2019 Annual Conference Workshops 

New Chief Diversity Officers, 8:00 am - Noon, Wednesday, March 6

Transitioning to a new Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) position is both exciting and challenging.  Forging a path of transformational organizational change with increasing demands from multiple underrepresented groups and limited resources is no easy task. In addition to content expertise, your ability to succeed is dependent on continually increasing your capacity to navigate complexities and maintain an authentic sense of self and an unwavering focus on mission.  This workshop will tackle these realities and provide practical solutions for navigating your early years as a CDO. Hear from seasoned CDOs and NADOHE CDO fellows still relatively early in their careers who can provide valuable insights. During this workshop, you will also have the opportunity to connect with other new CDOs in attendance and explore case studies. You will also learn more about how NADOHE can be a partner on your CDO journey.

As a result of this workshop, Participants will:

  • Develop a better sense of the rhythm of the first years of the Chief Diversity Officer Role
  • Understand how a cabinet role differs from other roles and how to build mutually beneficially relationships at the Cabinet level
  • Understand how the Chief Diversity Officer relates with the board, external constituents, faculty and staff, especially how these relationships change after one becomes a CDO
  • Develop a better understanding of the levers for systemic change
  • Have their experiences normed by listening to the early journeys of other Chief Diversity Officers
  • Focus on building the internal capacity to sustain the demands of the role
  • Connect with fellow Chief Diversity Officers with the goal of building a supportive community
The Neuroscience of Social Justice, 1:00 - 5:00 pm, Wednesday, March 6

Advances in FMRI imaging are providing rich insights into how our brains function. These insights have also deepened our understanding of implicit processes, unconscious exclusion and behaviors influenced by bias and exclusion.  For example, we know that a person’s experience with exclusive practices or biased behavior can trigger neurological processes which limit access to executive functions such as critical reasoning and analysis.  How do we leverage advances in neuroscience to advance equity and inclusion in our institutions? How can neuroscience provide a new lens for messaging the importance of equity and social justice while also disarming the usual defensiveness? CDOs are also disproportionately members of minoritized communities and doing social justice work can further marginalization as well as tax the neurological process of the CDOs themselves. How do we cope with the isolation and its toll? What do we need to do for ourselves and in our roles to sustain the work? Come learn about the latest advances in the neuroscience of inclusion and exclusion and learn how to leverage these insights in your work to support both internal (personal) and external (institutional) social justice.

So You Want to be a Chief Diversity Officer, 1:00 - 4:00 pm, Saturday, March 9
End the conference by learning from the insights of experienced diversity practitioners and consultants, who will cover a range of relevant CDO competences, including access, governance and strategy development in an extended Ted Talk Style format. Becoming a chief diversity officer in higher education is a far less linear progression than other executive positions in the academy.  CDOs come from all sectors of the higher education institutions, and sometimes from outside of the college or university.  They emanate from the faculty ranks, student affairs offices, unit based diversity officer roles, and equity and human resources positions.  Developing the next generation of CDOs is critically important as more inaugural chief diversity officer positions are created across the county.  The purpose of this session is to ground newer and aspiring CDOs by learning from those who have served in Chief Diversity Officer roles, and those whose efforts has informed the work of Chief Diversity Officers. The presentations will offer insights on what it means to participate in the C-Suite, working at the 30,000-foot level, and capacities are required for success. The session will benefit those seeking a Chief Diversity Officer position, early career CDOs and mid-level CDOs. As a result of this workshop, Participants will learn how:

  • To introduce participants to the critical competencies of C-suite officers
  • To describe higher-level strategic thinking for creating policy and providing for implementation of new policies
  • To outline practical tools and strategies that participants can apply to their work as CDOs or prepare to apply as CDOs

For more information about the 2019 NADOHE Annual Conference, go to https://www.nadohe.org/annual-conference or contact NADOHE at 1-800-793-7025.