In episode 130, Coffey talks with Shani Dellimore Barrax about the state of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging programs and who should be accountable for those programs. They discuss the definition of DEIB; understanding that each person’s various experiences “intersect” to create a unique individuals; “diversity” as a means rather than an end; equity through the four P’s: policies, programs, practices and people; the difference between intersectionality vs. intersected identities; government and corporate trends away from Chief Diversity Officers; and the ADKAR model (awareness, desire, knowledge, ability, and reinforcement ) for change management.

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Good Morning, HR Episode 130 special guest Shani Dellimore Barrax.

Shani Dellimore Barrax

Shani Dellimore Barrax (she/her/hers, formally Barrax Moore) is a strategic diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioner with more than 25 years of practical experience in organizational culture change and change leadership, training and development, strategic planning and execution, and coalition and capacity building. She serves as the Principal of Aurora Change Agency, a consulting firm partnering with organizations to create intentionally inclusive and humane cultures of belonging characterized by
psychological safety, self-inquiry, and the freedom to innovate. A trained mediator, Cornell Certified Diversity Practitioner/Advanced Practitioner, Intercultural Development Inventory Qualified Administrator, and Prosci© Certified Change Management Practitioner, Shani has led and liaised with cross-functional teams across sectors – such as education, on-profit and professional associations, corporate entities and the arts – to increase individual and organizational capacities through change agency facilitation. Her skills include integration of cultural humility and self-reflection into learning and development strategy through innovative curriculum design and delivery, data storytelling for strategic road mapping, application of academic theory to practice, and inclusive leadership development. Shani spent several years in higher education, most recently as an Assistant Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of North Texas (UNT) where she led a learning and development team, planned and delivered the UNT Equity and Diversity Conference, managed employee resource groups and diversity and inclusion councils, and developed strategic partnerships for the university. At both UNT and Tarrant County College District, a community college where she served as the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, she led an institution-wide campus inclusion climate survey and strategic planning process leading to institutional diversity and inclusion infrastructure. She served in a similar capacity for Vizient, a for profit health care performance improvement company where she led an emerging diversity and inclusion team and partnered with key stakeholders such as human resources to enhance policies and practices. Her thought leadership includes piloting INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine’s Women of Color Need Courageous Allies In the Academy Series, and partners with Viewfinder Campus-wide Climate Surveys for higher education data collection and analysis services. Her Coursera titled Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access Essentials has become an international resource for DEIB capacity-building. A sought-after keynote speaker, facilitator, and presenter at numerous conferences events, and organizations, her thought leadership contributions include the NAIS publication Diversity Work in Independent Schools: The Practice and the Practitioner and textbooks such as Quantum Realities: Educational Truth-telling in an Era of Alternative Facts and Multicultural and Diversity Issues in Student Affairs Practice: A Professional Competency-Based Approach. A former city council candidate who lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Shani serves on the boards of Child Care Group, North Texas Diversity Council, and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated.

Hailing from Raleigh, North Carolina and proud of her Caribbean heritage, she is an alumna of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a dance and UT Austin Mom, and cuddler to three cats.

1 Comment

  1. Shannon Sha

    This is by far the most honest discussion of DEIB I’ve heard in a long time. What a practical, useful conversatoin that all HR departments should listen to and re-listen to. I agree that there needs to be more accountability. And that HR departments need to take this on.


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