Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: A Beginner’s Guide
What you'll learn
- Define diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging
- Understand the business case for creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace
- Master the skills to champion inclusion such as becoming aware of your biases and active listening
- Explore common strategies for building a DEI practice, including task forces, Employee Resource Groups, and learning opportunities
- You should have some foundational knowledge of your organization's structure and how to navigate your company to implement actions covered in the course
- You should have a cursory understanding of the differences between people and the ability to acknowledge that inequalities exist
- You should have a cursory understanding of your own blind spots and biases
If you are just beginning to explore the diversity, equity and inclusion space and are interested in sharpening your understanding of the practice, then we’ve designed a course just for you. Over the last few decades, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has become a priority for organizations. From the annual release of diversity reports to the creation of executive positions to lead these efforts, organizations have undertaken a number of actions to bolster their profiles in this area. But how do you help start these efforts in your organization, especially if you are an individual contributor?
If you are looking to start grassroots diversity and inclusion initiatives in your organization, or you are just curious about some of the best strategies for getting started, then the material we’ve assembled for you is the perfect place to start. You do not need to be an expert to begin exploring some of the foundational elements of DEI. In this course, we’ll cover:
Building a new vocabulary around diversity, equity, and inclusion
Quantifying the impact of DEI on the business
Exploring social identity and its impact on our interactions
Heightening awareness of blindspots and biases
Listening actively and empathetically
Launching diversity task forces and committees
Establishing employee resource groups
Designing brave learning spaces
In my work as a DEI strategist and consultant, I have seen first-hand the impact that the strategies I present in this course can have on a company’s culture of inclusion and belonging. This work can be challenging, but the outcome is incredibly rewarding. Let’s get started today!
Who this course is for:
- Individual contributors and managers interested in getting diversity initiatives started in their organization
- Aspiring diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioners
- People curious to find out some simple first steps to building a DEI function
- This course is not designed for individuals or high level executives who already have a deep understanding of DEI
Ulysses J. Smith is a diversity, equity and inclusion strategist with extensive experience creating high-impact inclusion strategies in the tech industry and higher education. Much of his career centers on participatory governance structures and creating access to institutions and decision-making processes for underserved and underrepresented groups.
Through his private firm, Archetype, he has consulted with organizations throughout New York State and the San Francisco Bay Area including Airbnb, Gusto, Genentech, Electronic Arts, and the NYC Human Resources Administration. He is the Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging Leader at Blend, the digital mortgage technology provider, where he focuses on creating and implementing a global workforce DEI strategy for the high-growth organization. Prior to Blend, he served as the Head of Inclusion, Diversity & Equity for Mixpanel, a San Francisco-based user analytics startup. Smith previously served in various leadership roles at Cornell University—including Lead Diversity & Inclusion Strategist and Director for Special Projects, Innovation & Strategic Engagement—overseeing the institution’s diversity strategy and focusing on innovative engagement of the changing workforce. Smith is a graduate of Cornell University, earning concurrent degrees in both Urban & Regional Studies and Government.