2022 - 2023 Summit Schedule

November 1st - 3rd

Thank you for attending The Summit 2022-2023! Please review the calendar of events below. 

Virtual and in-person programming for The Summit will take place over the course of three days from November 1st - 3rd.

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable individuals of all abilities to engage fully. Closed-captioning is available for all recorded events.  If you would like to request additional accommodations to access recorded events, please email inclusion@du.edu.

Mary Reed Hall

View The Summit 2022 Session Recordings on YouTube

Celebrating its 21st anniversary, The Summit at the University of Denver harnesses the connective potential of our experiences, personal realities, and learnings, forging a path forward beyond diversity through concerted, meaningful, and combined efforts.

View The Summit 2022 YouTube Playlist Here

Day 1: Tuesday, November 1st

  • 12:00pm - 1:00pm | DEI @ DU
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    As the opening session to our annual Summit, VC for DEI, Christopher Whitt will discuss this year's theme, Justice in Action. He will expound on the importance all of us at DU collectively engaging in the work of DEI across our university community and beyond. Dr. Whitt will also provide insights into how we will work throughout this academic year to not only advance Justice in Action but how we might best continue weaving our institutional prioritizations of DEI throughout our structures, processes, and practices. Chancellor Jeremy Haefner will join us to open the Summit and welcome us into this new year of community-wide collaboration.

    Join us for lunch, as Chancellor Jeremy Haefner and Vice Chancellor of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Christopher Whitt open our 22nd annual Summit.

    Location: Community Commons Grand Forum Room 1700


  • 1:00pm - 2:30pm | Connections Through Collaboration: Opportunities for Institutional and Law School DEI Advocates
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    Sponsored by NADOHE and RISE Alliance LSAC, this free webinar, held November 1, 2022 from 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm MT/3:00 pm - 4:30 pm ET, brings together institutional and law school leaders for a curated conversation to engage in critical examination about how to further their diversity, equity and inclusion goals through intentional design and support of DEI focused positions and of professionals engaging in this work. The participants will explore and discuss their understanding of what support and resources that are needed for law school DEI leaders and their collaborators to succeed, an appreciation for the professional and personal challenges faced, how to strategically approach and assess institutional and law school needs, and identify recommendations on how to achieve DEI outcomes through collaborative practice. Attendees will leave this session with a better handle on how they might best put DEI priorities and justice concerns into action in the spaces they occupy across institutions and specifically in law schools. This webinar is open to all.


    • Jay Austin, Executive Director at RISE Alliance-Law School Admissions Council
    • Christopher Whitt, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of Denver


    • Alexi Freeman, J.D., Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at the Sturm College of Law
    • Mark Jefferson, J.D., Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Virginia School of Law
    • Kevin McDonald, J.D., Ed.D., Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Partnerships at the University of Virginia
    • Bruce Smith, J.D., Ph.D., Dean of the Sturm College of Law

Day 2: Wednesday, November 2nd

  • 10:00am - 11:15am | The Meeting After The Meeting
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    The value of many traditional spaces is judged by the absence of women and diverse groups. Golf has been slow to evolve and the presence of women and diverse groups in the industry is still seen as an anomaly. The Meeting After The Meeting will help you understand the social implications of playing golf for leisure, leveraging it as a business tool, and a vehicle for advocating for access and inclusion in other spaces where women and diverse groups are underrepresented. 

    Speaker Biography: 

    • Tiffany Fitzgerald (She/Her): 

      Tiffany Mack Fitzgerald is a skilled entrepreneur, author, and speaker who bootstrapped her way to becoming an industry influencer. She’s on a mission to get more African American women and girls on the golf course and she is committed to building a pipeline for the next generation of leaders in the golf industry.

      Having spent more than 20 years in Corporate America, 10 of those years in Government Affairs and PR, Tiffany understood the role golf played in building successful, professional relationships. She also recognized the absence of African American women on the golf course.

      In 2013 she founded Black Girls Golf, an organization that provides access to affordable golf instruction, information and community for women who are interested in learning, practicing, and playing golf.

      Tiffany has grown Black Girls Golf to a community of more than 5,000 members in nearly all 50 states and 9 countries - the largest golf community in the United States for African American women and girls. Tiffany has been featured on Golf Channel, Women’s Golf Journal, Ebony Magazine, Essence.com, Black Enterprise, African American Golfer’s Digest, and more. She has worked with Topgolf, AT&T, Adidas, BMW, UPS and many other organizations that are stepping outside the box and leveraging golf to improve employee and consumer engagement.

      Tiffany is a native of Oakland, CA; an alumna of Grambling State University; the mother of three children; and currently resides in Atlanta, GA.

  • 11:30am - 12:45pm | The personal and psychological impact on people of colour undertaking DEI work
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    Inequalities in Higher Education reflect wider inequalities in society. The role of DEI committees and programmes is to increase equality and provide support to minoritised students and staff by challenging discriminatory processes and offering ways forward. Staff holding these positions and undertaking such work find themselves in a double bind where there may be a contradiction between their lived experience and the aspirations for diversity, equality, and inclusion in their work. Grand institutional statements of commitment to inclusion may not always be supported with resources to actualise such visions which can result in conflicting messages being managed by the brain.

    This can all take a significant toll on the physical and emotional wellbeing of individuals engaged in such work. The physical impacts of racism on health are well documented, less so is the psychological toll of antiracism and inclusion work within limited spaces. This session will draw together the literature and examples from Dr Ahmed’s work as a Psychologist and Intersectional Psychotherapist to discuss the ways in which DEI work can lead to cognitive dissonance and offers suggestions for building psychological safety to avoid burnout and continue in this work healthily.

    Speaker Biography: 

    Nilufar Ahmed (She/Her): Dr Nilufar Ahmed is a Chartered Psychologist and Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences at Bristol University  where she  previously held the position of Antiracism and Inclusion Lead for her School.

    With a multidisciplinary background and academic training in psychology, sociology, gerontology, and human geography, her research is rooted in addressing inequalities and access to health services and is positioned within an intersectional and antiracist framework.

    Outside of academia, Nilufar is a practicing psychotherapist specialising in working with issues of race and inclusion, and a Diversity and Inclusion Consultant delivering antiracism and inclusion training for institutions of all sizes ranging from small charities to global multinationals, helping them achieve their visions of cultural change and inclusion. She has delivered training, keynotes, and consultancy services across sectors including HE, Business, and Government.

  • 1:00pm - 2:15pm | Religion, Identity, and Community
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    In this session, you’ll learn about what makes religious identity similar to other social identities as well as what might make it unique, and how those intersect. We will break down some conventional assumptions about religion, what it is, and how it operates, and you’ll learn new frameworks to help understand the role religion plays in social life. We’ll also be challenged to consider how our own experience and biases about religion open us up to working across deep difference as we seek to build inclusive communities.  

    Speaker Biography: 

    • Adam Westbrook (He/Him)Adam is the Director of Community Engagement at Suffolk University in Boston, where he leads a team that develops and runs civic and community engagement programs with students, faculty, staff, and community-based organizations in Boston, throughout the country, and abroad. Suffolk community engagement programs are based in the assumption that navigating difference is a key civic skill for 21st Century citizenship. Adam holds two graduate degrees in Religious Studies (University of Denver 2009, Boston University 2019), where he worked and studied how well—or not well—societies with diverse religious groups have been able to create a shared common good while also providing space for communities to be different from one another. He has spent time studying and working on intergroup conflicts throughout the world, has facilitated interreligious dialogue in the U.S. and Israel/Palestine, and has also worked with an NGO in Northern Ireland that attempts to reconcile Catholic and Protestant communities through joint community development projects.
  • 2:30pm - 4:00pm | Dialoguing at DU: events, skills and partnerships for positive engagement
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    Learn more about dialogic practices generally, some of the dialogic programs and initiatives across campus, and opportunities for involvement.

    Location: Anderson Academic Commons, Room 290

    Speaker Biographies: 

    • Thomas Walker (He/Him) has been engaged in the social justice education field for three decades, collaboratively leading co-curricular DEI work at Tulane, Arizona State and DU, as well as through community efforts such as the Phoenix Healing Racism forum, NCCJ-Anytown, the National Coalition-Building Institute, the Social Justice Training Institute, and Creating Change conference Racial Justice Institutes. At DU, Thomas is Director of Inclusion & Equity Education in the central Student Affairs & inclusive Excellence division, serves on numerous campus working groups and committees, and has formally taught higher education, International Living-Learning community, and first-year student success courses. https://studentaffairs.du.edu/iee/about-us
    • Fouad Alkhouri, graduate staff member, Conflict Engagement & Resolution Initiative (CERI)A second-year graduate student of International Development and International Project Management at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies. He assists with research on Muslim Immigrant Integration for Professor Tamra d’Estree. As a CERI team member, Fouad helps organize, lead, and facilitate dialogue events around contemporary social issues on the DU campus. Previously, Fouad worked as a community organizer at the Norman Miller Center for Peace, Justice, and Public Understanding where he organized and led events on peace and conflict resolution in Israel and Palestine.
    • Kadijha Kuanda is Community+Values Graduate Fellow - Experience Pathway, The Office of the Provost, and is pursuing an MA in International Human Rights at the Korbel School. Prior to DU, Kadijha has been engaged in several community dialogues regarding the international student experience, race, ethnicity, and identity. Within C+V, she’s been grateful to connect with a variety of community members during our Community Wellness Hours to learn more about peoples’ needs and experiences. Moreover, she’s been working towards connecting with several student leaders, staff and faculty with the goal of amplifying their work, ideas, goals and aspirations at DU to ultimately create a greater sense of belonging, appreciation and support.

    • Greg Mahan (he/they) is the Project Manager for the 4D Experience at DU and focuses primarily on student-facing programs and initiatives, guiding students to connect the dots across their learning and experiences through reflection and interpersonal engagement. Greg partners with faculty and staff across campus to help students explore potential majors, understand their values, and cultivate their passions. In addition to working with students in co-curricular spaces, Greg teaches undergraduate courses at DU, helping students to reflect on the higher education systems and structures that impact their (and others’) college experiences. 

    • Frank Winchester, SRR Administrator and Restorative Justice Coordinator, Student Rights & Responsibilities. Frank leads SRR’s work to implement restorative justice practices in Housing and Residential Education as well as working to implement restorative justice training for our faculty members. He earned his bachelor’s in Ethnic Studies and a master’s in Education. 

  • 5:30pm - 7:00pm | Justice in Action: DU's Alums Address Their Work Toward Justice in and Through the Legal Field
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    • Fay Matsukage (She/Her): one of the first AsianAmerican female attorneys admitted to practice law in Colorado, began specializing in corporate and securities law early in her career. She is currently senior counsel at Doida Crow Legal LLC representing both private and public companies with formation, capital-raising, compliance, and exit strategies, and holds a BA summa cum laude from Colorado College and a law degree from the Sturm College of Law.

      With a passion to help those of Asian descent in Colorado, Fay was a founding member of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Colorado 1990 and a founder of the Colorado Asian Pacific American Bar Foundation, which has endowed law school scholarships at both DU and CU.  She remains an active board member of both organizations.  Fay also devotes time and energy on behalf of the Asian Pacific Development Center, a Denver-based non-profit that serves and supports the immigrant and refugee communities with a whole health, community-based engagement approach through health, education, and advocacy.  She is also the current chair of the Sturm College of Law Alumni Council.

      Her many honors include the 1999 Trailblazer Award from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the 2006 Minoru Yasui Community Service Award from the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Colorado, the 2006 Mary Lathrop Trailblazer Award from The Colorado Women’s Bar Association, the 2010 Outstanding Alumni Award from DU’s Sturm College of Law, and induction to the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame in 2018.


    • Christine M. Hernández (She/Her): is a shareholder at Hernandez & Associates, PC in Denver, CO. With over 15 years of experience, she specializes in removal defense, family-based immigration and federal appellate litigation before the Board of Immigration Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Tenth Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

      Christine was recognized by US News in its 2023 edition of Best Lawyers In America for her work in Immigration. She was also included in 5280 Magazine’s Colorado Top Attorneys in 2022 in the category of Immigration. In 2021 she received the “Chris Miranda Award for Outstanding Hispanic Attorney of the Year” from the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association (CHBA). Christine was named “Barristers Best – Immigration Attorney” in 2020 and “Lawyer of the Year” in 2019 by Law Week Colorado for her work in immigration. She has been named a Super Lawyer since 2019 and was recognized as a Super Lawyer Rising Star from 2016-2018. Christine has also been named a Top Latino Lawyer since 2017 and was named one of the Most Powerful Latinas in Law in 2018 by the Latino Leaders Magazine.

      She has been Co-Chair of the Hispanic National Bar Association’s (HNBA) Immigration Section since 2015 and was Chair of HNBA’s inaugural ImmiGRANT Legal Defense Fund. She is a Past Region XIII President of the HNBA and Past President of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association (2019) and currently serves as Co-Chair of CHBA’s Judicial Taskforce. Christine was appointed to the Colorado Supreme Court’s CLE Advisory Board in 2021 and appointed to the Colorado Supreme Court’s Hearing Board in 2020. She currently serves as Co-Chair of the Colorado Bar Association/Colorado Judicial Institute’s Diversity on the Bench Joint Coalition and sits on the Denver Bar Association’s Board of Trustees. She is also Chair of the Colorado Lawyers Committee’s Racial Justice Taskforce.

    • Joseph Salazar (He/Him): Joseph Salazar is a Colorado native whose indigenous and Spanish roots in Colorado and New Mexico go back centuries. Despite the numerous generations that preceded him, he was the first in his family to attend college and law school. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1993. Upon completing his undergraduate degree, he worked for the state as a civil rights and criminal investigator.

      In 2003, Joe graduated from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Upon graduating from DU, Joe was awarded the coveted John Phillip Linn Employment Law Award for his excellence in employment law. For the past 19 years, Joe’s practice has included high profile employment discrimination and constitutional law cases, primarily against government bad actors.

      In November 2012, Joe was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives. As a state representative, Joe was known for his hard hitting, progressive leadership style. He served as the vice-chair of the House State Veterans and Military Affairs Committee and vice chair of the powerful House Judiciary Committee. As a freshman legislator, he served as a primary co-sponsor of civil rights legislation that had been unsuccessfully introduced for nearly two decades. The Job Protection and Civil Rights Enforcement Act of 2013 passed both chambers and was signed into law. This essential civil rights legislation now allows victims of discrimination to seek real remedies for injuries suffered at the hands of employers.

      Joe has championed numerous other important pieces of legislation, such as repealing Colorado’s racial profiling law called “Show Me Your Papers”; eliminating debtor’s prisons in Colorado; fighting for in-state tuition for tribally enrolled American Indian students whose tribes have historic ties to Colorado; fighting to eliminate Columbus Day as a state holiday; prohibiting the use of offensive American Indian mascots; sponsoring the Homeless Right to Rest bill; and passing the Citizens Right to Record Police Activity bill. During the 2017 session, Joe passed the Hate Crimes Statistics Recording Act, which requires the state to track hate crimes. Joe also passed the game-changing Behavioral Mental Health Crises Response legislation that stops the incarceration of Coloradans who suffer from a mental health crisis and provides resources for rapid intervention and assistance.

      Each year, Joe unabashedly supported equal pay for equal work, supported and defended women’s reproductive choice and he continuously fought for LGBTQ rights. Because of his indigenous roots, every year Joe summoned the might and fury of his ancestors to protect our environment and children from polluters through legislation such as the Oil and Gas Liability Act and the Martinez bill.

      In 2018, Joe ran for the Office of the Colorado Attorney General and was narrowly defeated the Democratic Primary. Despite being outspent nearly 15 to 1, Joe came within .4 percent of his opponent based on a community power building model of campaigning.

      After his legislative term ended in 2019, Joe was blessed to be the recipient of the 2019 ACLU Ralph Carr award for his fight for civil liberties, particularly for Colorado’s migrant families.

      In 2019, Joe was hired as the Executive Director of Colorado Rising, a community group of statewide activists that fights to protect our environment from the fossil fuel industry. Joe’s vision for the organization included building power within communities, advocating for environment protections through legislation, and bringing ballot initiatives. Joe also oversaw a robust litigation team suing the oil and gas industry and state agencies on behalf of frontline and marginalized communities. In just one year’s time, Colorado Rising was rated as one of Colorado’s 10 best advocacy organizations.

      In 2020, Joe was honored with the Colorado Democrat of the Year award, and was elected as a Colorado DNC member.

      In 2022, Joe was called to defend Adams County School District #14, an overwhelmingly student of color school district, against an abusive Colorado State Board of Education. Working together with brilliant administrators and a strong local board, Joe helped Adams 14 stop the State Board from taking over the school district or closing down schools. He now serves as Chief Legal Counsel for the school district.

      In September 2022, Joe was honored by Emerge Colorado – an organization dedicated to electing diverse Democratic women leaders to public office – for his assistance with the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives (“MMIR”) taskforce. The MMIR taskforce successfully worked on legislation to establish Colorado’s first-ever state division dedicated to MMIR.

      Most importantly, however, his family is his rock. He is the proud husband of Jessica Salazar and the Creator blessed him with two powerful daughters, Alex and Lili.

    • Tom Romero (He/Him): Dr. Tom Romero is an Associate Professor of Law and is Affiliated Faculty with the Department of History. The author of numerous articles, book chapters, and essays, Professor Romero teaches and researches in the areas of the legal history of the American West, Latinos and the law, immigration law, school desegregation, property, land use, water law, and urban development and local government in the United States. A native Denverite and undergraduate alum of the University of Denver, Professor Romero is graduate of the University of Michigan where he received his J.D. and Ph.D. in history.

Day 3: Thursday, November 3rd

  • 9:30am - 11:00am | Neurodiversity and (dis)Ability @DU
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    How can we make DU more inclusive by being more responsive? In this session DSP and ADA will engage the audience in conversation and navigation of the various resources that DU has in support of our community who experience neurodiversity and disability.  Join us in learning about how we as students, faculty, and staff can better engage and contribute to creating a welcoming and affirming campus. 

    Location: Anderson Academic Commons, Room 290

    Speaker Biographies: 

    • Joshua Kaufman (He/Him)Joshua is DU’s first full-time ADA Coordinator.  He has over 20 years’ experience working with people with disabilities and has presented at multiple national and state conferences, topics include ADD/ADHD, accessibility of course texts, and animals as accommodations.  His work has focused on creating more inclusive and equitable experiences for all people with disabilities.  He has served as the President of the North Carolina Association on Higher Education and Disability and as a gubernatorial appointee and Policy Committee Chair for the North Carolina Statewide Independent Living Council.  

      Fun Fact:  Joshua is originally from the only county in the state of West Virginia that to this day has never had a stoplight!

    • Catherine Wharton (She/Her): Dr. Catherine Wharton blends her expertise with mental health and learning disabilities as it relates to higher education access and ADA accommodations.  Dr. Wharton graduated summa cum laude from DePaul University with a M.A. in Counseling and spent 10 years in the Chicago area as director of the assessment department - evaluating patients for psychiatric hospitalization.  In this role, Dr. Wharton assessed patients for psychiatric hospitalization and ultimately supervised the 24/7 operation of psychiatric hospital assessment.

      Dr. Wharton joined Lynn University in 2006 where she supervised the tutoring center and taught courses in psychology. Dr. Wharton became a Certified Developmental Education Specialist through the Kellogg Institute at Appalachian State University in 2008. In 2010, Dr. Wharton was promoted to the Director of the Diagnostic Center for Educational Assessment where she oversaw reviewing and interpreting student psychological evaluations for the purpose of creating an academic support plan and recommending ADA accommodations. Dr. Wharton also developed programs and services for students with disabilities and students on academic probation. 

      In 2015, Dr. Wharton was chosen for the first 100% paid scholarship in the Educational Leadership doctoral program. Upon graduation in 2018 with a dissertation entitled, Reading Comprehension in Two Accommodated Reading Tasks with College Students with Reading Disabilities, Dr. Wharton was promoted to ADA Specialist where she developed a stand-alone department, was responsible for all student related access, training and mentoring staff, developed a communication system for prospective students/families, advocated for and developed a dedicated webpage, advocated for and provided training to stakeholders in the adoption of a new digital management platform (Accommodate), developed university ADA policies, as well as created and implemented professional development campus wide.  Since first presenting the nationally recognized curriculum, How to Create a Faculty Responsibilities ADA Training course at the (Association on Higher Education and Disability) AHEAD conference in July 2021, AHEAD has requested Dr. Wharton to provide three additional webinars on this topic. 

      Dr. Wharton also provides professional development for other external sources such as college counselors, education consultants, and private K-12 schools. She is particularly interested in integrating compensatory strategies, motivational theory and practice within pedagogy to foster a classroom environment of confidence and competence leading to student mastery.
      Dr. Wharton joined the University of Denver in 2022 as the Director of the Disability Services Program. 


  • 11:00am - 12:15pm | Authentically Showing Up: The Intersection of Image & Bias
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    Attendees will be able to immediately implement techniques and tools to lean into their unique personal brand. By gaining a deeper awareness of how gender, race, age and image intersect and impact personal branding, attendees will be equipped to show up as their "Authentically Appropriate" selves, thereby welcoming the same from others.

    Speaker Biographies:

    • Morgan A. Wider (She / Her): As a wardrobe stylist and speaker, Morgan Wider advises executives, entrepreneurs and college students on how to build wardrobes that convey confidence and competence. 

      Morgan is the author of the best-selling book, The Worthy Wardrobe: Your Guide to Style, Shopping & Soul.   Her podcast, The Worthy Reveal, is available on all streaming platforms.  By sharing her knowledge about the retail industry and her passion for fashion, Morgan helps her clients feel more powerful in all areas of their lives. 

  • 12:30pm - 1:30pm | A Framework for Advancing Anti Racism Strategy on Campus
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     Moderated by Dr. Kristin Deal, this session will explore the purpose, intention, and forward movement of these strategies, while all integrating them in to our thinking about DU and its commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion and will include opening comments by DU's Vice Chancellor for DEI, Dr. Christopher Whitt. Provost Mary Clark will join us to close the Summit and send us into the new year of community-wide collaboration.

    You can read the NADOHE "Framework for Advancing Anti Racism Strategy on Campus" here.

    Speaker Biographies: 

    • Christopher Whitt (He/Him): Dr. Christopher M. Whitt is DU’s Vice Chancellor for DEI and serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE). Dr. Whitt was previously the Inaugural Vice Provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion at Creighton University where he established the school’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. 

      At DU, Dr. Whitt has embarked on refining the structure of DEI across the institution to grow from an Office of DEI to its own division. Along with partners across the university, Dr. Whitt hopes to expand DU’s footprint nationally as an innovator in DEI and a destination of choice for a wide variety of intersecting backgrounds.   

      Dr. Whitt holds a Ph.D. in government and politics from the University of Maryland, where he also earned an M.A. His dissertation was titled “Unaffordable Outcomes: The Wealth Gap, Black Political Participation and Public Policy Outcomes in the Black Interest.” He earned a B.A. in political science at Salisbury University.

    • Paulette Granberry Russell (She/Her):Paulette Granberry Russell, J.D., was elected president of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education in March 2020. She is a leading national voice and sought-after presenter on issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in higher education and beyond. Granberry Russell retired in August 2020 from Michigan State University as senior advisor to the president for diversity, emerita, after more than 20 years advising on diversity and inclusion efforts at the institution.