Building workplaces where everyone can thrive isn't a choice – it's a business necessity. It's integral that our students learn about inclusive practices, equitable decision making, and blind spots, and our annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion conference is one way we do that.

Last Friday, students, staff, faculty, alumni, business leaders, and interested members of the community gathered to learn, share, and grow in the DEI space around the theme, "Building Bridges." 

Panels and presentation topics at the conference ranged from how DEI and analytics can collide at work and how to be an ally, to insights from innovators in inclusivity and business leaders from across the country. Keynote speaker Gena Cox (she/her) wrapped everything up with a fantastic, interactive presentation on building Respect-First, inclusive organizations. As the CEO of Feels Human, LLC., Cox is a leadership strategist, executive coach, and speaker on leadership impact, employee engagement, career optimization, and workplace inclusion. Her advice and coaching helps leaders focus on what matters for their organizations to avoid ineffective flavor-of-the-month approaches. 

Two woman sit on stage presenting to a group in an auditorium.

"I believe respect is the key to impact, influence, and inclusion," she said. "Why? Respect is the outcome all employees, especially those who are under-represented value most. It's the key to retaining employees."

A warm thank you to all 200+ participants in today's programming – we hope you feel as inspired as we do! And a special thanks to Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior and the Morrison Fellow of Diversity Jennifer Griffith for planning and organizing this event. And to all of our panelists and presenters!

This is only the second year of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion conference – and we can hardly wait for all the years to come.