Inclusive Excellence Conference

Inclusive Excellence Conference 2024

Building Cultural Bridges at ASU

This conference is sponsored by ASU Staff Council’s Committee for Advocacy, Inclusion, and Community, the Office of Culture and Inclusion, and the Office of Inclusive Excellence. Open to all ASU faculty, staff, students, and community members. It is scheduled for Thursday, April 4, 2024,  and will be held virtually from 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Register NOW! This conference will be recorded and available for viewing in May. 

This conference is available virtually or in-person. 

Campus Watch Party Locations:


Conference Chairs: Alejandra Dashe and Vi Le

In our increasingly polarized times, deep mutual understanding, connectivity, and empathy seem further away than ever before. In order to create the solutions that will move our community forward, we need to focus on building cultural bridges. At ASU, where we are measured by the success of those whom we include, it is critical to ask ourselves if we are exploring, engaging, and developing new ways of relating to others in order to best support our community and allow everyone to thrive. 

ASU Staff Council's 4th Annual Inclusive Excellence Conference
Creating a Culture of Belonging

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Time Title and Description
8:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. Welcome and Land Acknowledgement
8:50 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. Opening Remarks by Dr. Amalia Pallares
9:15 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Housekeeping and Engagement Activity
9:30 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Session 1: Inclusion as Leadership

We often think of diversity and inclusion training as an attempt to reach a person's personal foundational values. In this presentation and discussion, we'll talk about how inclusion in the workplace is really about leadership and team performance.

Presenter: Bobbie R Scopa

10:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Session 2: Everyone Stims

Neuronormative expectations for communication often dictate acceptable ways to engage in collaborative spaces. However, for many neurodivergent individuals who engage in self-stimulatory behaviors, or stimming, these expectations can increase anxiety and impact the ability to focus and communicate effectively. In this presentation, participants will engage in activities that challenge internal biases and misconceptions, normalize stigmatized behaviors, and explore strategies to create a welcoming environment where all members can contribute innovative ideas and thrive.

Presenters: London Skiles & Katrina Vollmer

11:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Break
11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Keynote Speaker, Dr. Mako Fitts Ward

“Not On Our Backs: Building Bridges with Care" 


Mako Fitts Ward, PhD is a humanistic social scientist whose research explores the intersection of Black cultural production, culture industries and urban creative placemaking efforts to advance arts practice and foster inclusive community development. She is an Assistant Professor of African American and Women and Gender Studies in the School of Social Transformation and affiliate faculty in The Design School in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. As Director of the Social Transformation Lab, she fosters collaborations among universities, non-profits, companies, philanthropies and government agencies to develop strategies and inclusive learning tools for individuals and organizations.

12:15 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. Intermission
12:45 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Session 3: Collaborating to Design Events that Build Cultural and Community Bridges

In order to successfully build cultural bridges at ASU, we need each other. Working in collaboration to plan inclusive events ensures that we increase visibility of communities across campus, include a range of perspectives and goals in our programming, and invite people to take part in conversations that are key to helping all in our community thrive and be heard. Towards this end, our panel will discuss a series of events hosted at the ASU Polytechnic campus designed to include, connect, and create community. Our panel will include perspectives from two groups that contribute to the portfolio of inclusion events at the Poly Campus: members of the CISA Inclusion Committee who design and collaborate with the community to plan events, and members of the Recruitment, Outreach, Engagement, Events, and Internships (ROEEI) team who plan the logistics, marketing, and overall successful delivery of programming on campus.

Presenters: Fábio Albuquerque, Kermit Brown, Theresa Cordon, Laverne Dacosta , Valerie Flores , Kat Lambrecht, Gerald West

1:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. Break
1:45 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Session 4: Intentionally Creating Space for Conflict Conversations: A Practice in Listening to Understand and Engaging to Heal

In the dynamic landscape of higher education, conflicts are inevitable. These conflicts, if not addressed properly, can hinder academic progress and create a toxic environment. However, when managed effectively, they can become opportunities for growth and understanding. This session will delve into the necessity of creating a safe space for conflict conversations, emphasizing the importance of listening to understand rather than to respond, and engaging in dialogues that foster healing and mutual respect.

Presenter: Mary Loder

2:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Break
2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Session 5: Organizational Listening

In the ever-evolving and diverse workplace, organizational listening emerges as a critical driver for success. This presentation delves into the transformative power of inclusive listening, asserting that it demands the intentional inclusion of diverse voices at every level. Positive and lasting organizational change is sparked when every individual's voice is not only heard but actively valued.

Presenters: Erin Fang and Tia Parker

3:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. Break
3:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Final Remarks and Closing

Revisit previous conferences

2023 conference

Creating a Culture of Belonging

Chair: Alejandra Dashe

See details

2022 conference

Healing Our Nation: The Power of Authentic Allyship Conference

Chair: Krystal Bird

See details