National diversity issues expert, New York Times investigative journalist on racial inequality are keynote speakers

Hillary Ware (left), and Nikole Hannah-Jones (right)

What will it take to make Wisconsin inclusive to all? Diversity experts and influencers will convene in Green Bay on April 28-29, 2020, to seek answers to this question, bringing together individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds to address divisions that adversely impact the state’s economic, cultural and social progress.

This will be the second Toward One Wisconsin inclusivity conference presented by the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service (WIPPS). In April, more than 500 attendees converged in Milwaukee, with over 100 presentations supporting the conference theme, “Overcoming Barriers to Inclusion.”

The 2020 conference, building on the momentum from last year, will examine “Building Communities of Equity and Opportunity.”

Over 60 panels will highlight collaborative and innovative approaches, best practices, cutting-edge research, and success stories that focus on these four conference tracks:

  • Track I: Increasing Opportunities for Inclusion in Wisconsin’s Workforce
  • Track II: Creating Inclusive Communities
  • Track III: Cultivating Equity in Education
  • Track IV: Building Health Equity in Wisconsin

The Toward One Wisconsin Inclusivity Conference is open to all, including those from early childhood through higher education, business and industry, state and local workforce development, youth programs, health care, vocational rehabilitation, community and neighborhood associations, nonprofit, government, and faith-based groups.

“While many organizations have worked hard in the past decade to create diversity, we still have much yet to accomplish to make the environment inclusive and equitable,” said Eric Giordano, WIPPS executive director. “The conference aims to create space for cross-cutting conversations and insights into best practices in providing the same opportunities for everyone in Wisconsin.” Headlining the Toward One Wisconsin conference are two nationally recognized speakers:

  • Hilary Ware is vice president and associate general counsel, litigation and regulatory affairs at Netflix in San Francisco. An openly gay attorney who has navigated to the top of her profession, she is a frequent speaker on diversity issues and work-life balance. She has been recognized as a “Woman Leader in Tech Law” by the Recorder and received the Corporate Counsel Award from Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom. A Wisconsin native, Ware received her bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College and her juris doctorate and master’s in education degrees from Harvard University.
  • Nikole Hannah-Jones is an award-winning investigative journalist with The New York Times Magazine focusing on racial injustice. Her extensive reporting on how segregation in housing and schools is maintained through official action and policy has earned her the National Magazine Award, a Peabody and a Polk Award. She earned her bachelor’s degree in history and African-American studies from the University of Notre Dame and her master’s in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Conference co-chairs are:

  • May Yer Thao, assistant deputy director, Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA)
  • Jessica Cavazos, president and CEO, Latino Chamber of Commerce
  • Rich Poirier, president and CEO, Church Mutual
  • George Koonce, senior VP, Marian University

WIPPS is one of the track sponsors for the conference, along with founding sponsor Church Mutual Insurance and Associated Bank. For more details, including sponsorship opportunities and how to register for the conference, go to


Media can access photos of Hilary Ware and Nikole Hannah-Jones at