Western North Carolina Diversity Engagement Coalition


Fall 2017 Professional Development Series


Eligibility to Participate:  Open to employees in WNC Diversity Engagement Coalition member organizations and community members who would like to better position themselves for advancement.  Certificate of Completion awarded upon attendance at five or more sessions.

Learning Objectives:

●       Build and strengthen relationships

●       Understanding your personal strengths

●       Managing conflict and navigating challenging environments

●       Negotiation skills

●       Developing your narrative

●       Developing and deepening leadership skills while increasing your value


Program Dates: Wednesday, September 27 through November 15, 2017

Duration:  8 Weeks

Time: Wednesday Evenings starting with casual snacks and networking at 5:30 followed by the class from 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Location: MAHEC Education Building, 121 Hendersonville Rd., Asheville, NC 28803

*Registrations accepted throughout the entire series but registration is required to participate*

For questions or more information, contact Paulina Mendez at paulinam364@gmail.com or 828-785-4274

 Schedule and Learning Objectives

WEEK 1: Networking Basics

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

MAHEC, Balsam Room


David Carr, Asheville Way Facilitator, Human Resources, City of Asheville

Learning Objectives:

●       Learn how to make meaningful connections

●       Identify which intentional methods feel natural for individuals to use

●       Discuss effective methods of following up

●       Start developing relationships with other classmates – You’ll get to practice!

Homework:  Receive StandOut book and take the assessment; read your report and bring it to class next week.


WEEK 2:  StandOut - Discover Your Strengths and Lead from Your Edge

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

MAHEC, Cherokee Room


Take the StandOut assessment on-line (less than 15 minutes) and read your report.


Lakesha McDay, Director of Diversity and Inclusion and Consultant for The Center for Leadership and Professional Development, Mission Health

Learning Objectives: 

●       Trainers from Mission Health Leadership Team will lead you through the StandOut assessment and explain how you can use your assessment to maximize their effectiveness at work

●       Gaining understanding who you are, what your top strengths are, and how you can best contribute to your team. 


WEEK 3:  Introduction to Racial Battle Fatigue

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

MAHEC, Balsam Room


Megan R. Underhill, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of North Carolina Asheville

Learning Objectives: 

●       Develop an understanding of the concept of racial battle fatigue

●       Learn how racial battle fatigue affects the health of people of color

●       Explore how racial battle fatigue is facilitated by racial micro aggressions 

●       Link racial battle fatigue to the whiteness of organizational spaces

●       Discuss how to make workplaces more racially equitable


WEEK 4:  Effective Communication Skills Can Lead You to Success

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

MAHEC, Cherokee Room


Darryl Rhymes, Special Assistant to the President for Inclusion & Employment Recruiter, A-B Tech Community College

Learning Objectives:

●       Assessment of yourself including your reputation and attitude

●       Navigate through different personalities and cultural differences

●       Strategies for continuous improvements

●       Personal Documentation

●       How to “hold your own” in difficult or unprofessional conversations

●       How to deal with people who are jealous or make stereotypical remarks

●       How to prepare to get what you desire and deserve


WEEK 5:  Building a Structural Understanding of Power, Privilege + Oppression

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

MAHEC, Balsam Room


Marisol Jimenez, Lead Consultant, Tepeyac Consulting

Learning Objectives:

●       Practice group norms that can support courageous conversations about power, privilege, and oppression

●       Deepen understanding of how power dynamics and difference can impact individual and group dynamics

●       Consider what kinds of strategies are needed to interrupt inequitable power dynamics

●       Set intentional commitments for advancing equity


WEEK 6: Negotiation Fundamentals

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

MAHEC, Cherokee Room


Desiree Adaway, Principal, The Adaway Group

Learning Objectives:

●       Help you recognize the daily opportunities you must negotiate to solve everyday issues and problems

●       Increase your value to your employer or business through clear communication

●       Study a process now taught by the top business schools in the country called Interest Based or Mutual Benefit Negotiation

Desiree Adaway 600x600.jpeg

WEEK 7: Be AUTHENTIC in Your Next Job Interview

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

MAHEC, Balsam Room


Chris Hegg, Owner, Peak Opportunity Career Coaching; Career Coach, University of North Carolina at Asheville

Learning Objectives: 

●       Deliver a warm personal/professional introduction;

●       Tell 1 authentic professional story that develops trust and helps break down unconscious bias;

●       Confidently describe their top talents in a concluding pitch. 


WEEK 8:  Speed Interviews and Graduation

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

MAHEC, Cherokee Room


Members of the Steering Committee of the Western North Carolina Diversity Engagement Coalition

Learning Objectives:

●       Use the “speed networking” technique to meet with executives from the Diversity Engagement Coalition’s anchor institutions and practice your elevator speeches and interviewing skills

●       Receive feedback from executives

●       Reflect on feedback and learning experiences from the entire series

●       Graduation, celebration, and awarding of certificates!