Arkansas Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace Conference

Arkansas DEI Conference

— Offered in collaboration by the University of Arkansas’ IDEALS Institute


DEI 2021: Moving Beyond Statements Toward Action

This interactive conference invites professionals from all industries and sectors who are interested in creating inclusive and equitable workplaces. Through speakers and small group discussions, participants will explore the current climate and its impact on advancing equity and inclusion in our workplaces and communities.

October 7, 2021

Online / Live Stream

Early Registration Price

$230

REGISTER


At this conference, attendees will:

  1. Discuss actionable tactics related to creating inclusive and equitable workplaces, organizations, and communities.
  2. Connect with others who are interested in matching their practices with their DEI promises.
  3. Be inspired to continue to work towards equity and belonging.


9:00 - 9:15

Welcome
Indigenous Peoples Acknowledgement

Photo of Elecia Smith

Executive Director for the IDEALS Institute at the University of Arkansas which is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training, consultancy and research institute dedicated to creating diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces and communities. Through the Institute, Dr. Smith works with systems leaders and employers to affect transformational organizational change. In addition to her DEI knowledge, Elecia has expertise in human resources, vocational education, corporate sales, organizational development and change management. Dr. Smith earned her Bachelor of Science degree from The Ohio State University, and her master’s in educational technology and doctorate in Human Resources and Workforce Development Education from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.

 

Opening Remarks

Photo of Vice Chancellor Yvette Murphy-Erby

Vice chancellor for the Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Dr. Murphy-Erby is also a professor of Social Work and has served in other leadership positions across the campus including two separate terms as the director for the School of Social Work, associate dean for the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, interim director for the African and African American Studies Program and vice provost for the Office for Diversity and Inclusion. Dr. Murphy-Erby conceptualized the IDEALS Institute https://ideals.uark.edu and oversaw its implementation in 2019.

Dr. Murphy-Erby is an accomplished scholar and leader/administrator and has extensive expertise in leading change in organizations, particularly related to addressing structural, institutional, and systemic challenges to fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, antiracism, and social and economic justice. Dr. Murphy-Erby has 17 years of scholarship focusing on underrepresented and underserved populations and has received over $17 million in external funding awards from federal grantors such as NIH, NSF, HRSA, and from State government and Foundations.

9:15 - 10:00

Why Now? and What's Next?

This address from Dr. Caree Banton, Associate Professor of History and Director of the African American Studies Program at the University of Arkansas will ask us to consider what we should be thinking about and preparing for as it relates to DEI in the next year or so, how we should prepare, and what is missing from the conversation.

Speaker

Photo of Caree Banton

Caree Banton, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Afro-Caribbean History at the University of Arkansas who is jointly appointed in History and African and African American Studies. She received a MA in Development Studies from the University of Ghana in July, 2012 and completed her doctoral work at Vanderbilt University in June, 2013. Her research focuses on movements around abolition, emancipation, colonization as well as ideas of citizenship, blackness, and nationhood in the 19th century. Her research has been supported by a number of fellowships, including the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship that allowed her to do research in West Africa, the Andrew M. Mellon Foundation Fellowship at the Robert Penn Warren Center where she joined a group of scholars across a wide range of academic disciplines in the Sawyer Seminar-- “The Age of Emancipation: Black Freedom in the Atlantic World"-- to study abolition, anti-slavery, and emancipation for the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, the Lapidus Center Fellowship at the Schomburg Center and the Nancy Weiss Malkiel Fellowship for exceptional scholarship and participation in service activities. At the University of Arkansas, Caree teaches classes in Afro-Caribbean History, African Diaspora History, and race. Her book, "More Auspicious Shores”: Barbadian Migration to Liberia, Blackness, and the Making of the Liberian Republic, 1865 – 1912 (Cambridge University Press, 2019) explores continuities and mutabilities in black experiences of freedom, citizenship and nationhood across the atlantic world.

 

Small group discussion will follow

10:00 - 10:30

IDEALS Institute: Viewing Your Work from an Equity Perspective

Diversity and Inclusion are familiar words, but what is Equity? This session, led by the IDEALS Institute, will discuss the meaning of equity, how it relates to diversity and inclusion, and how to view your work from an equity perspective.

Photo of Elecia Smith

Dr. Smith is the Executive Director for the IDEALS Institute at the University of Arkansas which provides transformational Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) education, research, leadership, outreach and support for individuals, organizations, and communities. In addition to her DEI knowledge, Elecia has expertise in human resources, workforce development education, strategic planning, talent management, administration, and organizational development. Dr. Smith earned her Bachelor of Science degree from The Ohio State University, and her master’s in educational technology and Doctorate in Human Resources and Workforce Development Education from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.

Photo of Rickey Booker

Dr. Rickey Booker is the Associate Trainer, Facilitator and Consultant for the IDEALS Institute at the University of Arkansas. Dr. Booker is a native of Warren, AR and earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Arkansas-Monticello in Health and Physical Education with an emphasis on Wellness Leadership. He obtained his Master of Education in 2006 and Doctorate in Workforce Development Education in 2011 from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. He has worked in higher education for 14 years and most recently worked as the Director of Career Programs for the University Career Development Center at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.

Photo of Magdalena Arroyo

Magdalena Arroyo is a Trainer, Facilitator and Consultant for the IDEALS Institute. She brings years of experience as the Latinx Outreach Coordinator and Safe Zone Student Coordinator for the Center for Multicultural and Diversity Education, where she empowered students through cultural awareness and education. As a University of Arkansas Alumnus, she holds bachelor’sDegrees in Anthropology, Latin American Studies and Spanish. As a child of Mexican immigrants and a resident of NWA for more than two decades, she knows how important cultural competency and diversity awareness is when trying to create a safe and welcoming community. And as a recipient of such hospitality, she hopes to pay it forward.

Photo of Anne Shelley

Anne Shelley is a the Senior Trainer, Facilitator and Consultant for the IDEALS Institute and has facilitated DEI trainings and critical conversations in Arkansas for 20 years. Most recently she served as a contract trainer for the University of Arkansas Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Human Resources Department for which she provided Diversity Certification trainings. She has been a leader in nonprofit and social justice work in Arkansas, most recently as Executive Director of the NWA Center for Sexual Assault. Anne is the former director of Just Communities of NWA whose mission was to fight bias and racism through education. She currently serves on the DEI Advisory Council for the TRUE initiative in Northwest Arkansas.

Photo of Marcia Shobe

Dr. Shobe serves as Director of Research in the Office for Diversity and Inclusion. Her research foci are related to health disparities and anti-poverty initiatives for traditionally underserved populations, particularly low-income Latino, African American, Native American, and Marshallese communities. Dr. Shobe has served as PI or Co-PI on a number of federal and foundation grants and is currently managing multiple, interdisciplinary research and training grants in her areas of focus. In her role as Senior Research Fellow, she has collaborated with UA colleagues in Biology, Exercise Science, STEM Education, Medicine, Social Work, and in the Honors College and the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance (OEOC) on diversity and inclusion-related grant proposals.

Photo of Valerie McClendon

A native of Lubbock, Texas, Valerie earned her JD in 2017 from the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from Texas Tech University, specializing in interpersonal communication. In addition to her education, she brings years of experience in management, event coordination, and customer service.

10:30 - 11:00

Break

11:00 - 11:05

Lightbulb Moment - People

11:05 - 12:30

Panel Discussion

Inclusive Practices for All Identities

While many workplaces have statements and ongoing efforts to address race and racism, this panel discusses inclusive practices for other minoritized communities such as non-Christian, immigrants, people with disabilities, and trans people.

Panelists

Photo of Ja’Liyah Shemari

A Black Trans organizer fighting for the rights of Trans Arkansans. She is a student and a young, up-and-coming dancer and artist. Ja’Liyah is also the currently the Community Outreach Coordinator at Intransitive Arkansas.

Photo of Julie Petty

Works at Partners for Inclusive Communities at the University of Arkansas where she has worked in the violence prevention and intervention field for over ten years. She has been a national leader in the self-advocacy movement having served for two years (2006-2008) as Chair of Self Advocates Becoming Empowered, a national organization that works to ensure that people with disabilities are treated as equals and develop self-advocacy skills.  From 1998 until 2006, she was the state coordinator of Arkansas People First. She has also been utilized as a national trainer by many organizations and entities. In 2011, she was appointed to the President’s Committee on People with Intellectual Disabilities, then appointed Chairperson in 2013 to 2016. She is active in the self-advocacy movement nationally and contributes a passion for the civil rights of people with disabilities. Julie has keynoted many national and state conferences to spread the word about self-advocacy.   She is married to Brian Petty and they have 2 sons, Logan and Warren.

Photo of Lyna Ninkham

Born and raised in Northwest Arkansas to a Laotian refugee and a Thai immigrant. She attended the University of Arkansas and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in International Business and moved to Thailand shortly afterwards to work with a non-profit that focused on helping the local community create their own businesses through entrepreneurship training. With her continued passion for economic advancement amongst vulnerable populations, she joined Canopy NWA as their Employment Specialist to assist refugees resettling in NWA reach self-sufficiency through employment.

Photo of Dr. Denise Breaux Soignet

Director of the Tyson Center for Faith and Spirituality in the Workplace and an associate professor of Management in the Sam M. Walton College of Business. She earned a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management from Florida State University and is a Certified Professional for the Society for Human Resource Management. Denise develops and delivers innovative courses and executive education on workplace faith diversity and inclusion in her role as Director of the Tyson Center for Faith and Spirituality in the Workplace.

 

Moderator

Photo of Magdalena Arroyo

Trainer, Facilitator and Consultant for the IDEALS Institute. Ms. Arroyo brings years of experience as the Latinx Outreach Coordinator and Safe Zone Student Coordinator for the Center for Multicultural and Diversity Education, where she empowered students through cultural awareness and education. As a University of Arkansas Alumnus, she holds bachelor’s degrees in Anthropology, Latin American Studies and Spanish.

 

Small group discussion will follow

12:30 - 1:30 pm

Lunch Break

1:30 - 1:35 pm

Lightbulb Moment - Processes

1:35 - 2:35

Keynote and Q/A

The Win/Win of Anti-Racism: Creating An Inclusive Multi-Racial Democracy Description

Discussing the history and current context of race and racism in America and why embracing anti-racism in our organizations and companies is the key to creating a fully inclusive multi-racial democracy where all communities thrive.

Speakers

Photo of Takema Robinson

Mother, Entrepreneur, Author, Social Justice Strategist, Philanthropist, Art Collector and Curator, Takema Robinson is the CEO and founder of Converge, a national social justice consulting firm, whose purpose is to accelerate the creation of a radically just new world where communities of color thrive. With over 20 years of experience in strategic philanthropy, policy advocacy, and fundraising, Takema has built a company with clients like the Ford Foundation, Walton Family Foundation, Walmart Foundation, and George Soros’s Open Society Foundation, representing over $50 billion in philanthropic investment worldwide. In 2017, Takema worked along-side grassroots criminal justice organizations, organizing philanthropic investments to pass Louisiana Governor John Bel Edward’s signature legislation — the Justice Reinvestment Initiative — and in 2018, Takema spearheaded a $2 million fundraising e! ort in 90 days for Amendment 2, a state-wide ballot initiative to end the racist practice of non-unanimous juries in Louisiana.

Photo of Elecia Smith

The Executive Director for the IDEALS Institute at the University of Arkansas which is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training, consultancy and research institute dedicated to creating diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces and communities. Through the Institute, Dr. Smith works with systems leaders and employers to affect transformational organizational change. In addition to her DEI knowledge, Elecia has expertise in human resources, vocational education, corporate sales, organizational development and change management. Dr. Smith earned her Bachelor of Science degree from The Ohio State University, and her master’s in educational technology and doctorate in Human Resources and Workforce Development Education from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.

2:35 - 2:45

Break

2:45 - 3:35

Mapping Equity in a COVID World – The Importance of Data in Determining Impact

Using current data on Covid 19, poverty in Arkansas, and workplace representation, this conversation with David Sorto, Research Associate for the Center for Economic Research at the University of Arkansas, will explore the impact of these important issues on DEI efforts.

Speakers

Photo of David Sorto

David is a Research Associate with the Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) at the University of Arkansas. His research projects span economic impact analysis of organizations, studying the Northwest Arkansas housing market, and quantification of various social and policy issues affecting Northwest Arkansas and the state. Much of David's work involves analysis of various economic indicators, from federal and state data sources, along with primary data collected from surveys and organizations. 

Prior to CBER, David spent two years in litigation consulting performing economic analysis and support services for damages and testifying experts. These projects spanned wage and labor disputes, pricing-fixing allegations, intellectual property disputes, advisory services for the Native American Gaming community, and liability analysis for asbestos and other mass tort matters.

Photo of Anne Shelley

Senior Trainer, Facilitator and Consultant for the IDEALS Institute. Ms. Shelley has facilitated DEI trainings and critical conversations in Arkansas for over 20 years. She has been a longtime leader in nonprofit and social justice work in Arkansas, most recently as Executive Director of the NWA Center for Sexual Assault. Ms. Shelley is the former director of Just Communities of NWA whose mission was to fight bias, bigotry, and racism through education and awareness. She holds bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Writing from Missouri State University.

 

Small group discussion will follow

3:35 - 3:40

Lightbulb Moment - Power

3:40 - 3:50

Call to Action

3:50 - 4:00

Wrap Up and Surveys

 

 

Premiere Sponsors: $5,000 & Up

Corporations contributing at least $5,000 are eligible for Premiere Sponsorship recognition, which includes logo representation on all conference materials and the following benefits:

  • Company name and/or logo included in all news releases and press materials
  • Company logo inclusion in advertising campaign
  • Company name and/or logo, and company link, on the conference website
  • 10 tickets to full conference

Gift receipt: Under IRS Guidelines, $2,600 of the price will be in exchange for benefits received. The balance of your payment may be a tax-deductible contribution to the extent allowed by the law.


Media Sponsors: $2,500

  • Four tickets to conference
  • Sponsor logo and link on conference website
  • Logo on conference slides recognizing sponsorship

Gift receipt: Under IRS Guidelines, $1,040 of the price will be in exchange for benefits received. The balance of your payment may be a tax-deductible contribution to the extent allowed by the law.


Keynote Speaker Sponsors: $2,500

  • Recognition at reception
  • Four tickets to conference
  • Sponsor logo and link on conference website
  • Logo on conference slides recognizing sponsorship

Gift receipt: Under IRS Guidelines, $1,040 of the price will be in exchange for benefits received. The balance of your payment may be a tax-deductible contribution to the extent allowed by the law.


Conference Speaker Session Sponsors: $1,000

  • Recognition at reception
  • Two tickets to conference
  • Sponsor logo and link on conference website
  • Logo on conference slides recognizing sponsorship

Gift receipt: Under IRS Guidelines, $520 of the price will be in exchange for benefits received. The balance of your payment may be a tax-deductible contribution to the extent allowed by the law.