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Advance Equity Speaker Series

Learn from our speakers as they share insights and perspectives on various DE&I topics.

WGU’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) team hosts the Advance Equity Speaker Series (AESS) as part of our commitment to change lives for the better by advancing equity and expanding access to opportunity. Our monthly webinar series features guests who share insights and perspectives on various topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Recordings from each session are posted on this page after the event.

January 2024

Defining Colorism and Its Impact in the Workplace

January 25, 2024 at 11 am MT

What is colorism? How does colorism manifest within the workplace? Join us for a conversation with Dr. Sarah L. Webb who will define colorism, explain the systemic impact of colorism across cultures and across sectors of society, and share strategies for meaningful and sustainable action against colorism. Dr. Webb is the founder and owner of Colorism Healing. She has written and contributed to several academic and non-academic articles, presented at numerous conferences, and been featured on regional NPR stations, Forbes.com, TEDx stage, and other outlets. 

Dr. Sarah L. Webb

May 2024

Dispelling the Myth of Asians as a Model Minority

    Join us for a conversation with Lela Lee who is an actress, writer, and creator of the comic strip “Angry Little Asian Girl”. She will share her story, experiences, and dispel the myth of Asians as a model minority. Asian Americans blame the media, but who or what is really to blame for this myth? Lela will look at online criticism and activism in Asian America and whether the collective “face” of Asians in America is really ready to break the model minority myth.

Speaker: Lela Lee, Actress, Writer & Cartoonist

Date: Thursday, May 30, 2024

Time: 11 am MT

Previous Webinars

April 2024

Future of Work: Strategies for Managing a Multigenerational Workforce

In today’s workplace, there are four generations: Baby Boomer, Gen X, Millenials, and Gen Z. Join us for a conversation with WGU’s multigenerational workforce about generational diversity. Our panelists will share their generational experiences, perspectives about workplace dynamics, and strategies for working with a multigenerational workforce.  

WGU Panelists: Antonette Burroughs - Strategic Partnerships Manager, Nate Schwartz - Internal Communications Rep., Larissa Scott - Enrollment Supervisor, Emilia Valle, Sr. Manager - Program Mentoring, School of Technology

March 2024

Women’s History Month: A Conversation with WGU Women in Leadership

Join us for a conversation with four WGU women in leadership who work toward equity, diversity, and inclusion. Our panelists will share their experiences, career insights, and what we can do to combat bias and empower women in the workplace.

WGU Panelists:
Linda Battles - Regional Vice President, South, Debbie Fowler - Senior Vice President, Academic Delivery , Mitsu Frazier - Senior Vice President, School of Business

February 2024

Advancing Equity in the Arts: A Conversation with NPR Host, Aisha Harris

Join us for a conversation with Aisha Harris who is a co-host and reporter for the NPR podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour. She will share her insights about equity and inclusion in the entertainment industry, sharing a historical perspective, examining where we are today, and what to expect in the future. Aisha previously covered the arts as a critic, editor, and podcaster for the The New York Times and Slate Magazine. Her subjects have included film and TV criticism, artist interviews, and cultural reporting/essays. She has appeared on numerous radio and TV programs as a cultural commentator.

January 2024

Defining Colorism and Its Impact in the Workplace

What is colorism? How does colorism manifest within the workplace? Join us for a conversation with Dr. Sarah L. Webb who will define colorism, explain the systemic impact of colorism across cultures and across sectors of society, and share strategies for meaningful and sustainable action against colorism. Dr. Webb is the founder and owner of Colorism Healing. She has written and contributed to several academic and non-academic articles, presented at numerous conferences, and been featured on regional NPR stations, Forbes.com, TEDx stage, and other outlets.

November 2023

The Power of Choice: My Journey from Wounded Warrior to World Champion 

Join us for a conversation with Melissa Stockwell on perseverance and finding ability in disability. She was the first female American to lose a limb in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Her vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb on April 13, 2004, resulting in the loss of her left leg, above the knee. She was honored with a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for her service. Later she represented the USA as a member of the US Paralympic Swim Team where she was the first Iraq War veteran to qualify for the Paralympic Games.

Away from the field of play, Melissa co-founded the non-profit organization Dare2tri, which serves youth and adults with physical disabilities along with injured service members.

October 2023

No Need for Sight When You Have a Vision

Join us for a conversation with Lex Gillette who is a globally recognized Paralympian, competing primarily in the long jump. He’s a five-time Paralympic medalist, four-time world champion, and the current world record holder in long jump for totally blind athletes.

September 2023

A Conversation with Dolores Huerta – Community Organizer & Social Justice Leader

Join us for a conversation with Dolores Huerta who is a celebrated Latina labor leader, activist, and community organizer. She has worked for civil rights and social justice for over 50 years. Dolores played a major role in the American civil rights movement. She co-founded the United Farm Workers (UFW) with Cesar Chavez advocating for farm workers in this country. Dolores continues working to develop community leaders to advocate for the working poor, immigrants, women and youth through her work with the Dolores Huerta Foundation.

Dolores is a two-time U.S. Presidential Award Recipient, receiving the Medal of Freedom Award from President Obama in 2012 and the Eleanor D. Roosevelt Human Rights Award from President Clinton in 1998. She is the first Latina inducted into the National Women’s Hall of fame.

August 2023

Behind the Scenes in Research: A Look at Equity and Inclusion

Join us for a conversation with a panel of research professionals who will share insights into equity and inclusion in researcher engagement, participant selection, and research impact. The panel will offer practical considerations to ensure fairness and equity for research.

Panelists:

  • Dr. Susie Chen, Manager, Advanced Analytics, WGU Labs
  • Tom Glover, Sr. Research Analyst, WGU Institutional Research
  • Dr. Chantae Recasner, Vice President for Instruction, Seattle Central College
  • Dr. Robin Throne, Chair, Institutional Review Board, WGU

July 2023

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) in Higher Education

Join us for a conversation with three professionals who will share their insights about DE&I, clarify misconceptions, talk about implications of unaddressed inequities, and discuss opportunities to continue the conversation.

Panelists: Dr. Patricia Gonzalez, Assistant Dean for Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion; University of Colorado Boulder; Dr. Nadine Nakamura, Professor and Psychologist, Alliant International University; and Jason Thompson, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, WGU.

We Welcome Your Feedback

Contact WGU's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) team for more information.