Inclusive Leadership the Focus of an Educational Equity Talk from University of Phoenix

Photo by Susan Q Yin on Unsplash

A recent webinar from University of Phoenix focused on Modeling Inclusive Leadership in a Post-COVID Era. Bringing together experts from academia, community and civic organizations, the January 20 discussion provided a forum to address how issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) play out in our classrooms, workplaces and communities.

The webinar was part of the Educational Equity Webinar Series from University of Phoenix, which creates space for conversations around DEI topics. The series is designed to build cultural awareness and to provide a platform for thought leaders within diversity spaces to share their expertise. Previous Educational Equity webinars have focused on fostering unity while addressing inequalities; future challenges for equality, diversity, and inclusion; helping women climb the corporate ladder; code switching; LatinX leadership; and leading inclusively in times of crisis.

Panelists included Joanna C. de’Shay, executive director of Diversity Leadership Alliance, a Phoenix-based organization that guides leadership to build more inclusive communities and workplaces and to recognize that diversity is a key element for success. Also in the discussion was Michael Collins, vice president of Jobs for the Future, an organization focused on driving change in the American workforce and education systems to provide economic advancement for everyone. Monica Villalobos, president and CEO of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce also contributed to the discussion, as did Steve Gross, chief marketing officer of University of Phoenix.

Making Space for Difficult Conversations

The webinar provided a space for panelists to discuss some difficult topics including the fact that college majors can exacerbate racial inequalities and that Black students who have graduated college still earn much less than their white counterparts who did not attend college. In part, this inequality appears to stem from the fact that

The talk looked into other strategies for closing the racial wealth gap as well including increasing access to higher-paying career options, working to remove conscious and unconscious bias in hiring and compensation and doing more to support Black entrepreneurs through campus accelerators and resources. Black entrepreneurs receive just 1 percent of venture capital funding, a related article noted. Advanced degrees are increasingly important to help close this gap.

Resources to Support Diversity and Cultural Understanding at University of Phoenix

The Educational Equity Webinar Series is sponsored by the Office of Educational Equity at University of Phoenix, which works to promote cultural understanding and thought leadership around issues of diversity and inclusion. The office also partners with local and national organizations to advance cultural awareness and to extend access to resources and education in populations underserved by traditional academia. And it is dedicated to providing professional development for all students, alumni, faculty and staff, creating an inclusive community where all are welcome. One partner is the Diversity Leadership Alliance (DLA), a leading diversity education organization nationwide that offers learning and engagement opportunities to grow diversity, equity and inclusion measures.

University of Phoenix has taken additional steps to ensure that students from all backgrounds, ethnicities and gender identities feel supported. The Cultural Competence Task Force brought 22 stakeholders together to design a framework for serving students of all backgrounds and ethnicities. The University also launched the Inclusive Café, a virtual meeting place to have tough conversations about differences. And through the Life Resource Center, students have access to support via counseling, financial consulting, life coaching and peer support groups around topics like addiction, parenting, LGBTQ+ identities and grief. The Life Resource Center also includes free confidential counseling sessions.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is committed to advancing the educational goals of adult and nontraditional learners and to helping students navigate career options and degree programs that best suit their interests. The University’s degree programs are aligned with numerous in-demand career paths including social work, and they provide flexible start dates, online classes, and numerous scholarship opportunities to make it possible for anyone to get the degree they need.In addition, University of Phoenix’s Career Services for Life® commitment to active students and graduates provides resources needed to be competitive in the workforce for no additional charge. These services include resume and interview support, career guidance, education and networking opportunities. Numerous Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs) provide University students and alumni with lifelong connections that can help them network. For more information, visit

This article links to a Georgetown study. Recommend linking to the study/original source.

SL Team: Please make this edit this per Marla’s note, before publishing. Thanks.

Is this true of the Black community also? The focus of this article has been on the Black population and this statement is true for all workers who have bachelor’s degrees. Recommend keeping the same focus on how it applies to Blacks or call out when you are referring to the entire population.

Same thing here. Thank

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