10 DEI Experts Who Can Help Your Company TODAY

July 1, 2020

Many organizations and individuals are in the midst of a long-overdue “awakening,” realizing just HOW MUCH work needs to be done to dismantle systems of inequality and racism in the workplace. This kind of work is a marathon, not a sprint, and will require sustained, intentional effort over time -- but many are struggling to know where to get started. 

One common starting point is investing in anti-racism training, consultation and support (but read this first). A leader in this space, Awaken, has responded to the unprecedented volume of training requests it’s received by compiling a massive list of Black-owned DEI companies and consultants currently accepting new corporate clients. Here are 10 experts from this list, all of whom we’ve spoken with and recommend to any organization seeking this type of support. 

1. Pathfinder

With more than 15 years of DEI expertise, Trier Bryant started her career with the U.S. Air Force and held DEI and recruiting leadership roles at Goldman Sachs and Twitter. She partners with organizations that want to build more equitable, inclusive and thriving cultures. 

Based in the Bay Area, Trier has worked with clients including Equinox, Airbnb and the Rockefeller Foundation and provides training and consulting on topics including DEI crisis management/communications, talent development, recruiting, compensation, employee relations and community engagement.

2. Agatha Agbanobi

Agatha’s mission is to help organizations build diverse, high-performing teams and create equitable and inclusive work environments where such teams can thrive. Agatha’s warm and inclusive approach creates a safe space where meaningful learning and growth can happen with diverse groups of professionals. 

 A former educator and school leader, Agatha is an expert in professional development course design; 1:1 and group consulting and coaching; organizational DEI program design, strategic planning and implementation practices; organizational change management; Equity and Inclusion assessments; recruitment and retention of people of color, and more. 

3. InspirED Solutions

Natalie Basham and Jerrod Walker draw on their extensive backgrounds in education to strengthen teams and organizations through inclusive training and coaching. They partner with companies to advise on company strategy, leadership development and employee engagement programming. In addition, they create and deliver workshops that focus on capacity- and skill-building, as well as one-on-one coaching for individuals seeking to be more effective leaders. 

Natalie and Jerrod are welcoming and supportive partners that believe in working with companies where they are to make meaningful progress together. 

4. Cabral Co

Led by Amber Cabral, Cabral Co is a boutique strategy firm offering tailored Leadership and Inclusion solutions to help organizations achieve measurable and sustainable outcomes. The company was established to support leaders and organizations looking to move beyond mandated, numbers-based diversity and onto long-term, strategic and impactful change. 

Their approach is fully customized based on each company’s unique culture and specific needs. Amber is also a sought-after speaker for industry events, panels and conferences on issues around diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.

5. Dorianne St. Fleur Consulting

Building on her experiences developing DEI strategies for companies including Google and AppNexus, Dorianne St. Fleur is now a coach, trainer and advisor for organizations that want to build anti-racist workplaces. 

Dorianne builds customized programs drawing from the organization’s existing values and goals, and works as a supportive partner throughout the training and change journey, focusing on areas like employee engagement and retention, inclusive hiring and onboarding, OKR development, change management and leadership accountability. She also provides culturally relevant and inclusive career and leadership coaching for women of color in the corporate world. 

6. Futura Bold

A civil rights attorney for the ACLU, Portia Allen-Kyle has brought her deep expertise in fighting racism and inequality to support organizations in their efforts to build antiracist workplaces. She builds workshops around identified organizational values, focusing on ways to infuse equity into actions that bring these pre-existing values to life. 

Portia leads comfortable, accessible conversations that meet people where they are. Her trainings include a combination of activities involving individual reflection, small-group discussion, and whole-org facilitated dialogue. 

7. Azeb Kinder, Ed.D. 

Azeb Kinder is an experienced educator, facilitator and trainer who works with individuals and organizations to address and dismantle racially based inequities by transforming their beliefs, assumptions, and behaviors. Her approach to this lifelong endeavor is grounded in the practice of engaging with people’s emotional, intellectual and moral centers through workshops and trainings that ‘meet them where they are’. 

Azeb is a strong believer in the ‘train the trainer’ model so that organizations and companies are able to keep the learning and growth going long after her engagement has ended. Her services include training on racism, anti-racism, systemic racism, prejudice, implicit bias, and other work-related issues; providing specific tools, tactics and resources to put lessons learned in the training into practice; and one-on-one and small-group coaching for leadership and managers on supporting and serving people of color, either as employees or customers/clients. 

8. Elizabeth Williams-Riley

Elizabeth Williams-Riley is an award-winning DEI expert with more than 20 years of experience in areas such as training, organization development, focus groups and strategic planning. As a firm believer that anti-racism training is not a “one-and-done” activity, she partners with organizations to build a strategy that is embedded in the overall operations plan.

She partners with organizations to enhance leadership capacity and a sense of cohesion, to address systemic/institutional biases, to design and measure DEI programs, and to adapt programs and services for diverse populations. Her positive attitude, enthusiasm and collaborative spirit make her an ideal partner for work that can otherwise be very “heavy.” 

9. Positive Hire

Michele Heyward began her career as a civil engineer, including stints with NASA and Eaton, but found that her true passion was in helping to bridge the gap between enterprises and experienced women of color. 

Today, she partners with companies that are committed to building diverse workplaces where all people feel welcome and included and have equal access to opportunities. This includes examining and delivering targeted recommendations around recruiting and hiring practices, leadership development and mobility; conducting attrition assessments and recommendations; and delivering customized training around anti-racism at work, leadership, and bias. 

10. Angie Hamilton

Angie Hamilton is an experienced HR leader – having worked in-house for a number of Fortune 500, non-profit and service organizations, she’s now delivering HR services and support for companies that need support at all stages of their employee lifecycle. 

While DEI consulting is a core service, Angie always approaches it through the lens of the entire HR ecosystem, from workshops and training, leadership development and coaching, development of policies and processes, and more. 

Looking for more insights and support? 

Visit our Workplace Diversity, Anti-Racism and Allyship Resource Center for trusted resources from a variety of thought leaders and industry experts in communications, employee experience, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. We hope these resources can help you improve equity and inclusion inside your organization.

Ann Melinger

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