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Full Lineup Released: D CEO’s Diversity, Inclusion, and Impact Symposium

The Sept. 17 virtual event will feature top executives and thought leaders who will dive into pressing topics and conversations happening in board rooms across the country.
By |
Wendy Lopez, James Fripp, and Laura Ramirez

The murder of George Floyd in May sparked global outrage. The Black Lives Matter movement dominated social media feeds and news headlines. You may be wondering what this has to do with business, but taking care of employees—particularly in times of distress—is one of the biggest responsibilities leaders have today.

It’s time to educate both yourself and colleagues on issues of race, diversity, and inclusion. And D CEO’s second annual Diversity, Inclusion, and Impact Symposium will do just that, with a full-day of important conversations around race, gender, and sexual identification in the workplace.

“Getting Comfortable with Uncomfortable Conversations,” “Ways to Support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Businesses,” and “Shaping the Future: Calls to Action and Steps Toward Progress,”  are just a few of the presentations on the agenda for the second annual symposium.

Held virtually this year on Sept. 17, attendees will have the opportunity to learn from diverse, powerful, and insightful executives leading some of the region’s top organizations. Through a virtual platform, attendees will be able to connect and network with peers and interact in real-time with speakers and presenters.

Tickets are $75 and include a one-year subscription to D CEO—a $52 value. A portion of the proceeds will go to Dallas Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation.

SCHEDULE: SEPT. 17, 2020
7:45 AM

Morning Meditation with Veleisa Patton Burrell from Master Mind Meditate

8 AM

Welcome Remarks by Gillea Allison and Christine Perez

8:10 AM

Opening Keynote – What Equity, Justice, and Belonging Needs from Each of Us
Featuring Lisa Ong, founder and CEO, Wishing Out Loud LLC

Where do we begin or focus when we wish to create environments of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging? Join Lisa M. Ong, Diversity and inclusion strategist, executive coach, and D CEO Dallas 500 honoree, as she shares five actions to increase our inclusive leadership and belonging skills. No matter where you and your organization are on the diversity, equity, and inclusion journey, you will gain ideas and resources to fuel you for this important journey.

9 AM

My Reality – How Her Life Experiences Shaped Her Mission Towards Advocating for Equality
Featuring Laura Ramirez, head of diversity and inclusion, Invitation Homes

Laura’s personal and professional journey has led her toward finding her passion and purpose within Diversity & Inclusion. Like many people, she has experienced racism and inequalities. She will share how persevering through negative experiences has given her a greater sense of compassion and empathy for people. It has deepened her commitment and contributions toward D&I. And her mission is unwavering—to always do the right thing for the people and community she serves.

9:30 AM

Networking Break

10 AM

My Reality: I Choose to Be Bold and Authentic Without Apology
Featuring Beverley Wright, founder, Wright Choice Group LLC

Bev shares highlights of her personal and professional journey in corporate America. How making intentional choices to be more authentic increased her success and may help you. Knowing your values and who you are is critical. Are you a good fit for the company values and culture? What are the unwritten rules and who can help you navigate them? These are a few of the insights that Bev gained and now shares with those she coaches and mentors.

10:30 AM

Panel – Data and Transparency: Setting Goals and Measuring Results

In addition to education of the issues, many Diversity & Inclusion executives emphasize the importance of setting goals and targets for accountability, setting up systems to support those efforts, and then committing oneself to a culture of transparency, both internally and externally. This panel will feature leaders who both help companies make strategic, data-driven decisions to improve representation knowing that it will positively impact the bottom line, and executives who have paved the way within their own firms.

Michelle Bogan, founder and CEO, Equity for Women
Hattie Hill, president and CEO, T.D. Jakes Foundation
Mandy Price, co-founder and CEO, Kanarys Inc.
Moderated by Will Maddox, managing editor, D CEO

11:30 AM

My Reality: Plan, Prepare, Pivot: The PPP of Leadership
Featuring Darren James, chairperson, Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce

2020 has by all measures been an exceptional year. As 2019 transitioned to 2020; hope, promise, excitement, and economic prosperity were all on the horizon. Business leaders were prepared to continue riding the economic expansion that was right in front of us. However, with the best-laid plans, obstacles are always present, visible occasionally, or often hidden in plain sight. COVID-19 hit our shores in early 2020 and created an unexpected disruption to our country’s health and, subsequently, our economic vitality and, in some cases, viability. Leadership is not a spectator sport; this discussion will touch on entrepreneurship, intentionality, and navigating the new and evolving paradigm of a COVID and Post-COVID world as a BIPOC Business with transferrable business principles.

12 PM

Lunch Breakout Session – Moving Toward Racial Equity and Racial Healing with Dallas Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation

In order to achieve racial equity and healing, there must be full and accurate knowledge of the role racism has played in the evolution of Dallas and Dallas County. During this presentation, Jerry Hawkins and Stephanie Drenka will discuss the historic attitudes, policies, and practices that shaped our communities and what is needed to fulfill a shared vision of Dallas without racism.

Jerry Hawkins, executive director, Dallas Truth Healing and Reconciliation
Stephanie Drenka, communications director, Dallas Truth Healing and Reconciliation

1 PM

Panel – Getting Comfortable with Uncomfortable Conversations

If the past few months have taught us anything, it’s that we all need to be able to share our fears and experiences in a trusting environment in order to make progress. We also need to do a much better job of listening. In this panel, we will feature Diversity and Inclusion executives and leaders who will share practical programs and systems they’ve created to facilitate ‘real’ conversations and opportunities for understanding, with the goal of giving executives more tools to do the same.

Dr. Maria Dixon, chief diversity officer, Southern Methodist University
Guwan Jones, chief diversity officer, Baylor Scott & White Health
Jonathan Kirkland, head of marketing and brand, BLK
Wendy A. Lopez, senior vice president, Texas Executive, AECOM
Moderated by Christine Perez, editor, D CEO

1:45 PM

Marketing Fireside Chat – From Virtue Signaling to Real Change Inside/Out

In a candid conversation between leading marketing executives, facilitated by the Marcus Graham Project, this conversation will cover what brands are getting it right, what companies need to consider as they translate their equity work from internal to external messaging, why it matters which marketing and PR firms you hire to do the work, and more. We know that top leaders are looking for guidance, and desirable audiences are holding brands accountable to their public statements, so where do we go from here?

James Fripp, chief diversity and inclusion officer, Yum! Brands
Cherice J. Williams, senior brand manager, Makers Mark, Beam Suntory
Moderated by Lincoln Stephen and Larry Yarrell, co-founders, Marcus Graham Project

2:30 PM

Networking break

3 PM

Panel – Shaping the Future: Calls to Action and Steps Toward Progress

We believe that the best way to create change in the business community is by collaborating, sharing, and supporting one another as we face unprecedented times. The goal of this panel is to provide practical, tangible, and impactful recommendations to aid your diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts, as a summation of the Symposium’s themes. C-level executives have expressed a need for more guidance now than ever, and this panel aims to provide just that.

Emiel Hill, senior vice president and director of treasury client implementation, Bank of Texas
Jennifer Reddien, director of diversity and inclusion, Haynes and Boone
Sandra Phillips Rogers, chief diversity officer and chief legal officer, Toyota North America
Moderated by Gillea Allison, president, D Magazine Partners

3:45 p.m.

Finding the Opportunity in Every Challenge Featuring John Olajide
Featuring John Olajide, founder and CEO, Axxess

As the founder and CEO of Axxess, the country’s leading home healthcare technology company and chair of the Dallas Regional Chamber, John Olajide joined leaders across North Texas to combat the challenges brought by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Healthcare systems and businesses large and small were strained. But 2020 would bring another challenge with the urgent call for social justice in the wake of George Floyd. On a personal level, it was one John Olajide could not ignore. He’s answered the call to leadership at every turn and is committed to create a place of equality and opportunity for all.

To purchase tickets, click here.

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