Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion


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Friday Forum: Embrace Discomfort to Lead Change

November 19 @ 1:00 pm 3:00 pm MST

Registration is now closed! Please save the date for the next Friday Forum: The Power of Belonging on January 28, 2022.

Embrace Discomfort to Lead Change

Embracing the practices of diversity, equity, and inclusion can bring up difficult conversations and create awkward situations for some. However, campus leaders and administrators must become courageous in their willingness to face these tense moments, listen to their constituents and others close to them, and embrace their uneasiness to create a culture of resiliency and inclusion.

  • What does it look like for leaders to embrace this type of change?
  • How can leaders look within to be more courageous on EDI initiatives?
  • How do leaders begin the dialogue around issues of injustice?
  • How do administrators and other campus leaders work to create a EDI-centered culture of resiliency and growth?

Main Panel Speakers

Eddie R. Cole

Eddie R. Cole
Associate Professor of Higher Education and Organizational Change; University of California, Los Angeles


Eddie R. Cole is Associate Professor of Higher Education and Organizational Change at UCLA. His research focuses on college presidents’ historic role in shaping racial policies and practices both inside and outside of the educational sphere. His book The Campus Color Line: College Presidents and the Struggle for Black Freedom – called “groundbreaking”, “essential”, and “required reading” by reviewers – was described by New York Times–bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi as “a stunning and ambitious origins story… embedded with breath-taking narratives recovered from meticulous research.” He tweets at @EddieRCole. 

Kristin Esterberg

Kristin Esterberg, PhD
Chancellor, University of Washington Bothell


Dr. Kristin Esterberg is UW Bothell’s fourth chancellor. She joined UW Bothell on October 1, 2021. Prior to joining UW Bothell, Esterberg was president of the State University of New York at Potsdam, which is one of America’s first 50 colleges and the oldest institution in the State University of New York system. At SUNY Potsdam, she demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and focused her leadership efforts on developing inclusive campus communities and providing transformational experiences to all students, including faculty-led research, service learning, internships and study abroad. Among her accomplishments is the successful completion of a $33.5 million fundraising campaign and securing the largest gift in campus history — $5.25 million — in support of applied learning. Prior to her term as SUNY Potsdam president, which began in 2014, Esterberg served as provost and academic vice president at Salem State University in Massachusetts and as deputy provost.

Charnelle Green

Charmelle Green
Deputy Athletics Director and Chief Operating Officer, Utah Athletics
University of Utah


Charmelle Green is a former Utah Softball All-American and a Utah Athletics Hall of Fame inductee. Green returned to Utah as Deputy Athletics Director for Internal Operations and Chief Operating Officer. A veteran of more than 20 years in intercollegiate athletics administration and coaching, Green spent the previous 10 years at Penn State where she served as Senior Associate A.D. for Student-Athlete Performance, Health and Welfare, and Senior Woman Administrator. Prior to her time at Penn State, Green served 10 years at the University of Notre Dame, with her final role was head of the Office of Student-Athlete Welfare & Development. During Green’s six years in Notre Dame’s athletics administration, she oversaw the student development program, with the mission of providing a balanced Notre Dame experience for student-athletes by focusing on five key areas: academic excellence, athletic success, career preparation.

Paulette Granberry Russell

Paulette Granberry Russell, JD
President, National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education


Paulette Granberry Russell received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University and her Juris Doctor from Thomas M. Cooley Law School and is a licensed attorney with the State of Michigan. She joined Michigan State in 1998 as its senior diversity officer and retired in August 2020, as Senior Advisor to the President for Diversity, Emerita. Her research interests include gender equity in STEM, campus culture and its impact on underrepresented and underserved communities, and strategies for dismantling structural racism to create more equitable experiences for faculty, students and staff of color. In March 2020, Granberry Russell was elected President of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education. NADOHE has a membership of over 1100 senior diversity officers, EDIJ scholars and practitioners in over 375 public and private colleges and universities across the country and United Kingdom.

Breakout Session Facilitators

Denise Elbert

Denise Jeffrey-Elbert
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Manager; Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center


Ms. Elbert is a veteran of United States Air Force, retiring after 20 years of service. Ms. Elbert is currently the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Manager for the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, tasked with standing up the organization’s program and promote the DEIA posture of the USAF. She also serves on the Air Force Materiel Command’s DEIA council and is a member of the training cadre for unconscious bias and other pertinent training for the members of the command. Prior to this position she served as an employee wellness specialist, master resilience trainer, and mental health first aider and was the Hill AFB Installation Diversity and Inclusion Lead and SME for DEI. As an employee wellness specialist, she assisted employees’ overall team performance in four Comprehensive Airmen Fitness (CAF) domains (mental, physical, social and spiritual) and functioned as Executive Coach for Supervisors and Leaders and peer assistant for other employees.

Sara Jones

Sara Jones
President, InclusionPro


As CEO of InclusionPro®, Sara builds transformative strategies for diversity, inclusion and equity. InclusionPro’s clients include companies in technology, engineering, health care, manufacturing, financial services, legal services, e-commerce, distribution and non-profit organizations. Sara was adopted from South Korea at age three and miraculously found her birth family after 42 years of separation. TED featured her powerful story on go.ted.com/sarajones. Sara was the co-founder of Women Tech Council (WTC), established in 2007, a national organization focused on the economic impact of women in driving high growth for the technology sector. She currently serves on the Utah State Workforce Development Board, Board of Trustees for Intermountain Healthcare Salt Lake Valley Hospitals and the Executive Board of Silicon Slopes. Sara was honored as a University of Utah Distinguished Alum in 2021 and received a Distinguished Alum award from the University of Utah College of Engineering in 2017.

Kari Holt Larson

Kari Holt Larson
VP of Community & Special Events, Utah Jazz


Kari Holt Larson joined the communications department for the Utah Jazz in July 2017 with a promotion to Vice President of Community and Special Events. She is responsible for creating, organizing and executing events that broaden the business, civic and public engagement of the team. Kari joined the LHM Group of Companies in 2013 and has worked with a variety of entities including Jazz Basketball Operations and Tour of Utah. She previously worked for the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation and the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. She graduated from BYU in International Relations and has her MBA degree from the University of Utah. She loves to spend time with her family and friends, especially when sports and good food are involved.

Clifton Sanders

Dr. Clifton Sanders, PhD
Provost for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer, Salt Lake City Community College


Dr. Clifton G. Sanders, Provost for Academic Affairs at Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) has more than 25 years teaching, administrative and leadership experience in higher education. He earned tenure at SLCC as a chemistry instructor, and since 2000 he has held several administrative posts including Division Chair for Natural Sciences, Dean of Science, Mathematics and Engineering, and Interim Vice President for Workforce and Literacy. As Provost for Academic Affairs, Dr. Sanders leads several college and Academic Affairs initiatives in education reform, learning advancement, workforce education, inclusivity and diversity and training, and guided pathways. As Dean of Science, Mathematics and Engineering Dr. Sanders led the development of several STEM programs and partnerships, and has provided leadership for several local and national initiatives in STEM education and workforce development, including major grants sponsored by the Department of Labor and the Department of Energy, and collaborative projects with the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and Utah MESA/STEP. Prior to joining SLCC, Dr. Sanders was a senior research scientist and has several patents in biomaterials technology. He also served as a trustee at Salt Lake Theological Seminary (now the Vine Institute) where he also developed and taught courses in Biblical Interpretation and Hermeneutics, Theology and the Arts, and Theology and Science.

Dr. Sanders earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Hamline University (St. Paul, MN), a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Utah and a Certificate in Biblical Languages from Salt Lake Theological Seminary.

Friday Forums on Racism in Higher Education


Friday Forums is a commitment to the state and region in elevating national conversations and showcasing models of disrupting complicit racism. Each session welcomes national thought leaders to lead discussions and provide opportunities for participants to share ideas on actionable items towards a diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus.

Organizer

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

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