33rd Annual Conference

ON-DEMAND

 

Since 2008, the Diversity Awards Program recognizes individuals or organizations showcasing exemplary insight and fortitude in the area of workplace diversity. Nominations are submitted for individuals, organizations, or a group within an organization such as an Employee Resource Group, Diversity Council, or Business Resource.

Nominations for the 2021 Diversity Awards have closed. Join our email list to get notified once we announce the awardees!

Diversity Awards

Since 2008, the Diversity Award Program recognizes individuals or organizations showcasing exemplary insight and fortitude in the area of workplace diversity. Nominations are submitted for individuals, organizations, or a group within an organization such as an Employee Resource Group, Diversity Council, or Business Resource.

Nominations for the 2021 Diversity Awards has closed. Join our email list to get notified once we announce the awardees!

Award Categories

Power the Future Award

The Power the Future Award goes to an individual emerging leader who:

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Effectively leads from their current position by consistently demonstrating innovative, future forward, visionary thinking

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Rallies, engages and inspires others around imagining and investing in future state possibilities

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Leads by example demonstrating a commitment to bold exploration, risk taking, and learning from both failure and success

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Seeks new challenges and challenges others to continually work toward making a difference in the work/life experiences of present and future generations

Power the Future Award

The Power the Future Award goes to an individual who:

9

Effectively leads from their current position by consistently demonstrating innovative, future forward, visionary thinking

9

Rallies, engages and inspires others around imagining and investing in future state possibilities

9

Leads by example demonstrating a commitment to bold exploration, risk taking, and learning from both failure and success

9

Seeks new challenges and challenges others to continually work toward making a difference in the work/life experiences of present and future generations

Winds of Change Award

The Winds of Change Award goes to an individual, organization, or group that:

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Has demonstrated sustained support for advancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace

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Has raised awareness of workplace diversity and inclusion issues

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Has been a catalyst for change regarding workplace diversity and inclusion and/or has impacted change within an industry, organization or local community

Friend of the Forum

Nominated and award by The Forum’s Program Committee, The Friend of the Forum Award goes to an individual who:

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Has demonstrated sustained support of The Forum.

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Has made significant contributions to The Forum in time, talent, leadership, content, vision or financial support

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Has increased visibility or helped expand The Forum within the local community or throughout the United States

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Has expanded the focus of The Forum as a nationally recognized premier diversity conference

2021 Diversity Award Winners

Manichan “Joy” Nguyen

Friend of The Forum

For more than ten years Manichan Nguyen was a consistent and hard-working volunteer at The Forum on Workplace Inclusion annual conference. As a member of the logistics committee, she headed up hospitality and volunteer coordination, determining and assigning duties, planning schedules, and communicating with more than 150 individuals from around the country. She was also the face and voice of The Forum in the onsite volunteer room during the four days of the conference, always greeting everyone with a smile and with grace. But not only did she work behind the scenes to make The Forum the best conference it can be, she also spent countless hours emailing every one she knew–especially in the Asian community–encouraging them to participate in The Forum.

For her dedication to making The Forum the most welcoming, efficient, inclusive conference it can be, we are pleased to present our 2021 Friend of The Forum award to Manichan Nguyen.

Candi Castleberry Singleton (Individual)

Winds of Change Award

A visionary change-agent, Candi Castleberry has created successful diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategies and initiatives in retail, healthcare, telecommunications, and technology. She is currently vice president of diversity partnership, strategy, and engagement at Twitter. Her D&I business model proposes that companies transition from compliance-driven processes to integrated activities shifting responsibility for inclusive culture to every employee.

Candi contributes to the advancement of D&I by developing the next generation of practitioners. She mentors across industries and has taught graduate-level students strategies for building D&I collaborations and practices to engage a diverse workforce.

Candi always seeks to raise awareness about D&I through collaboration with others. As outside events began to influence the workplace, Candi established the Twitter Intersectionality, Culture, and Diversity Council. The Council has worked to reduce bias in Artificial Intelligence and, this year, to support those affected by COVID and its impact on diverse communities.

Also this year, Candi partnered with dozens of organizations on non-partisan voting campaigns for employees, ERGS, and civil rights leaders. One outcome was a TV advertising campaign to amplify voices of women getting out the vote.

Candi also convened a coalition of D&I practitioners to discuss racial unrest. She organized a team to develop recommendations for corporate executives, resulting in an op-ed and a feature on CNN.

This year wasn’t the first time Candi brought peers together to address community and workplace issues. In response to the murder of Trayvon Martin, Candi assembled practitioners from across the country to video parts of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Released on the 50th anniversary of the speech, this powerful video coincided with the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the murder of Trayvon Martin.

Candi is the founder of the Dignity & Respect Campaign, helping institutions create more inclusive environments. Originally an initiative for her employer, it spread to organizations around the country. A highlight of the Campaign was interviewing and awarding Dr. Maya Angelou with the first Dignity & Respect Champion Award.

In 2012, Candi launched Healthy Communities 365, with a focus on community health for underserved, immigrant, and refugee communities. Further, she maintains her commitment to addressing health disparities as a volunteer for the American Heart Association.

In 2017 in response to police violence across America, Candi convened elected officials, police leadership, community leaders, and her mentoring circle to identify opportunities to work together. The outcome was the Ussies Games, developed as a way to bridge gaps between communities and police.

And Candi doesn’t stop. Most recently, she developed #TwitterIgnite, an initiative dedicated to uniting voices, igniting change, and amplifying the work of 100 diverse organizations across the U.S., Europe, Middle East, and Africa via the Twitter platform.

It is for all these contributions that the Forum’s awards committee is proud to present Candi Castleberry with the 2021 individual Winds of Change Award.

Barilla America

Winds of Change Award (Organization)

Barilla America, the U.S. division of the family-owned Italian food company, is committed to maintaining diversity and inclusion (D&I) company wide, turning commitments into action to make real progress toward a more inclusive culture and community. For them, this means that the voice, perspective, and individuality of every employee, partner, and customer matters. The Barilla journey to become a more diverse and inclusive company is led by employees from all levels of the organization – from employee resource group (ERG) leaders to the leadership team.

Fostering D&I is a fundamental business goal and key driver in their way of doing business. According to Global CEO Claudio Colzani, “Promoting diversity and inclusion is not just about doing the right thing, but also about supporting our growth strategy. A diverse workforce and an inclusive culture boost engagement and allow for a deeper understanding of society, leading to stronger decision-making.” Colzani is a signatory of the CEO Action for D&I pledge, which commits them to advancing D&I in the workplace.

Barilla achieves D&I outcomes through multiple means: first, through a Global Diversity & Inclusion Board, which assesses internal policies, making recommendations for enhancements, implementing new initiatives, and monitoring and measuring progress; second, with an advisory board of independent, external experts and an operating committee of employees. Training is also key. One hundred percent of U.S. employees have completed the company D&I curriculum, which includes unconscious bias, workplace respect, and inclusive culture.

Multiple employee-organized and led ERGs complete the internal Barilla picture, each with active leadership team sponsors. ERGs are organized around race and ethnicity, LGBTQ+, disability, education, and gender and work-life balance. Their ERGs are proving highly effective. In 2014, 64% of employees surveyed felt the company would take D&I complaints seriously. In 2019, 86% believed the company would not only take complaints seriously but would actively address concerns.

Barilla believes D&I strengthens their business. Consequently, they are committed to a world where all feel safe, valued, and included. This commitment extends to the communities where they do business and is the responsibility of the entire organization from leadership (44% of whom serve on nonprofit boards in underrepresented communities) to full-time employees.

Barilla partners with many NGOs around the globe including twenty plus in the U.S. Key among them are organizations addressing food insecurity and nutrition education. Barilla supports local food banks with cash and in-kind contributions. They also support two low-income community urban farm projects in Chicago and New York’s Harlem, inspiring youth to lead healthy lives through mentorship and hands-on education in urban farming, sustainability, and nutrition.

With clear impact and broad reach, The Forum is happy to present to Barilla America its 2021 organizational Winds of Change award.

Youlanda Gibbons

Power the Future

As the Founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Federal Leadership (the Institute), Dr. Youlanda Gibbons has led the national charge to support Federal agencies in building D&I practitioner capacity and competency. The Institute is the Federal government’s only on-going thought leadership and training space for the current and future D&I workforce. Affiliated with Georgetown University, the Institute was launched in 2016 in collaboration with the United States Office of Personnel Management, Georgia Tech University, and the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.

Today, Dr. Gibbons’ vision is realized in every Federal department and over 75 agencies across the nation and internationally. As the leader, Dr. Gibbons is at the center of innovative thinking shaping the future D&I workforce within government. In her position as advisor, subject matter expert, and strategist for multiple government departments and agencies, she has ushered in significant forward movement on new D&I policy directives, innovative training, and competency-based evaluation of performance.

Training personnel across the Federal government, Institute learning and development sessions (such as Power of Women Institute, Institute for Federal Leadership and the Power of Dialogue) are known for bringing together thought leaders, experts, and researchers to share best and emerging D&I practices, with an emphasis on six leadership competencies—1) strategic leadership; 2) strategic communication; 3) business acumen; 4) building coalitions; 5) D&I measurement; and 6) change management.

Dr. Gibbons’ contention that true diversity and inclusion is only achieved through collaboration sets the stage for high levels of engagement to create a new D&I profession in the federal government, one that is not HR or EEO, but based on a competency that is measurable, observable, and transformative.

Dr. Gibbons persistently challenges higher education institutions to become involved in creating a new occupation in the federal workplace. Whether it be a certificate program, class offering, or even special degree program, she attests that the role of the college and university is paramount. As she influences the planning and development of new federal efforts, such as the Department of Defense’s Center for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Gibbons is recruiting colleges and universities to develop courses, internship programs, and conduct ongoing evaluation.

Dr. Gibbons’ leadership has become a model for D&I in government as it raises the bar; it influences mindsets and challenges barriers and obstacles to inclusive behaviors and structures.

For the high standards for quality, professionalism, innovation, and collaboration she brings to the federal government, The Forum is delighted to present the Power the Future award to Dr. Youlanda Gibbons.

2021 Honorable Mention

Power the Future

Soumaya Khalifa, Founder/Executive Director, Islamic Speakers Bureau, Atlanta, GA

For almost twenty years, Soumaya Khalifa has been a leader of Atlanta’s Muslim community, bringing Muslim voices to places where they have not been heard before. By founding and leading the Islamic Speakers Bureau and its Leadership Institute, Interfaith Speakers Network, and multiple awards programs, she has built bridges among Muslims and all communities through education, engagement, and outreach and increased the visibility of Muslims and their achievements in Georgia.

Verona Mitchell, Equity and Inclusion Director, Department of Human Services, State of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN

Verona Mitchell has devoted her work mission to educating State of Minnesota DHS staff, legislative directors and policy developers on defining diversity, equity, inclusion and checking their own biases about the communities they serve. To do so, she has conveyed groups for deep discussion, created equity forums to develop the skills to understand the lived experiences of underserved populations, and developed and implemented the first ever race equity analysis tool to call out the impact of proposed policies or legislation on Black, indigenous and people of color communities.

Winds of Change Individual

Chris Crespo, Inclusiveness Director, Ernst & Young LLP, Secaucus, NJ

As an inclusiveness director focused on global D&I strategy for EY, Chris Crespo has been a D&I advocate within her company and built relationships in the broader business community, too. In 2003, she founded the LGBT+ employee resource group at EY, which is now global with 72 chapters and 5000 members. She also advanced EY’s participation with the Human Rights Campaign, National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, and Out Leadership and built business coalitions for tax equity, immigration policy, and marriage equality.

Jared Daly, Regional Coordinator of Workforce Development, Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Cleveland, OH

Jared Daly started small with his idea of fostering more collaboration and communication among providers of employment services for people with disabilities. But in creating the Cleveland area-based Employment Collaborative of Cuyahoga County (ECCC), he provided a new and innovative model for collaboration that meets the needs of people with disabilities, the providers that support them, and the businesses that hire them. ECCC has facilitated more than 500 hires into employment, supported more than 500 businesses in finding diverse, qualified candidates, and shared more than 1,000 substantive job leads among partners.

Winds of Change Organization

Partners in Diversity, Portland, OR

Partner in Diversity (PiD) is a coalition of major employers in Oregon and southwest Washington whose mission is to help businesses and the community recruit, retain, and support new professionals of color who move to the area. With 340 member employers from across sectors, PiD works to eliminate systemic oppression and institutional barriers, so that people from historically underrepresented communities can succeed in the workplace and thrive in the community. Their research, programs, and events are helping to create truly equitable systems, structures, policies, and programs for these communities.

Tinna Nielsen and Lisa Kepinski, Founders, Inclusion Nudges, Aarhus, Denmark

Inclusion Nudges is a global initiative on a mission to enable and empower all people to make inclusion the norm everywhere, for everyone. As developed by founders Tinna Nielsen and Lisa Kepinski, Inclusion Nudges are practical behavioral designs that mitigate unconscious bias and nudge the unconscious mind to be automatically inclusive, making people allies for diversity, equity, and inclusion in their actions.Their Inclusion Nudges Guidebook (2020) provides more than 100 examples for leaders, talent selection, and motivating allies. Their work has been endorsed by leaders in both the United Nations and the World Economic Forum.

Past Diversity Award Winners

Winds of Change

  • Subha Barry (2020) Scott Fearing (2020)
  • Marnita’s Table (2019), Dr. Saundarya Rajesh (2019)
  • US Business Leadership Network (2018), Frederick A. Miller (2018)
  • Department of Citywide Diversity and Equal Employment Opportunity for the City of New York (2017), Michele Meyer-Shipp (2017)
  • CAIR MN (2016), Mary-Frances Winters (2016), J.T. (Ted) Childs Jr. (2016)
  • The Mayo Clinic’s LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex) Employee Resource Group (2015), Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole (2015)
  • Stinson Leonard Street (2014), Ken Charles (2014)
  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (2013), Howard Ross (2013)
  • City of Brooklyn Park’s Human Rights Commission (2012), ConAgra Foods (2012), Emily King (2012) Chaplain John Morris (2011)
  • Dr. Reatha Clark King, (2010) Deb Dagit (2010)
  • Lee Butcher (2009), Ghafar Lakanwal (2009)
  • Richard (Dick) Gaskins (2008), Eric Watson (2008)

Friend of the Forum Award

  • Destiny Xiong (2020)
  • Betsy Lofgren (2019)
  • Robby Gregg (2018)
  • Jordan Roberge (2017)
  • Dave Baker (2016)
  • Renee Pagano (2015)
  • Kurt Wiger (2014)
  • Elsa Batica (2013)
  • Lyle H. Iron Moccasin (2012) Sue Plaster (2011)
  • Jim Burnett (2010)
  • Syl Booth (2009)
  • Terri Ricci (2008)
  • Vivian Tanniehill (2008)

Power the Future

  • Melanie Muñoz (2020)
  • Brian Richardson Jr. MS.Ed (2019)
  • Joshua Love (2018)

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

Photos by Sarah Morreim Photography
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