We are a leading non-profit (501c3) dedicated to advancing the diversity, equity, and inclusion goals of our corporate, nonprofit and government members by providing high quality professional training programs and networking at competitive membership rates.
WDN Announces its Fall Programming Calendar
The Workforce Diversity Network announces its Fall 2023 Programming Season of affordable and impactful educational programming in the world of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Annual members - Mark Your Calendars!
Not An Annual Member?
Registration & membership for the Fall membership season:
Fall Season Rates:
*Corporate memberships. $700.00
*Nonprofit memberships. $350.00
To register and join: Sign-Up
* According to a publication from SHRM, DEI training can range from $100-$300/hr. OR require flat fees from $2,000 to $2 million (see “SHRM Diversity Consultant” article:
* Each membership allows:
(1) teams of three DEI or HR professionals; and
(2) members of Employee Resource Groups.
* All programs are hybrid; in-person attendance is strongly encouraged.
* All programs begin at 8:30 a.m.to 10:30 a.m. unless otherwise noted.
*Membership allows access to the full range of member benefits including free job postings.
Is Age Just a Number? Managing and Understanding Cross-Generational Staffing
Location: Regional Transit System; 1372 East Main Street, NY 14609; (Board Room).
The division of the workplace by generations can be one of the most subtle, yet popular biases within organizations. This program helps managers to (1) identify generational differences, (2) examine myths, and (3) explore strategies to maximize team work in the work place.
Co-Facilitators: Dan Martin; HR Consultant; Gallagher Benefits Services
Dr. Michael D’Arcangelo, Executive Director of WDN
Managing Diversity of Thought in the Workplace: Many Choices- Different Voices
Location: CCSI (Coordinated Care Services, Inc.); 1099 Jay St., Building J Rochester, 14611;
Erie Canal Training Room.
Among the most powerful rationales to support the business case for diversity is the reality and research regarding the impact of innovation – specifically diversity of thought – related to products and services. This program will (1) identify the findings that connect innovation and diversity, and (2) help participants vet out practical methods of enhancing diverse thought in their current workplace. Panel to be announced in early September.
This program has been submitted for Professional Development Credits (PDCs) by the Society for Human Resource Management.
Co-Facilitators: Melanie Williams, Chair of DEI Programming, GVC SHRM; Benefits & Payroll
Administrator, Manning & Napier with
Dr. Michael D’Arcangelo; Executive Director, WDN.
Planning the Company Party AND Remaining Inclusive. Location: Excellus BlueCross BlueShield; 165 Court St. Rochester NY, 14647
Traditions are embedded in our culture, with many kinds of symbolic and sentimental aspects that reflect not only our customs, habits and rituals – but also our biases. The corporate holiday party is a classic example that is often fraught with mixed messages in multi-cultural work environments. This program will help participants (1) reflect on the holiday party phenomenon, (2) (2) its impacts on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Presented by: Kesha Carter, Chief Diversity Officer, CCSI
Diversity Theater. A DEI Learning Tool for the Workplace
Location: The United Way; 75 College Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607; Conference Room 1;
Diversity Theater is cited as a powerful DEI learning tool in the work world, allowing for
interaction and very intentional impact. This program (1) provides a deeper dive into the use and purpose of Diversity Theater as a learning tool; (2) helps participants imagine and interact with others regarding common workplace experiences or situations, and
(3) addresses the structure and format of diversity theater, as it relates to helping workforce members understand diversity in freeing and meaningful ways.
Learnings will occur directly via live interactions, through the eyes, acting and direction of
Presenter and Artist: Chennel Anderson: Director of the Office of Diversity, Culture, and Equity at the University of Rochester
HERstory: Allyship Programs for Women in the Workplace
Location:: First American; 211 High Point Drive, Victor NY 14564; Grand Canyon Room.
Companies struggle to retain their women employees, especially in leadership positions.
Allyship programs can empower all employees and enhance the work climate by developing an understanding of challenges faced by women in the workplace – especially when the allies are men.
This session will include: (1) an overview of the current state of women in the workplace, (2) the development and evolution of the Advocates & Ally Program at RIT that engaged men in the effort to improve the climate for women faculty, (3) a blueprint for launching an allyship program at your organization.
Presenter: Betsy Dell, Professor
Professor, Manufacturing Engineer,
Former Director of AdvanceRIT
Co-Facilitator: Janelle Harris,
Supervisor of Background/Drug Screening Services,
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - June 6, 2023
From the desk of Dr. Michael D'Arcangelo, Executive Director
Rochester, NY – The Workforce Diversity Network (WDN) is proud to announce that they have selected three non-profit organizations in the Rochester area to receive a financial incentive from funds that were initially generated from the International Underground Railroad Conference in 2007. The conference, which was an original collaboration between Dr. David Anderson and the WDN, raised the funds with the intention of providing more programming opportunities for Dr. Anderson. However, as the frequency of programming decreased over the years, the decision was made to share the available funds with other non-profits that share similar values and will continue to champion for racial equity in our area.
“It was natural to reach out to Dr. and Mrs. (Ruth) Anderson to help us figure out a way to distribute the funds,” says Dr. Michael D’Arcangelo, Executive Director of WDN, “We are forever grateful for their suggestions, and hope that the $12,000 that will be allocated between them will serve to better their mutual missions to advance the legacy of Frederick Douglass in today’s world.”
As Dr. Anderson is a renowned Frederick Douglass historian and the former chairman of the Rochester-Monroe County Freedom Trail Commission, it only makes sense that the non-profits that have been selected to receive these funds all have deep roots to Frederick Douglass and the Underground Railroad: AKWAABA: The Heritage Associates, the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives and the 1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse Museum.
Recently the leaders of each organization, Mrs. Ruth Anderson (AKWAABA: The Heritage Associates), Ms. Erica Mock (FDFI), and Dr. Judith Wellman (1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse Museum), met to assess and agree on how the funds will be distributed.
“It was important to meet in a collaborative and progressive way so that we could assess each of our organizational needs, but also measure the racial diversity needs of Rochester,” says Mock, Executive Director of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiative, “Together, we’ve created a robust educational experience and curriculum for elementary students in the Rochester area that showcases some of the best work of each of our organizations.”
On Thursday, June 15, 2023, WDN will commemorate the fund distribution by hosting a panel discussion between the three directors and Dr. Rebekka Boysen-Taylor, the Director of Field Placement and a Sr. Instructor in the College of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Idaho. The program, titled “A New DEI Business Model: Where Collaboration & Community Surpass Propriety”, will take place at the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives office at 140 W. Main St, Rochester, NY 14614.
“We’re thrilled to be able to create an experience that truly values the beliefs of Frederick Douglass and is continuing to advance his legacy, ” says Anderson, Executive Director of Akwaaba Tours, Inc. “And of course we look forward to Dr. Boysen-Taylor’s perspective on the curriculum itself. It should be a great program.”
For over 25 years the Network has been the standard of excellence in the Rochester region in providing continuous support to its member organizations as they develop their diversity and inclusion initiatives. As a non-profit 501c3 corporation, we have organized some of the largest and most highly regarded conferences in the country focused on the importance of diversity, inclusion and equity as key elements of successful organizations.
For membership inquiries, contact
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We look forward to hearing from you.
Announcing the appointment of five new directors to the organization’s Board of Directors: Kimberly Braithwaite, Ebony Burgess, Ronieka Burns, Deanna Rose, and Terry Platt. They join WDN co-founders Mike Streeter and Clay Osbourne.
Dr. Michael D’Arcangelo will begin his role as the new Executive Director for WDN, effective May 1, 2022.
Workforce Diversity Network
150 State Street, Rochester, New York 14614, United States
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