Conference Principles and Ground Rules

The Toward One Wisconsin Conference is designed to allow participants to explore where they are on their journey with regards to equity, diversity, and inclusion, whether as individuals, professionals, or community change agents.


The Toward One Wisconsin Conference Goals are to

  1. Design a conference that reflects the intentions of improving equity, diversity and inclusion in our systems, structures and processes.
  2. Incorporate effective guidelines and processes for conference planning committees and organizers to create safe spaces for embracing and practicing the core values of the conference.
  3. Challenge ourselves to be aware of and examine our own biases (explicit and implicit)
  4. Cultivate a growth-mindset through active listening, seeking to understand, and psychological safety for courageous vulnerability.

The Conference Vision

The Toward One Wisconsin Conference aspires to create and sustain a statewide culture that understands that diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential to the state’s continued excellence. We recognize that the pursuit of excellence intersects with a commitment to diversity in all sectors. We envision an inclusive Wisconsin that brings marginalized to the center so that every person has the opportunity to use their unique experiences and backgrounds together—to spark solutions that create a better, healthier Wisconsin.

The Conference Expectations

  • Inclusion: We seek to create safe spaces for all voices to be included, heard, and respected. We advocate for inclusive policies, processes, physical spaces, and products in our teams, organizations and systems.
  • Diversity: We acknowledge that people have different identities, backgrounds and experiences and we value the collective power of those differences. We actively seek to create diverse teams, organizations and ecosystems to make them stronger, productive and more resilient.
  • Equity: We embrace strategies and initiatives that address and prioritize equitable access and opportunities for everyone to achieve their optimal level of success and well-being by eliminating disparities experienced by populations subjected to structural disadvantages through inequitable and discriminatory economic, social and environmental influences.
  • Access: We commit to fostering attitudes, behaviors, and procedures to facilitate access that promotes equity and diversity, fosters inclusion, and allows people to maximize their contribution to the communities that we serve.
  • Antidiscrimination: We advocate for the reinforcement of antidiscrimination policies, practices, attitudes, and actions in order to produce equitable power, access, opportunities, treatment, impacts and outcomes for all.

 Our Core Values Include: 

  • Accountability
  • Assertiveness
  • Authenticity
  • Co-creation
  • Curiosity
  • Flexibility
  • Grace
  • Honesty
  • Humility
  • Kindness
  • Respect
  • Safety
  • Self-awareness
  • Voice

The Conference Ground Rules are to create and maintain safe and positive spaces that encourage healthy dialogue, attendees will: 

  • Participate fully, actively and constructively.
  • Include every individual voice and be aware of the time occupied when speaking.
  • Practice active listening (listen to understand both emotion and intent).
  • Respectfully engage one another by asking questions and focusing on ideas, not people.
  • Refrain from personal attacks.
  • Accept the right to pass or withdraw during any discussion.
  • Understand that emotion is normal and accepted.
  • Speak from their own experience instead of generalizing (“I” instead of “they,” “we,” and “you”) and avoid invalidating others’ stories and experiences.
  • Use inclusive language and avoid words that evoke hate, intolerance, trauma, historical oppression or other forms of discrimination.
  • Be conscious of body language and nonverbal responses—they can have the same impact as words.
  • Allow people to acknowledge, address and learn from mistakes.
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