Diversity Equity & Inclusion:
The Art of Building Bridges in Business
In this thought provoking and inspirational session, two exceptionally passionate thought leaders will share their deep knowledge, personal experiences, and expertise to support you in increasing your organizations’ diversity and creating a more inclusive work environment. Dr. Davis-Cotton and Shannon Rohrer-Phillips are deeply committed change makers who have lead DEI initiatives across the country, and now call the Sarasota Manatee region home.
Diverse organizations have proven to be more capable than their counterparts in attracting top talent. In a recent survey conducted by Glassdoor, two-thirds of job seekers reported that workplace diversity was something they considered when looking for a job. Diverse organizations develop stronger relationships with customers and increase employee engagement and satisfaction. Incorporating diversity of thought and perspectives helps achieve better outcomes and better decisions. Companies that have diverse teams yield 35% more revenue.
The objectives of the session are to:
- Analyze how the dimensions of one’s racial agency shapes their views, values, and perceptions in the workplace
- Increase participants insights to their own racial identity
- Build awareness and sensitivity to racial inequality
- Understand barriers and opportunities in Communities of Color
- Learn 10 essential “Bridge Builder” do’s and don’ts
- Identify strategies to build a culture of inclusion in the workplace
- Define and explore how greater cultural humility can increase empathy and appreciation for others who are not like you
- Recognize why diversity, equity, and inclusion are important to team and organizational success
- Learn how to identify microaggression in the workplace
Luncheon Sponsored By
Luncheon in partnership with Sarasota Manatee Human Resource Association
Dr. Denise Davis-Cotton is the Director of the Florida Center for PAInT - a state-wide resource in arts-integrated pedagogy. She is an esteemed professional and educator and author of Losing My Mind over Education (Finding My Way Back to Me).
Dr. Davis-Cotton is a Milken Foundation internationally recognized educator, Michiganian of the Year, Crain’s Forty under Forty Recipient, and Past President of Arts Schools Network. She served as the as Founder and First Principal of Detroit School of Arts (DSA). She also received two Keys to the City of Montgomery (Alabama), the Congressional Record Recognition by the 106th Congress, is recognized as a Distinguished Alumni - Alabama State University, and the University of South Florida’s First Director of the Statewide Florida Center for Partnership for Arts-Integrated Teaching, a Center of Excellence.
She is dedicated to promoting equity and access in arts education and to promoting achievement through Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (S.T.E.A.M.) initiatives. Thus, providing a balanced intellectual sphere that includes divergent thinking and creativity.
Her lifetime commitment is to arts education and educational equality. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in English and Theater from Alabama State University (B.S), and obtained a master’s degree in Speech communications from the University of Montevallo. She obtained her Education Specialist Certificate and Doctoral Degree in Education Administration and Supervision, with a cognate in Curriculum and Instruction from Wayne State University.
Shannon Rohrer-Phillips, MSW
Shannon Rohrer-Phillips is a social entrepreneur, speaker, and producer committed to gender and racial equity work. Shannon is the Founder of the Voice + Visibility Women’s Summit (VVWS) in Sarasota, FL. The VVWS convenes diverse, cross-sector female leaders with a mission to empower women, expand networks & opportunities, and elevate the voices of diverse women. Shannon’s advocacy work spans three decades with experience in public and private sector collaboration, fundraising, and diversity, equity and inclusion work in healthcare, education, and business. Shannon has worked with over 20,000 women over the course of her career, helping them find their Voice + Visibility. From her early days as a social worker in the urban trauma and ICU hospital units, to her most recent impact as Producer of the VVWS, the stories of diverse women and their strength have inspired her dedication to elevating female leadership. Her recent TEDx Talk is entitled Failure and Forgiveness in the New South.
Shannon’s first book is entitled “Visible Narratives” and she is the Co-founder of Visible Men Academy, a public charter school for low income boys in Bradenton, Florida. Shannon received the Manasota Black Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the year award in 2019, was inducted into the Women in Business Leadership class of SRQ Magazine in 2017, and has served on the Women’s Resource Center Executive Board.
In 2020, Shannon created the Bridge Builders Diversity, Equity & Inclusion training programs and speaker series to equip individuals and businesses with insight, cross-cultural awareness, and tactical solutions to close racial equity and opportunity gaps and accelerate DEI in the work place. Shannon is passionate about illuminating issues of unconscious bias in the white community. Although Shannon has contributed greatly to promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, she still considers herself a DEI student with a lot to learn.
Please note: This is a traditional, in-person event.
We are eager and looking forward to getting back together in a safe environment. Attendees will be socially distanced and hand sanitizer will be available. Seating will be limited to six (6) people per table.
In order to protect you and your fellow members, we will kindly ask you to observe and respect the following precautions:
• Face coverings will be required when entering this event. Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others and while attending event.
• Face coverings may be removed once seated at your table.
• Practice social distancing. If you are around other people, keep 6 feet between you when possible.
• Avoid handshakes, hugs and close contact.
• You will be asked to review and agree to a Waiver of Liability & Assumption of Risk when registering for this event.
Do NOT attend if:
• You are experiencing any symptom of illness (including but not limited to cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fever, chills, repeated shaking, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell).
• You have been diagnosed with Coronavirus/COVID-19 and not yet cleared as non-contagious by State of Florida officials.
• You have been exposed to any individual with a suspected or confirmed case of the Coronavirus/COVID-19.
• You have traveled internationally or to an area in the United States of America that is known to be a high-risk location with respect to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 within the last 14 days.
Cancellations made 2 days prior to the event will be invoiced since guarantees have been made on your behalf, and special meal requests must be selected upon registration in order to be guaranteed at the luncheon.