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DLI Curriculum

Diversity Leaders Initiative: Curriculum

Designed and facilitated by Juan Johnson of Diversity Leadership in Action, DLI brings participants together one day a month for five months. A highly interactive curriculum includes case studies, scenario analyses and other experiential learning tools that maximize interaction and discussion among participants and facilitate productive relationships.

Module 1: Defining diversity

The opening module sets the foundation for the entire program. It includes an open discussion of different definitions of diversity; from the dictionary, to the code of law, to human resources and diversity practitioners. A candid discussion of the historical context of diversity in the U. S. is prompted, including acknowledging painful points in history. Ultimately, a case is made for the benefits of moving beyond inclusion to an all-inclusive definition.

Module 2: Complexity of diversity

With a common foundation established, leaders are invited to explore the complexity of diversity. Issues can be personal, painful, emotional, confusing, and perplexing. Solutions may not be easy, simple or obvious.  Leaders require tools and skills to make good and effective decisions in the midst of such complexity.

Module 3: Diversity and the Law:  Bias versus discrimination

This module leads with a discussion of biases versus discrimination in the context of an academy award winning movie. This is followed by an examination of the legal definitions of discrimination and the consequences of violating the law. 

Module 4: Personal stories of impact; personal stories of inspiration

This module provides a unique opportunity for story-telling. Individuals are invited to share personal stories of impact; and personal stories of inspiration on their personal diversity journey. Through sharing, we relate, through relating, we build authentic relationships.

Module 5: Context – Its importance, relevancy and power

Through a challenging case study, leaders practice their awareness of context and its impact on the way they process information, reach conclusions, and ultimately, make decisions. Leaders are challenged to explore their authentic responses versus providing the politically correct response.

Module 6: Diversity Blind Spots™

This module begins the transition into tools and frameworks, including Diversity Blind Spots™, a tool for understanding and addressing diversity tension and conflict.

Module 7: Differences in mental and physical abilities

A unique presentation is provided on the reality that some people experience differences around mental and physical abilities. Whether directly, or indirectly, many have experienced the life-changing consequences of mental and differences. This module provides an opportunity for those with and without these experiences, to examine the impact of differences and how individuals, organizations and communities can provide supportive environments.

Module 8: Socio-economic diversity

Poverty, homelessness, illiteracy and other socio-economic diversity challenges can cut across dimensions like race, gender, age, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, etc. This module explores the role of leaders in addressing these challenges.

Module 9: Diversity tools for leaders

Some key decision-making tools are provided to support leaders as they address complex situations. Considering the breadth and complexity of diversity challenges and opportunities, leaders can benefit from tools and skills for analyzing situations and making quality decisions.

Module 10: Generational diversity 

Many leaders and organizations are grappling with issues resulting from having four generations in the workplace simultaneously. This module explores some common challenges surrounding generational differences and how leaders can manage effectively in this environment.

Module 11: Diversity strategies, frameworks and tools for organizations

Several diversity strategies, frameworks and tools are provided for organizations seeking to advance their programs to the next level. Managing diversity strategically requires intentionality, vision, goals, objectives, plans, tactics, rigor, discipline, metrics and management routines.

Module 12: Diversity and Humor

The closing module explores an intersection which causes many to stumble: diversity and humor. Around some of the most sensitive diversity dimensions like race, gender, age and religion, leaders examine how to set boundaries.

Community Action Project Presentations

For more information please call Megan Dodgens, Manager of Diversity Leadership Programs at 864.294.3253 or