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, powered by the IDEALS Institute, engages 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

$260

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.

The University of Arkansas Global Campus is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP

The University of Arkansas Global Campus is recognized by SHRM to offer  5 recertification credits for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP.



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.

Keynote 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.

10:00 - 10:45

Community of Action Discussions

Interactive sector-specific discussions facilitated by IDEALS to engage participants from corporate, small business, non-profit, and health/education in sharing the opportunities and challenges of implementing DEI initiatives.

Moderator

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.

10:45 - 11:00

Break

11:00 - 12:30

Panel Discussion

Inclusive Practices for Diverse 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.

12:30 - 1:30 pm

Lunch Break

1:30 - 2:45

Community of Action Panel

Sector leaders from corporate, small business, non-profit, and education will discuss their opportunities and challenges as they work to move beyond DEI statements toward action.

Panelists

Photo of Tami Shaver

Tami Shaver (she/her) is the Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Arkansas. She is a licensed social worker with 17 years of experience in the mentoring field. Tami has recently become certified in Disability Mentoring, has worked to make BBBS visible and safe for LGBTQ+ youth, and has sought to learn how to better serve the various communities in Northwest Arkansas that typically have less access to resources. Tami is an avid reader and podcast listener who believes there is always something new to learn or someone to learn from. Tami lives with her husband and their two young children in Rogers, Arkansas.

Kristina Hudson, Executive Director of Secondary Education

Kristina Hudson was born in Slidell, Louisiana. She is the child of an educator and an Air Force colonel. She was most influenced by her paternal grandmother, who she never met, to be a teacher and to graduate from LSU; her grandmother was denied an education at LSU because of her race. This fact has greatly shaped her views on the importance of educational equity. 

She taught in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as an English teacher, teacher of instructional support, and literacy coach. She also taught methods and educational history courses at LSU while completing her doctoral studies. Her dissertation used historical methods to explore the role that Catholic discourses rooted in morality and religiosity played in the integration of public schools in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her contention was that legal, secular forms of protest are wrongly privileged over protests that are rooted in spirituality.

She has served as an administrator in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and at Ramay Junior High School; she is currently the Executive Director of Secondary Education in the Fayetteville Public School System. 

Photo of Ross Phillips

Ross Phillips is currently Senior Vice President of Community Development for the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce.  He leads programming for the Community Development division that impacts and enhances quality of life in the Rogers-Lowell area and Northwest Arkansas region.

These community programs improve the lifestyles and amenities enjoyed by residents, newcomers and visitors.  In addition, through education, community awareness and hands-on experience, Ross directs the division’s leadership programming aimed at providing the region with an ongoing source of diverse leaders at all levels of business expertise.  Recently, he was charged with starting up the Chamber’s newest regional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiative launching in 2020.

Ross joined the Chamber in 2017 as the Director of Community Development and quickly made a difference by elevating the Northwest Arkansas Emerging Leaders (NWAEL) young professional’s group to a new level.  Today, NWAEL is the largest group in the region with over 1,000 members. Under his leadership, both membership and engagement have grown, and the program is delivering more candidates for public and private boards, commissions and leadership opportunities in the region.  Helping people be successful is what he says he enjoys most about his work, “I’m passionate about helping people achieve their goals by developing their leadership skills through training, networking and community involvement opportunities.”

His career began at nonprofit Mount Sequoyah in Fayetteville, Arkansas. In 2013 he became 
Hospitality Director responsible for client acquisition and retention. One of his many accomplishments included implementing new policies and procedures to help the organization run more efficiently.  He also planned and organized client events, managed billing and payment systems and the 
reservation database.

Ross is from Fayetteville and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public relations, advertising and applied communication from the University of Central Arkansas in 2011. 

Photo of Kimberly McGee

Kimberly McGee is a Senior Manager in the Center for Racial Equity at Walmart. She is responsible for leading strategic initiatives, communication and advancing racial equity through business and philanthropy. She has over twenty years of corporate retail experience in program management and systems. Over the course of her career at Walmart, Kimberly has held positions across the enterprise in Global Technology, Health and Wellness, Office of Diversity, Walmart Services & Digital Acceleration, and Real Estate. Kimberly is a strategic partner who has managed complex cross-functional initiatives and programs.

Kimberly is an advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion and is committed to advancing the mission. She is actively engaged with the Black/African American Resource Group at Walmart and serves as Vice Chair. Also, Kimberly serves on the Women of Color Advisory Council with the Network of Executive Women (NEW) and Women’s Initiative Advisory Council at The University of Alabama – Culverhouse College of Business: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Division. She has served on several community boards and is the Vice President of the Northwest Arkansas Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Council.

Kimberly is passionate about community service and empowering women to succeed on a personal and professional level.  She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, The Links, Incorporated, NEW Northwest Arkansas, and Junior League.

Kimberly holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems with a concentration in Computer Software Systems from the University of Alabama and Master of Business Administration from the Webster University.  Also, she holds the Society for Human Resource Management - Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and Professional in Human Resources (PHR) designations.

Kimberly resides in Bentonville, Arkansas. She enjoys traveling, crafting, and is an avid Alabama fan.

 

Moderator

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.

2:45 - 3:00

Break

3:00 - 3:45

The Other “D” in DEI – How to Use Data in Achieving Your DEI Goals

This interactive conversation with David Sorto, Research Associate for the Center for Economic Research at the University of Arkansas, will explore the importance (and use) of key data as a tool in advancing your workplace DEI initiatives.

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.

3:45 - 4:00

Call to Action and Close

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

  • 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

  • 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.


Thank You Sponsors!


Premiere Sponsor

Aon logo - Empower Results

Keynote Speaker

Hogs United logo - Education, Advocacy, Action

Conference Speaker Session

University of Arkansas College of Engineering logo