diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging Providers
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging
AccessElite’s team is comprised of some amazing experts in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB). With the guidance of our DEIB professionals, we are committed to integrating culture into every aspect of your organization. Establishing a connected community requires a culture that is adaptable and applicable to all employees and inclusive to every team member. At AccessElite, it is our mission to ensure all employees feel valued, heard, and understood by their leadership and organization. Join us to initiate conversations that are vital to employee well-being.
View Our Full DEIB Program Guide
MEET OUR DEIB PROVIDERS
Addison Smith (they/she), or simply Addi, has been an educator for over 20 years, first gaining teaching experience while pursuing a master’s degree in Music Composition at Ball State University. Later, journalistic research skills were added to their repertoire while working on a second master's in Digital Storytelling. Addison combines their teaching experience, research skills, and personal stories to help others understand LGBTQ issues, especially transgender issues. Addison currently sits on the boards of directors for two Indianapolis-based non-profit organizations, GenderNexus, which provides wellness services to Indiana’s transgender population, and Indy Pride, where they are the Director of Education.
Writer, Educator & Professional Development Facilitator
Álida is a writer, educator, and professional development facilitator living in Jackson, Mississippi. Equity—specifically centering language, race, gender and education— shapes her professional vision. After completing her Bachelor of Arts in History from Cedar Crest College in 2016, she moved to Mississippi where she began her career as an educator. In 2019, she created and mediated The Importance of Place: A Conversation. The panel, hosted at the Annual Dominican Writers Conference, encouraged participants to discuss the influence of place—spatial, physical, emotional, and mental— on the creative experience. Her work dissects ideas of identity—blackness, queerness, womanhood, Dominicanidad, and language.
Leadership Expert, Mentor & Career Development Specialist
Bette Lawrence-Water is recognized internationally as a public health advocate, leadership expert, mentor, and career development specialist who provides high-energy presentations, keynotes, and discussions for organizations that challenge the audience to leverage their focus and pay attention to what matters most at work and in life. Participants love her practical strategies, humor-tinged wisdom, and research based information, most of which can be applied almost immediately to enhance professional and personal lives.She earned her MS in Managerial Leadership from National-Louis University and Certification as a Professional Coach from Fowler-Wainwright Institute. She has 30+ years experience in private, public, and nonprofit sectors.
Dr. Camille Preston
Business Psychologist & Thought Leader on Bandwidth Management
Dr. Camille Preston is a business psychologist and recognized thought leader on bandwidth management. She partners with leaders and teams to help them achieve greater impact and higher returns in today’s rapidly evolving workplace. Camille has spent over two decades cultivating the leadership capacities of executives across industries and around the globe. She founded AIM Leadership because she believes we all have the potential to achieve more, be more efficient, and experience greater well-being and fulfillment on the job and in life. As a trusted advisor, Camille works with executives to develop their capacity to deliver exceptional results by discovering new perspectives, overcoming obstacles, and sharpening their leadership skills. Camille is also a sought-after facilitator with experience working with on-site and distributed teams and organizations in the private and nonprofit sectors. Teams and organizations that work with Camille build the trust, transparency, systems, and bandwidth needed to work together more effectively and with more impact
Carla Angela Ferrer
Organization & Community Enhancer
With skills in design thinking, facilitation, change work, project management, and community engagement, Carla Ferrer (she/they) helps organizations and communities imagine new possibilities and ways to realize them. Carla immigrated to Canada in her early twenties, honing her expertise over the span of 15 years as an administrative professional in the communications, marketing, and nonprofit sectors. Carla has given story-telling based presentations and co-hosted events for the 2SLGBTQ+ network in Ontario through various agencies, with a focus on reaching traditionally under-served communities such as elders and QTBIPOC. She is also a community moderator for a virtual co-working space for queer creatives and delivers Filipino language and culture programming through her brand Ating Kultura. Carla has served on the boards of Ontario-based nonprofits including a professional association and a 2SLGBTQ+ charity. Currently, they serve as Treasurer, Board of Directors at Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts and Culture, an award-winning, grassroots organization in Toronto/Tkaronto. In addition to the finance function of the organization, Carla has also revamped the volunteer program, co-founded the Anti-Oppression committee and introduced accessibility practices throughout the organization.
Workplace Culture Developer
In her twenty-five years of training, facilitating, and consulting, Diversity Training & Consulting, Inc. founder, Catherine Popowits, has repeatedly proven that diverse and inclusive work environments give organizations a competitive edge. Catherine develops workplace cultures that value and respect the perspectives, knowledge and contributions of all employees so that organizations can maximize productivity and retain top talent. Catherine has worked with over 50,000 employees at healthcare, telecommunications, finance, and manufacturing organizations throughout the United States and Latin America. She has led strategic planning processes, as well as provided training on diversity awareness, racial equity and inclusion practices, and bridging Latin American and North American cultures. She has coached North American executives leading DEI initiatives in Mexico and Central America, guided corporate diversity councils, and consulted in the production of diversity videos. She has also designed employee satisfaction surveys and developed tools to measure the effectiveness of management behaviors in retaining racially diverse employees. Catherine has worked extensively with healthcare organizations. For the past 18 years she has facilitated diversity programs at the University of Chicago Hospitals with all levels of staff including frontline employees and senior managers. Her expertise has helped increase staff awareness of the cultural issues inherent in-patient care, such as how to demonstrate respect and build trust with patients from diverse communities. She has also designed and implemented interventions to increase teamwork in various departments and coached managers on motivating employees of different backgrounds.
Dr. Andrea Boyles
Award-Winning Author & Sociologist
Dr. Andrea S. Boyles is an award-winning author of books, You Can't Stop the Revolution: Community Disorder and Social Ties in Post-Ferguson America (UC Press 2019) and Race, Place, and Suburban Policing: Too Close for Comfort (UC Press 2015). She is also a Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) delegate to the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Dr. Boyles is a native of St. Louis, MO. She holds a B.A. in English and M.A. in Sociology from Lincoln University of Missouri and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Kansas State University with concentrations in Gender and Criminology. Dr. Boyles is a community-centered, social justice feminist and race scholar, whose research accounts for topics ranging from the intersection of race, gender, and class; community and neighborhood disorder; segregation and racial-spatial politics to race, place, and policing; social movements and collective action; and social inequality generally - all best attributed to four areas of Police-Citizen Relations, Neighborhood Disadvantage and Disorder, Community Development and Engagement, and Resilience and Collective Action. As a noted public intellectual, Dr. Boyles is a Tedx speaker. She has received special thanks and been featured in short films and documentaries, such as ""Whose Streets?"" and ""Never Been a Time."" She has also authored and been cited in print media like Newsweek and The Atlantic, with regular appearances on public radio, podcasts, and some television outlets.
Dr. Christine Coleman
Doctor of Marriage & Family Therapy
Dr. Coleman is a licensed doctor of marriage and family therapy pioneering efforts to bring intersectionality theory to the forefront of psychology. With over 13 years of working as a psychotherapist, Dr. Coleman has provided mental health support in the areas of adolescent and women's mental health, attachment trauma, and support for people of color alongside broader social justice issues including racial gender equity. Dr. Coleman graduated from the Counseling Psychology/Marriage and Family Therapy program at USF in 2012.
Dr. Jas Tilghman
Licensed Psychologist & founder of True to You Psychotherapy & Consulting
Dr. Jas Tilghman is a Licensed Psychologist in Southern California. She is the founder of True to You Psychotherapy & Consulting, Inc., a certified yoga instructor, psychological consultant, and author. She has several years of experience in providing individual, couples, group therapy and psychological services. Her special interests include working with creative performers (i.e., musicians, dancers, athletes, actors, etc) and the unique challenges faced by populations of color. Dr. Jas has provided DEI consultations and presentations for major corporations and universities and include topics such as Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Race-Related Stress, Microaggressions, Stereotype Threat, Imposter Syndrome, Allyship vs. Solidarity, Racism, etc.
Dr. Natasha Bowman
Author & Founder of the Bowman Foundation
Dr. Natasha Bowman is one of the most well-known names in workplace expertise. She’s often mentioned with names such as Simon Sinek, Brene Brown, and Adam Grant. As an acclaimed champion for workplace equity, she has been named a Top 30 Global Guru in management, a Top 200 Voice in Leadership, and a LinkedIn Top Voice for Mental Health. She is a two-time author, TEDx Speaker, Forbes Contributor, media maven, and President of NYC-based leadership development firm, Performance ReNEW. As a social media influencer, Natasha uses her platform to tackle challenging and sensitive subjects and is not afraid to ruffle feathers with her commentary about creating workplaces and societies. After her bipolar diagnosis in 2021, Natasha has become a relentless advocate for mental health, specifically by urging organizations to promote cultures of mental wellness. Her latest vision is The Bowman Foundation for Workplace Equity and Mental Wellness. She hopes to create healthy work environments for everyone through The Bowman Foundation regardless of their employer’s ability to fund DEI initiatives. She is committed to changing lives and saving lives by advocating for psychologically safe and healthy work cultures.
Dr. Omaris Zamora
transnational Black Dominican Studies scholar & spoken-word poet
Dr. Omaris Z. Zamora is a transnational Black Dominican Studies scholar and spoken-word poet. Her research interests include: theorizing AfroLatinidad in the context of race, gender, and sexuality through Afro-diasporic approaches. Her studies include embodiment of blackness, how these groups produce knowledge, and shift the geographies of black feminism in ways that recognize the legacies of Chicana/Latina and Black American feminist theory in the United States, but tends to the specific experiences of AfroLatina women and their multiple genealogies. The manuscript proposes “tranceformation” as a continuous process that engages with the spiritual aspect of self-making and centers the body as an archive that creates and transmits an AfroLatina feminist epistemological theory.
Dr. Sarah-Soonling Blackburn
educator, speaker & professional learning facilitator
Dr. Sarah-SoonLing Blackburn is an educator, speaker and professional learning facilitator. Sarah’s areas of focus have included workplace cultures, leadership skills, and diversity, equity and inclusion. She has designed and facilitated talks and workshops with schools and organizations across the country, including Learning for Justice, Microsoft and LinkedIn. Sarah is a LinkedIn Learning instructor and the author of a forthcoming book about Chinese American History for middle grade students. She is known for creating and developing learning experiences that are engaging, meaningful and oriented towards action. Sarah has an M.A. in Social Justice and Education from University College London’s Institute of Education and an Ed.D. from Johns Hopkins University. More information about Sarah, including links to her writing and videos of past workshops, can be found at sarahsoonling.com.
trans educator, mentor, speaker & advocate
Emmett Griffith (he/him/his) is a trans educator, mentor, speaker, and advocate. He currently serves as the Manager of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Stanford University in the Department of Pediatrics. Previously, he was the Associate Director of the LGBTQA+ Center at Pace University in New York City where he oversaw LGBTQ+ programs, training, and initiatives for students, staff, and faculty. Emmett provides engaging workshops focused on LGBTQ+ issues, supporting trans and non-binary populations, DEI basics, allyship, empathetic leadership and more. He received his M.A. in Higher Education & Student Affairs with a concentration in Social Justice from NYU and a double B.A. in Integrated Educational Studies and English from Chapman University.
DEI Director & ICF Certified Inclusion Coach
Eric Johnson is the Principal Owner of Insighted, a Diversity Equity, and Inclusion Director, and an ICF Certified Inclusion Coach. He holds a bachelor's degree from UCLA in English and a masters degree in Management and Communication from USC. His company highlights insight and inclusion because they inform all of the initiatives in their diversity equity, and inclusion programs. They are masters at helping clients navigate their DEI culture shift by helping them to see what they otherwise couldn’t as they begin the daunting task of addressing issues such as age, gender and gender identity, sexism, race and racism, bias, socio economic status, LGBTQ+, religion, diverse candidate recruitment and retention, political affiliation, and disability. They are artful in their finessed ability to create and hold safe space for powerful conversations to thrive from day one and deeply compassionate as they understand they are dealing with humans, their value systems, and all of the emotions that typically includes.
Jiggy is a motivational speaker with an ultimate mission of inspiring as many people as possible to embrace their own vulnerability and, also, to create a space for others to share compassion. Jiggy has spoken at numerous events, workshops, classrooms, organization meetings, and panels. Jiggy is often told that her message is beyond her years because she's experienced life in ways that not many people her age have. That adds onto the rare quality that makes her so unique — Jiggy is able to inspire and connect with an audience of any age, any gender, and any story. Jiggy is the only Korean, lesbian, hip-hop dancing and rapping Type 1 Diabetic girl-who-lifts with tattoos, piercings who speaks so boldly of vulnerability.
Author, Veteran Consultant & Trainer
Kathy served nearly 30 years in the Air Force as a nurse and public affairs officer. Her practice and perspectives are framed by masters degrees in Nursing and Political Science. As a consultant and trainer, through her business Vanguard Veteran, she equips civilian employers to become Veteran Champions, helping them acquire and retain Veteran talent. Kathy is the author of: “Beyond Thank You For Your Service, The Veteran Champion Handbook for civilians.” She is a member of Governor of Arizona’s Veterans' Service Advisory Commission and the Southwest Veteran Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. It is her life’s calling to lead the Veteran Champion movement.
May Nicholson (they/them) is dedicated to helping liberate hearts and minds free of biases and beliefs that inevitably hold people back from their true, authentic selves. May particularly focuses on issues related to her LGBTQIA+ family. This is achieved through facilitating spaces that focus on LGBTQIA+ inclusion and validation education with an intersectional lens all while remaining rooted in wellness. May believes that being well is inherent to our collective liberation and is always exploring and integrating where wellness and education intersect.
public health lawyer, international keynote speaker, belonging strategist, and an ICF Certified Executive Empowerment Coach
Montrece McNeill Ransom, JD, MPH, ACC is an award-winning public health lawyer, international keynote speaker, belonging strategist, and an ICF Certified Executive Empowerment Coach. She is one of Entrepreneur Mogul’s 5 most Influential Coaches of 2021. She has published, presented, and trained on a wide array of topics in leadership and professional development, belonging, and public health law and policy. She was awarded the Jennifer Robbins Award for the Practice of Public Health Law from the American Public Health Association in 2017 and the American Bar Association Health Law Section’s Champion for Diversity and Inclusion Award in 2019. She serves as faculty with Walden University’s School of Health Sciences, and California State University East Bay’s Department of Public Health. Montrece earned her Executive Leadership Coaching Certification from Georgetown University, her Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace Certification from the University of South Florida, her law degree from the University of Alabama, and her Master of Public Health degree from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health.
certified personal development, leadership executive & confidence coach
Nadeje Montes is a certified personal development, leadership executive and confidence coach. Over the past 20 years, Nadeje Montes has worked with children, educators and leaders to create a safe environment for children to grow and explore. She is a certified personal development and leadership executive coach. Nadeje holds, a Bachelor of Arts In Political Science, a Master of Science in Early Childhood and Special Education. She is awarded the Family development Leadership Credential Certification. And she is a certified trained mental health first aid, she is currently pursuing the Professional Certified Coach (PCC) an accreditation of the (ICF) International Coaching Federation.
Founder of Her Era & DEI Lead at GOogle
Nicole Herrera has over 10 years of experience in tech and DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion). She is the founder of Her Era, a training & consulting firm guiding organizations to improve their DEI strategy, with a particular focus on advancing women of color in the workplace. At Google, she is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Lead for Platforms & Ecosystems. She has led influential work to build more inclusive teams and products, as well as improving teams’ abilities to drive equitable outcomes for underrepresented groups. As one of the founders of the Google Digital Coaches program, Nicole created programming to help close the digital divide through education and empowerment of Black and Latinx small business owners in the US. Nicole has global experience in different product areas across Latin America as well. Her career has taken her to be based out of Buenos Aires, Argentina and Bogotá, Colombia, and she is an expert in go to market for companies looking to expand their presence in Latin America or develop strategy with Latinx users in the US or abroad. Nicole studied Latin American Studies and Economics at Wellesley College. She is of Mexican American descent, and currently resides in San Francisco. Outside of work, she serves on the Board of Directors for Latinas in Tech, the Wellesley Alumnae Association Committee, and most recently has joined the DEIB Advisory Board for AccessElite.
Dr. Regina Lark
Organizing and Productivity Specialist & Founder of A Clear Path
Dr. Regina Lark is an Organizing and Productivity Specialist based in Los Angeles. In 2008 she founded A Clear Path, followed by Silk Touch Moves, and recently, Speaking of Clutter. Regina and her ninja organizers provide professional physical, emotional, and psychological support for people who wish to clear clutter and chaos from their lives. As a Board Certified Professional Organizer with additional certifications in ADHD, Chronic Disorganization, and Hoarding Disorders, she is a graduate of the Organizer Coach Foundation Training Program, and serves as a Member Director of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO).
Sara Sanders Gardner
Autistic Disability Professional
Sara Sanders Gardner's work in the autism and disability fields began in 2001, and includes creating and directing a nationally recognized neurodiversity college access program at Bellevue College in Washington State, and creating and delivering Autism and Neurodiversity at Work training workshops for Microsoft's Autism Inclusive Hiring program at their Redmond, WA and Sunnyvale, CA locations since 2015. As an autistic individual navigating a career for 30 years, Sara has the lived experience to understand and communicate the subject matter. As an autistic disability professional who has worked in the field since 2001, Sara has experience learning about and working with thousands of unique autistic and otherwise disabled individuals and their families.
DEIB Advocate & Motivational speaker
Simon Tam believes that apathy is not compatible with love. His passion for the intersection of arts and activism is evident in all of his work, from his music to his writing. He believes in changing the culture by transforming systems and fighting for equity. Simon may best be known for winning a landmark case in 2017 that helped expand civil liberties for minorities, unanimously, at the Supreme Court of the United States (Matal v. Tam). He is the founder and bassist of The Slants, one of the first all-Asian American dance rock bands in the world, and also leads The Slants Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides resources and mentorship for artists that incorporate activism into their work. As a speaker, Tam has appeared at thousands of events across four continents, and is a regular at key industry events such as TEDx, SXSW, and INTA. Each year he speaks to Fortune 500 companies, universities, and many of the world's top leaders in law, entertainment, and education
Founder & Director of the ripple effect
Wendy M. Shackley is the founder and director of The Ripple Effect – Helping Veterans and Families Heal. Wendy is a Gold Star Mom and has committed her life, since 2014, educating the community about the reintegration process for veterans and their families. She has developed many programs focused on suicide prevention. Wendy is instrumental in collaborating with the Veteran Community and their families connecting them with the resources they desire to reintegrate successfully. Wendy M. Shackley is an author of Living It Is Loving It – Tools To Release The Power Within You, a frequent public speaker and a Trauma Release Exercise (TRE) Practitioner.