National Inclusive Excellence Leadership Academy Graduates 60 Fellows, Prepares Higher Education Leaders for Success
ATLANTA (August 12, 2019) – The National Inclusive Excellence Leadership Academy (NIXLA), an acclaimed online higher education leadership and professional development program led by award-winning diversity, equity and inclusion expert Dr. Damon A. Williams, recently graduated 60 fellows representing 30 universities across the United States.
The five-week summer program offered lectures, seminars and video modules featuring leading professionals in the fields of change management, campus climate research, diversity, equity and inclusion. The 2019 class of NIXLA Fellows included individuals and teams from Stanford University, Boston College, Michigan State University, Appalachian State University, The Ohio State University, Motlow State Community College, University of Alabama – Birmingham, Texas A&M and many other institutions.
“The ripple effect and the impact of the National Inclusive Excellence Leadership Academy is incredible,” said Damon A. Williams, Ph.D., Chief Catalyst for the National Inclusive Excellence Leadership Academy and the Center for Strategic Diversity Leadership and Social Innovation as well as a Senior Scholar and Innovation Fellow with Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “This program is a life-altering experience for leaders at higher education institutions.”
For Brandy S. Bryson, Ph.D., M.S.W., the Director of Inclusive Excellence at Appalachian State University, the program offered an invaluable opportunity to develop her skills as a leader and to identify strategic ways to support diversity, equity and inclusion on campus.
“The National Inclusive Excellence Leadership Academy has taught me the value of encouraging campus administrators and leaders to hook inclusion into the core mission and goals of the institution, the department or the unit in meaningful, relevant ways, rather than a stand-alone initiative,” Bryson said. “Inclusive Leadership is, at its core, transformative leadership. It’s about preparing students to be innovators, practitioners, scientists and scholars who can make robust changes in an ever-increasing diverse and global world.”
NIXLA distinguished speakers for 2019 included Dr. Beverly D. Tatum, President Emerita of Spelman College; Dr. Derald Wing Sue, Professor of Psychology and Education at Teachers College at Columbia University; Dr. Claude M. Steele, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University; Dr. Sylvia Hurtado, Director of UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute and Professor in UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies; and Dr. Damon A. Williams, Chief Catalyst, National Inclusive Excellence Leadership Academy and author of Strategic Diversity Leadership: Activating Change and Transformation in Higher Education and The Chief Diversity Officer, Strategy, Structure and Change Management.
Special topics included Microaggressions and Unconscious Bias, Strategic Diversity Planning and Implementation, Diversity Crisis Response and Assessing and Improving Campus Climates. Participants also enjoyed one-on-one professional coaching opportunities as well as the chance to collaborate with other professionals on strategic diversity projects.
Emelyn dela Peña, Ed.D., a 2018 NIXLA Fellow, has been applying the lessons she learned last year to her current position as the Associate Vice Provost for Inclusion, Community and Integrative Learning at Stanford University.
“NIXLA helped me think even more broadly about the diversity, equity and inclusion landscape and gave the me the opportunity to dedicate time to the important work we need to do,” she said. “I developed a diversity scorecard with a group of thought leaders from multiple universities and am currently able to embed diversity and inclusion into my entire division at Stanford.”
Williams, who founded the National Inclusive Excellence Leadership Academy in 2018, is dedicated to supporting current and future higher education leaders and facilitating positive change surrounding issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.
“At the National Inclusive Excellence Leadership Academy, our vision is to build an outstanding cohort of leaders who will collectively transform the higher educational landscape,” he said. “Our approach is designed to strengthen the ecosystem of leadership on college and university campuses to boost their strategic diversity leadership abilities.”
ABOUT THE NATIONAL INCLUSIVE EXCELLENCE LEADERSHIP ACADEMY:
The National Inclusive Excellence Leadership Academy is a five-week, online higher education leadership development program designed for experienced leaders who are responsible for thinking strategically about their institutions’ change agendas. The program is dedicated to helping participants boost their strategic diversity leadership skills, disrupt the status quo at their institutions and become innovators around issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. For more information, visit inclusiveexcellenceacademy.org.
ABOUT DR. DAMON A. WILLIAMS:
A visionary, inspirational leader, Dr. Damon A. Williams is one of the nation’s most acclaimed experts in strategic diversity leadership, youth development, corporate responsibility, educational achievement, social impact and organizational change. The author of Strategic Diversity Leadership: Activating Change & Transformation In Higher Education, Williams is a global thought leader who has worked with more than 1,000 colleges and universities, Fortune 100 companies, foundations and government agencies. He serves as a Senior Scholar and Innovation Fellow with Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a sought-after keynote speaker, strategist, educator and social impact leader. For more information, visit drdamonawilliams.com.