“DEI is Dead: Now What?” is a provocative 75-minute workshop designed for DEI practitioners seeking innovative approaches to revitalize their initiatives in our highly politicized and polarized climate. This workshop is presented by Kelly Blackmon and Ellen Ross.

Recognizing the shortcomings of traditional frameworks, this session introduces the DEI-EQ framework, blending Diversity, Equity, Inclusion with Emotional Intelligence to create more resilient, effective strategies.

Participants will explore the failures of past DEI efforts, engage with the principles of DEI-EQ through interactive activities, and leave with actionable insights to transform their organizational culture. This workshop promises a forward-thinking exploration of how to navigate and lead DEI work in today’s dynamic business environment.

About the Presenters

Kelly BlackmonKelly Blackmon, the founder of B.E. Consulting, specializes in innovative business solutions and strategies to address culture. As the EDIB-U Coordinator at Brightpoint, he leads initiatives focused on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, and understanding, driving organizational change and development.

Ellen RossEllen Ross, MSW, serves as the Director of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (EDIB-U) at Brightpoint, where she leverages her extensive background in social work to foster a trauma-informed, antiracist organizational culture. With a Master of Social Work from Loyola University Chicago, her career is marked by a commitment to enhancing relational connections and professional development within diverse communities.