Lunch + Learns

Lunch + Learns are where we, as a professional community, discuss topics like accountability standards for diversity and inclusion and how to develop frameworks for advancing equity in our communities and institutions. Lunch + Learns are FREE and although they are typically geared towards Human Resources professionals, they are open to the community/public as well. 

Lunch + Learns take place Wednesdays from 11:30am-1pm. 

We'll provide you with lunch so you can come learn! Registration required, seats and lunches are limited. First come, first serve!

Series Schedule + Overview

SESSION 1: Diversity.

Wed, August 15, 2018 | Lenoir-Rhyne University Asheville, 36 Montford Ave, 28801 (2nd Floor Boardroom)

OVERVIEW: Is diversity an irrelevant term? In this session, we will work toward moving from diversity initiatives to inclusive leadership by getting to the root cause of inequities of the "efforts".



Community Activist, Performing Artist, Motivational Speaker and Change Agent.  Born in Winston-Salem NC, Michael has been a part of the Asheville community for nearly 40 years. The 3rd son of Community Leader John R. Hayes, he has applied the early teachings of his childhood to help bring awareness and truth of the inequities and disparities in the city that he loves.  Michael works as the Ready to Work Case Manager at Green Opportunities where his community connections and relationships have allowed him to support people in obtaining sustainable employment. He  participates in The Buncombe County ACE’s Collaborative Speakers Bureau, is a member of The Asheville Citizens Police Advisory Committee. As a Certified Peer Support Specialist he is very active in the Re-Entry and Recovery Communities. He is also the Founder and Director of The Urban Arts Institute Of WNC which promotes healthy living thru creative/performing arts. As a proud husband to Brandi and father of 8 sons and 2 daughters Michael’s commitment to the betterment of his community has always been evident. His dedication to serve and support has continuously been his driving force. Even through the many obstacles of life, from prison to substance use, he has shown himself to be resilient enough to bounce back. Today he is more motivated than ever to engage with the leaders of our city to ensure that all people are afforded the same opportunities and that “Diversity” is not just another catch phrase.

SESSION 2: Equity.

Wed, September 19, 2018 | Lenoir-Rhyne University Asheville, 36 Montford Ave, 28801 (2nd Floor Boardroom)

OVERVIEW: What is the difference between equality and equity? In this session, we will explore how social justice at the community level interests with retention at the organizational level, and ultimately how both influence rising workforce and leadership.  

FACILITATOR: Tyshaun Johnson

"My name is Tyshaun Johnson, while I have not yet completed my bachelor's degree in Political Science I have achieved a number of other accomplishments. Such as, traveling to China twice to represent AHS to our sister School, being awarded the Pinnacle Scholar Award for Service by Berea College, and a Leadership Award by the city of Asheville for my contributions under the City's Equity and Inclusion Director. Over the course of the past year, I interned for the City Manager's Office, District Attorney Office, as well as the African American Caucus under the Self-Help Credit Union. This summer I had the honor of being chosen by Ignite NC to participate in their freedom Summer fellowship, a project by the Southern Vision Alliance created to build the leadership and power of young people to create lasting change. This fall I will begin of my last year of studies at Berea College, with the goal of obtaining my degree in Political Science.  I was born and raised in Newport News, VA, to a teenage mother of age 16 who already had my older sister Kierra who was age 2 at the time. Growing up we bounced around a lot, I attended 3 three elementary schools, 3 middle schools, and two high schools. The instability of school was always contrasted by the time spent at my Granny's house, a place that provided consistency and has been a place to call home. I will use my life experience to work to create an environment where we can learn, develop, and create the change we wish to see in the world."

SESSION 3: Inclusion.

Wed, October 17, 2018 | Lenoir-Rhyne University Asheville, 36 Montford Ave, 28801 (2nd Floor Boardroom)

OVERVIEW: What does it mean to truly create an inclusive work environment? How can people of color be more integrated into leadership roles and decision-making? Are people of color in your organization more than data? In this session, strategy, song, narrative and hope collide.



“Santos” is Cacique/Chief and founder of GlocalSoul Edutainment- an arts based business and empowerment platform officially started in 2014. It’s Mission is to deliver Life Changing, Entertaining and Educational Programing Empowering healthy collective & individual social change and self transformation. Programing encompasses curriculum centered on cultural empowerment, “Glocal” Identity, Goal Mapping, Social Justice, and Wellness relevant for professional and commUnity organizations; as well as the Middle, High school and Higher Education. Santos Soul is a Poetic Soul Singer, Songwriter and Cultural Organizer. Santos is also a father,  Sifu/Instructor in Tai Chi and Gung Fu and 2006 Graduate of NCA&TSU with a BA in Political Science. Santos has been performing and Cultural Organizing through music, movement, and Edutainment nationally and Internationally for the past 15 years based in North Carolina. Santos extends his journey aimed at Collective Change Through Self Transformation with song, poetry, breathe, and movement. Influences draw from the message music of Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Hip-Hop, Spoken Word, R&B and World folk music.  His mantra is “I’m Changing the World, by Changing Me”!



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