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WGU Academic Engagement Webinars Understanding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The experiences of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other African Americans who were victims of police brutality have pushed us to have conversations about race in America.  These conversations are an uncomfortable and intimidating experience. You may be thinking, “What if I say the wrong thing? How do I ask questions without feeling uninformed or offending others?”

To cut through some of the anxiety that can accompany these conversations, WGU Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Jason Thompson is hosting a four-part series of online seminars about race and diversity in the workplace. These seminars are free and open to everyone who would like to participate.

Can't make it in real time? Sign up anyway! After each seminar is complete, we will send out the presentations to all registrants. Recordings and resource materials from each session will be available on this page after the event.

Sign up now.

Sessions will be held Sept. 30, Oct. 28, Nov. 25 and Dec. 30. Complete a brief form to register for one or more of the sessions.

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Vice President, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, WGU

Jason R. Thompson is a thought leader in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, having spent the past 25 years building DE&I programs in sports, healthcare, technology, and education organizations. 

His programs have won several awards at the local and international level. Most recently, the D&I Scorecard Jason developed received the top honor in the 2016 International Innovations in Diversity Awards program from Profiles in Diversity Journal, which also recognized him as a Diversity Leader in 2017 and 2018. His work has been highlighted and quoted in USA Today, The Washington Post, CNN, The New York Times, and The Guardian.

Session 1: The basics of DE&I.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are words we hear a lot these days. In this session, Jason will explain the basics of DE&I and how it impacts workplace relationships. Participants will gain a greater understanding of culture, bias, and how to be more inclusive, especially in hiring and decision making. Everyone is encouraged (but not required) to take the Implicit Association Test (IAT) through Project Implicit

Session 1 recording

Session 2: Defining the language of diversity.

Words and phrases such as anti-racism, social justice, white privilege, and ally are becoming more common in everyday conversations. What exactly do these terms mean? During this session, Jason will provide general definitions for these phrases in the context of current events. 

Session 2 recording

Session 3: Let’s talk about race.

Wednesday, November 25, 10 a.m. MT

Conversations about race, especially in the workplace, can be a source of tension. But it doesn’t have to be that way. This session will address the reasons why talking about race is uncomfortable and how to approach it and grow from the experience. Jason will also discuss how to respond to tough situations or topics and what to do when you say the “wrong” thing.   

Session 4: Answering questions about race (panel discussion).

Wednesday, December 30, 10 a.m., MT

Jason and a panel of DE&I professionals will answer questions gathered from participants during the previous three sessions. The goal of this session is to help participants understand how DE&I relates to their own situations and circumstances. You may be thinking, “Why are so many athletes protesting?” Or, “Is a sports event the right place to make statements?” Or maybe, “Do I have to choose a side?” Possibly, “Can I support the police and Black Lives Matter?” Join us as we discuss these and other important questions and engage in authentic discourse.

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To register for one or multiple sessions, please complete the brief form below. 

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