Riikka Salonen, MA, has been devoted to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion work for the past 25 years. Her anti-racist learning journey started in Finland when she volunteered for the “All Different – All Equal” campaign organized by the Council of Europe in 1995. She followed her dream to become a JEDI practitioner and moved to the United States in the late 90s. She has lived in the Pacific Northwest ever since.

Now Riikka spearheads racial and health justice initiatives at PeaceHealth, a health system serving community members in Alaska, Oregon and Washington. For the previous 10 years, she led the diversity talent acquisition and culturally responsive care efforts at Oregon Health & Science University. Riikka has also circumnavigated the world with the ocean-going university, The Scholar Ship. This journey, involving intercultural learning with students and peers from 50 different nations, took her to 17 countries.

She started her American career at the Intercultural Communication Institute, where she offered services to clients using the Intercultural Development Inventory and participants attending the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication. She earned her graduate degree in intercultural relations from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland.

Riikka has been serving as a coach for the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Coaching Center and a member of the Healthcare Track Selection Committee for The Forum on Workplace Inclusion since 2018, and workshop facilitator since 2016. She is one of the 114 global expert panelists developing the 2021 Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Benchmarks.

She loves facilitating workshops related to neuroscience-driven transformative learning, diversity and inclusion strategic planning, diversity talent acquisition and artificial intelligence, universal design and employment of people with disabilities, health justice and equity in health care, multicultural customer service and bias in service encounters, and various topics of intercultural communication. Riikka has offered her services in 20 countries since 1994.


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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