The field of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is blossoming – at a time when our country cries out in deep need for the empowering work being accomplished by the leading Chief Diversity Officers. There is no better time for the 2022 Martha’s Vineyard Chief Diversity Officer Summit. An inaugural event, it is with excitement that Founder Dani Monroe announces the speakers due to take the stage come August 8th.
The stage is set for history, as we move closer to the inaugural Martha’s Vineyard Chief Diversity Officer Summit. The convening of over 125 of the brightest in the world of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) will take place from August 10th to the 12th – featuring speeches, panel discussions, and a collaborative discussion with the greater community of the Vineyard.
The summit, the first of its kind, continues to draw excitement in parallel with the now blossoming field of DE&I.
Its founder, the changemaker Dani Monroe has been a pioneer in this space as the trusted advisor and Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) who has led organizational change within institutions like Pfizer, the Central Intelligence Agency, Walt Disney Company, Hasbro, and Mass General Brigham.
When Monroe began her career forty years ago, the concept of a Chief Diversity Officer was yet unheard of. Fast forward to 2022 and she’ll be hosting the most innovative members of the DE&I community at a CDO summit that will be cemented as a Martha’s Vineyard tradition for years to come.
Martha’s Vineyard is a longtime respite for America’s most diverse communities and a cherished landmark for the likes of African-American heroes Frederick Douglas and Langston Hughes. This August, the Massachusetts island will be home to renewal. Monroe’s vision for the event: a haven with a deep sense of wellness and joy.
“There is the opportunity to experience healing and psychological safety in the environment of Martha’s Vineyard,” Monroe says, “while at the same time being in community – with people who are going through similar experiences as you as a Chief Diversity Officer. That in itself creates healing.”
As such, it is with anticipation that Monroe reveals the esteemed list of speakers and panelists who will lead the dialogue in Martha’s Vineyard. Guests include:
Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett: the scientist whose work was essential to the creation of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Damon A. Williams, PhD: the CEO, thought leader, and author who has served millions through strategic diversity leadership.
And Nicole Hannah-Jones: the Pulitzer Prize winning author of the 1619 Project and Professor of Journalism at Howard University.
With too many highlights to name, you can find the full list on the Summit’s website. Monroe’s first concept for the summit was to hold an intimate gathering in her living room – the sheer number of people who have jumped at the chance to serve and be active in their community has amazed the Founder. “The Spirit put this on my soul to carry out – I didn’t know the full message until we started walking this path. The beauty of it is this isn’t a Monroe path – this has been a collective effort.”
This meeting of DE&I’s greatest minds and innovative CDOs could not have come at a more critical time for our nation’s workplace and politics. Equal parts respite, celebration, and dialogue, this convening will observe the stunning growth that the field has accomplished in the last few years, while looking forward with agency and hopeful optimism to the work still to be done.
There’s much to celebrate: 50% of CDOs came into their role in 2019 and 2020, a testament to the rapid evolution of the DE&I landscape. “Corporation’s have become more socially conscious than ever before,” Monroe says. “They have begun to realize that their employees care about the issues of social justice and they can no longer sit on the sidelines.”
The cultural revolution called to action by George Floyd’s murder, the burnout and human capital issues invoked by the pandemic, and – most recently – SCOTUS’ decision on Roe V Wade which disproportionately impacts women of color and marginalized communities, are among the issues that rest upon the shoulders of our country’s CDOs. The summit gathers the intellect, resources, and support needed to turn such problems into triumph.
To all the CDOs who have fought this good but thankless fight, Monroe is building a place at Martha’s Vineyard where they can be renewed with wellness and joy. “We see you,” Monroe says. “Others may not, but we do.”
An event as historic as this would not occur if not on the shoulder of giants. Monroe honors the pioneering spirit of the late Adrienne Williams, Phd; and her mentor Dr. Price Cobbs, amongst countless other heroes who devoted their lives to the emergence of DE&I which will now be celebrated this August at Martha’s Vineyard.
This may be a closed event exclusively crafted for the CDO community, but its song will ring throughout our workplaces and our country. The attendees represent every industry and their platform spans across organizations including Amazon, Google, and BlackRock.
“We’re a beacon of hope and light for people in organizations who often have to stand tall and stand their ground when others aren’t right,” Monroe says. It’s no wonder why the 2022 CDO Summit’s logo boldly wears a lighthouse.
On August 10th, a great light will emit from Martha’s Vineyard – with it a message. “Support each other as human beings today,” Dani Monroe says. “Step back into that space and humanity – half of what we’re dealing with would go away.”
For those fortunate enough to attend, there are still tickets available to the Community Conversation on August 12th. To keep up with the incredible work being accomplished by the Chief Diversity Officer Summit and its Founder, Dani Monroe, be sure to visit their website.