or students, when you begin to notice the connection slipping away, you have two choices: do nothing or do something. As simple as it sounds, a lot of us get it wrong. As leaders, it's one's responsibility to build and create a culture of connection and belonging.

Studies show, high belonging was linked to a:
- 56% increase in job performance
- 50% drop in turnover risk, and
- 75% reduction in sick days.

Referencing Brené Brown’s research in “Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience”, Positive Intelligence research, personal testimony, and more, participants will walk away with tools needed to begin their roadmap to making up for lost time; and regaining the connection, trust, and confidence in their team.
Marleigh Hurlburt, Program ManagerASU Local - Los Angeles
12:45 - 1:00Break - Engagement Activity
1:00 - 1:45 Exploring challenges and developing proactive strategies to enhance belonging and student, staff, and faculty success - On behalf of the Accelerating Latinx Representation in STEM Education (ALRISE) NSF grant, the ASU West ALRISE team will host a panel on belonging that specifically addresses the challenges associated with student, staff, and faculty belonging at ASU. While we all are part of ASU’s community, belonging has a particular meaning for each of these campus groups. We will host three panelists (faculty, staff, and student representatives) to identify three critical challenges associated with belonging particular to their group and then facilitate an activity with the audience through a scenario-based exercise that asks them to brainstorm solutions to one of three scenarios presented on staff, students, or faculty belonging. This activity is intended to present an opportunity for participants to listen, learn, and develop strategies that can be implemented among their respective groups.Anna Cunningham, School of Math & Natural Sciences; Dr. Louis Mendoza, Professor; Mary Lopez, Administrative Associate; Karenina Paredes, StudentASU School of Math & Natural Sciences
1:45 - 2:15Final Remarks & Closing Alejandra DasheASU Staff Council

Vision Statement

We envision a space where attendees are empowered to create change in their spheres of influence in order to amplify the work of, and problem solve with historically underinvested communities. Presenters will offer practical steps for attendees to integrate allyship into their personal and professional lives. With our intent clearly defined, we welcome those groups of people who have historically had a limited voice. Often conferences and trainings focus on bringing awareness to social issues. While awareness is key to moving forward when making change, we often get stuck at this step. It is our belief that we must forge past awareness into action. Our presenters are prepared to offer insights for attendees that will help them effectively make changes in their spheres of influence while working and living with people who may not look like them or believe the same way they do. With our intent clearly defined, we welcome those groups of people who have historically had a limited voice.These groups include but are not limited to the following: Black and African, LGBTQIA, Disabled, Native American, Latinx, Veteran, Women’s, and Asian communities.