Beyond DEI basics: uncovering social identities to foster inclusive and safe environments

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In this facilitated DEI workshop, you will uncover specific dimensions of diversity that may have been overlooked in your DEI work to date that have an impact on decision making, trust-building, and forming psychologically safe environments. In doing so, you will gain an awareness of your own social identity as well as organizational group social identities that shape inclusive organizational culture. 

Why Start with Social Identity a Foundational Component to DEI Initiatives?

Building awareness around our individual and group social identities help determine ways in which we can form psychologically safe spaces for people to feel included and valued beyond the surface level acknowledgments of bias and inequity in the workplace, and reveal exactly how and where we might let our bias seep into our organizations. 

Whether we’re seeking to build more inclusive spaces or break down barriers that prevent members of marginalized groups from professional advancement, we have to first examine the ways we show up and see the world around us and how that lens influences our behavior and our thinking. Social identities aren’t just limited to individuals; as members of workgroups, leadership teams, or departments, our collective lens also plays a role in how we treat people and who we deem as members of the in-group versus the out-group. 

During this workshop, we will: 

  • Increase awareness of own social identity and how individual identities impact decision making
  • Identify Team Social Identities and implications for in-groups/out-groups
  • Introduce Psychological Safety as a way to form more inclusive environments

After the workshop, you will: 

  • Identify one focus area within their organization to apply their learnings
  • Design your own Social Identity Map (which each participant would create during one of the activities in the session)
  • Define the characteristics of Psychological Safety for your organization
Without Exception


Without Exception

Dennis is the chief executive officer of Without Exception, a company he founded to help organizations build, develop, and fine-tune their diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy by leveraging systems thinking to deconstruct these complex topics into concrete actions that facilitate immediate and sustainable change. Without Exception partners with organizations to help them identify starting points that promote greater equity and belonging for all employees.

Dennis has over 20 years of experience in the higher education and nonprofit sectors, holding a variety of strategic leadership roles in that time. Beginning his professional career as a registrar for a small law school in Southern California, Dennis went on hold senior leadership positions in accreditation and licensing, institutional effectiveness, admissions, and institutional research. In his most recent role as Director of Research for Math for America in New York, Dennis designed and implemented a large-scale research agenda measuring programmatic impacts on educators across all five New York City boroughs. Dennis has also developed and taught graduate leadership courses and is an expert in Systems Thinking and qualitative research methodology.

Dennis earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Social Behavior from the University ofCalifornia, Irvine, his MBA from Everest University, and his Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Dennis also holds a certification in online teaching pedagogy as well as certifications in a variety of assessments and experiential learning programs.

Dennis is a member of the Academy of Management, the Association for Institutional Research, and the American Educational Research Association. He is also an Advisory Council Member for the Conscious Leadership and Team Management Certificate Program at the University of Chicago Graham School ofProfessional Development Programs.

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Feb 4, 2022
10:00 am
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