35th Annual Conference

March 27-29, 2023


Survivor’s Guilt: Confronting Missed DEI Opportunities

90-minute Workshops

Day 1

Session Code: AW1-B
When: April 5, 2022
Level: Advanced
Track: Diversity Leadership
Presenters: Femina Ajayi-Hackworth, Amnesty International  |  Ashley Oolman, Allied Folk
Prerequisite: Participants need experience in DEI/HR, and have previous exposure and comfort exploring emotional intelligence and cultural humility. Knowledge of EEO, ADA, and AA is a must.


DEI practitioners are human first, meaning we inevitably make mistakes. Even amongst a group that centers conversations about progressive practices and workplace polices, there are moments when we know we should have done more to advance equity. Whether we resisted the urge to speak up or opted out of taking a risk, reflection on these moments is key to understanding what held us back from living our values.

This session will go beyond the common response, “I’ll do better next time,” and will lead participants through how to apply best practices when addressing the guilt and inaction. Through the influence of restorative justice and studies on survivor’s guilt, we have designed a process to examine our behavior, explore previous harm caused, and how we perpetuated white patriarchal status quo.

Participants will leave with new ways to hold themselves accountable and elevated expectations of equity moving forward. Together we will repair harm and overcome guilt from our missed opportunities.

Learning Outcomes

• Frame the feeling of survivor’s guilt that results from upholding status quo
• Unpack the ways harm happens in the workplace, and how it relates to a broader societal context
• Evolve in order to move forward with new tools and frameworks to be accountable at a higher level

The Forum on Workplace Inclusion®
2211 Riverside Ave, CB 54
Minneapolis, MN 55454
(612) 373-5994

Photos by Sarah Morreim Photography
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