2018 Workplace Diversity & Inclusion Conference

June 12, 2018

Sign up for alerts about next year’s event!

Presented By

2017 marked the North Carolina Chamber’s inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Conference, and it has quickly become one of the Chamber’s most anticipated events. This timely program covers topics that will arm organizations of all sizes with the tools necessary to create a culture of belonging. Content will be valuable for a wide range of attendees, ranging from the young professional to seasoned executive. Seats and sponsorships are expected to sell out quickly for this event.

Need a hotel near the event venue? Please view available accommodations here.

 Get Engaged: #NCTalksDiversity


What: 2018 Workplace Diversity & Inclusion Conference
When: June 12, 2018 | Time: 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Where: Sheraton Imperial Hotel & Convention Center | 4700 Emperor Blvd., Durham, NC 27703

NC Chamber Event Policies


Sponsorship Information

Click below to view the marketing opportunities for this event.

After each event, sponsors receive a customized ROI Brochure, which recaps their marketing benefits and provides information on the reach of the event. To see results from past sponsors’ investments, view a sample Workplace Diversity & Inclusion ROI Brochure HERE.

Questions about sponsorship opportunities? Contact Angela Sutton for more details.

Draft Agenda

7:00 a.m.  
Pre- Conference Registration

7:30 a.m. 
Pre-Conference Session:  D&I for the Small- to Mid-Sized Employer
Gracie Johnson-Lopez, President and Principal Consultant, Diversity & HR Solutions

Why should small and mid-sized businesses incorporate diversity and inclusion? The clear and unequivocal answer is that if you get diversity and inclusion right in your organization, you stand to make considerable business gains no matter how big or small your business. Join us for this pre-conference session, specifically designed for small and mid-sized organizations with an interest in diversity and inclusion.

7:45 a.m.  
General Registration and Networking

8:30 a.m.  
Opening Remarks
Lew Ebert, NC Chamber

8:40 a.m. 
Welcome Remarks from Presenting Sponsor
Amy Baldwin, Manager, Community Relations and Customer Event, BASF

8:45 a.m. 

9:05 a.m. 
Opening Keynote:  Six Disruptive Demographics That Will Change North Carolina Forever
Dr. James H. Johnson, Jr., William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and Director, Urban Investment Strategies Center, University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School

The U.S. population is changing dramatically—in size, composition and distribution. These shifts have drastically altered the social, economic and political fabric of our nation. This session will outline six of the most disruptive demographic trends today and the challenges and opportunities they pose for North Carolina’s business community.

10:15 a.m.  
Networking Break

10:40 a.m.  
D&I Best Practices
Rahshek Ellis, Internal Communications Manager, Syngenta
Michael Hines, US Employment Practices COE and Global Support Functions HR/Pharma NA, GSK
Courtney J. White, Head of Human Resources, BASF Agricultural Solutions, North America
Moderator: David Laboy, Director of Diversity and Work Life Programs, Blue Cross NC

In this session, you will learn best practices you can implement in your organization, including resistance to D&I culture change in your workplace, generational diversity, fostering inclusiveness through technology, inclusion along the ability spectrum, supplier diversity and others.

11:25 a.m.
Raleigh Little Theater Performers 

11:45 a.m. 

12:30 p.m.  
Keynote:  Implicit Bias and Your Business
Dr. Benjamin Reese, Jr., Vice President, Office for Institutional Equity, Duke University

Implicit bias poses great costs, particularly to businesses who fail to address it. Dr. Benjamin Reese, an internationally renowned scholar on implicit bias, will speak about the difference between implicit and explicit bias, the development of implicit bias in early childhood, the impact of implicit bias on decision-making, what helps to diminish implicit bias, and implications for the business community.

 1:30 p.m. 
Gender and Sexual Diversity in the Workplace
Adrienne Smith, Program Director of Gender and Sexual Diversity Initiative, Carolina Partners in Mental Healthcare

You will learn practical tips to make your organization more inclusive when working with LGBTQ+ clients and employees. From paperwork to bathrooms, you will be armed with essentials for creating an overall safer workplace environment for everyone.

2:00 p.m.  
Networking Break

2:30 p.m.
Inclusion Round Table Discussions
Facilitator:  Gracie Johnson-Lopez, President and Principal Consultant, Diversity & HR Solutions

2:45 p.m.
Creating a Sense of Belonging in Your Organization
Moderator: Gracie Johnson-Lopez, President and Principal Consultant, Diversity & HR Solutions
Kate Helin, Data Protection/Compliance Officer and Corporate Counsel, Pendo
Seth Smiley-Humphries, Director, Global Diversity, Lenovo
Gail Manley, Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Fidelity Investments
Michelle Witherspoon, Senior Global Diversity Thought Leader, Cisco Systems

While diversity and inclusion can mean different things to different people across different cultures, the importance of belonging is universal. Cultivating an environment where all employees feel like they belong and can be their authentic selves is a goal that everyone can embrace.  In this session, you will hear tips on how to cultivate a sense of belonging in your organization.

3:30 p.m.
Closing Remarks
Lew Ebert, NC Chamber

Continuing Education Credit

HRCI Credit: 5 hours

The use of this seal confirms that this activity has met HR Certification Institute’s® (HRCI®) criteria for recertification credit pre-approval.



Presented by

Co-sponsored by

Gold Sponsor


Silver Sponsors


Bronze Sponsors



BB&T     |     HTI     |     Ward and Smith, P.A.     |     Carolina Partners in Mental HealthCare

The Research Triangle Park     |     Honda Aircraft     |     Bioventus Global

Southern Coalition for Social Justice Fair Chance Business Certification

Catalyst: Creating Opportunities in STEM for All Learners, at North Carolina State University, Science House

Clancy & Theys Construction

Comments are closed.