35th Annual Conference

March 27-29, 2023


Back to Basics: What IS Inclusion?? Dispelling the Myths Blocking Your Inclusion Effort

75-minute Workshop

Day 3

Session Code: S6-D
When: March 29, 2023
Level: Introductory
Track: DEI Strategy
Presenter: Valerie Davis-Howard, The Kaleel Jamison Consulting Group, Inc.


Inclusion isn’t a new idea — most organizations at least mention it somewhere on their website and many have active efforts to build greater inclusion. Moreover, today’s workforce is demanding to be included in new and different ways as they ask themselves questions about work: What sort of environment do I want and need? What behaviors am I no longer willing to tolerate?

Feeling included — that sense of belonging, having agency, feeling joined, supported, and able to do their best work — is nonnegotiable for many people. Yet despite their best intentions, many organizations find their inclusion efforts mired in resistance or apathy. Despite how common efforts might be and how often the word is used, there are many misconceptions about what inclusion is and is not, leading to misalignment, missed expectations, and inability to deliver the workplace culture organizations and their people need. When people bring different ideas about what inclusion is — different from the organization’s spoken or unspoken definition and different from each other’s definition — inclusion efforts are watered down and less effective.

It’s time to go back to basics to dispel the myths about inclusion that block efforts and explore what inclusion is, and how this shared understanding attracts and retains talented people and creates higher performance and competitive advantage.

Learning Outcomes:

• Gain clarity about what inclusion looks like in practice and the misconceptions that can create an uneven sense of inclusion and hinder change efforts
• Identify which misconceptions are prevalent in your organization and how they impact performance
• Create action plans for dispelling myths about inclusion and ensuring people are operating from shared understanding and expectations

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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