Essential Practices for Leaders Communicating Across Difference



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Learn culturally responsive communication skills to better lead diverse teams—and how to put them into practice.


Many leaders strive to create an inclusive environment for their employees, but this can be difficult to achieve without first taking time to understand how our own identity can impact our ability to engage in effective and supportive dialogue with a diverse team. Through this training’s experiential activities and small-group discussion, participants who are leading teams will gain a better sense of their own identities and how power, privilege, and oppression interplay with these established identities and those around them. Participants will also learn and practice active listening, suspending judgment, leaning into discomfort, and using empathy as ways to be more culturally sensitive and responsive within work and academic environments—ultimately, emphasizing respect for different lived experiences overall.

Make the Most of This Series

Build upon these practices to create a more inclusive work environment and encourage a sense of belonging among employees by registering for How to Influence Without Shaming as a Leader on Thursday, June 23 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. ET.

Who Should Attend

This training is designed for leaders and supervisors who want to learn culturally responsive management practices to better lead diverse teams and create higher performance overall. 

The Academic Impressions Online Learning Experience

Intentionally Designed
Online Learning

Our virtual trainings go far beyond just replicating PowerPoint presentations online: these experiences are intentionally designed to give you the kind of robust and dynamic learning experience you’ve come to expect from Academic Impressions. These trainings provide you with an active learning environment and an online space where you can explore ideas, get inspired by what your peers are doing, and understand the range of possibilities around a certain topic. You will leave these sessions with practical solutions that you can take back to your team or task force.

What you will get:

  • A dynamic, interactive, and high-touch virtual learning experience designed to engage and set you up for growth
  • Seamless online face-time, networking, group work, and Q&A opportunities from the comfort of your own workspace
  • Practical takeaways and hands-on knowledge
  • Guidance from vetted subject matter experts
  • Unlimited access to all recorded online sessions


June 16, 2022

1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Eastern

Foundations of Culturally Responsive Leadership  

To begin this training, our experts will discuss culturally responsive leadership, which involves leadership philosophies, practices, and policies that create inclusive environments for employees and colleagues from ethnically and culturally diverse backgrounds. Our experts will ask you to consider ways in which social identities inform your dialogues with others and will invite you to participate in interactive activities to help you consider how your own social identities interact with systems of oppression and privilege.  



Pillars and Practice of Culturally Responsive Communication 

Our experts will share the foundations of culturally responsive communication that are so important for creating diverse, equitable, and inclusive workspaces which promote that essential sense of belonging for employees, including: active listening, suspending judgment, leaning into discomfort, using empathy, and challenging assumptions. Participants will have the opportunity to practice these skills through small-group discussion and case studies.  


Portrait of Kellie Rafaelli

Kellie Raffaelli

Associate Dean for Student Engagement and Director, International Programs and Services, Michigan Technological University

Kellie is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Education Leadership at Capella University. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Regis University in Denver, Colorado, and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from State University of New York at Oneonta. She served as the Special Assistant to the President for Diversity from 2018-2020 and is the advisor to the MTU chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. 

Read Speaker's Full Bio.

Professional headshot of Wayne Gersie

Wayne Gersie, PhD,

Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, Michigan Technological University

Wayne is the inaugural Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion and a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences at Michigan Technological University. As Vice President, he is responsible for providing vision, strategic leadership, and thoughtful change management for campus diversity, equity, inclusion, and sense-of-belonging (DEIS) initiatives.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.


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