Are you a business leader, diversity and inclusion practitioner, or talent manager who’s curious about leveraging coaching for employee engagement and performance improvement?

Are you a coach who’s ready to adapt and learn new and innovative ways of coaching online and on demand?

Then you don’t want to miss the first annual Symposium for Coaching in Diversity and Inclusion, offered by CoachDiversity Institute. This energizing and groundbreaking event features keynotes by world-renowned experts in leadership, education, positive psychology, international development, social justice, health, and well-being.

Our Speakers

Dr. Towanna Burrous

Dr. Towanna is President of CoachDiversity Institute, a best-selling author, trainer, and an ICF professional certified coach (PCC) based in Washington, DC. As a much sought after executive coach, Towanna’s mission is to empower diverse communities through executive coaching. Her role is to test, re-test and ultimately drive the organization’s overarching vision, strategy, and tactical direction. The CoachDiversity team delivers training and curriculum for to-be coaches and customized diversity and leadership programs for corporate and individual clients.

Towanna has spent the past 28 years in both federal government and the private sector that has led to her serving a broad range of business executives, sales, and IT (information technology) professionals. She delivers custom keynotes and coaching and training programs designed to assist organizations in their efforts to equip their leaders and key contributors with the skills and competencies needed to excel in today’s challenging business environment. She uses her expertise helping businesses shape corporate strategies that produce positive bottom line benefits.

Towanna is a trusted partner and problem solver for many clients tackling morale, employee retention, employee engagement, training and development in the post-recession world.

As founder of the Black Life Coaches network, she has helped over 600 life coaches, counselors and therapists from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and South Africa. Towanna is currently in the process of earning a  Doctorate of Education from the University of Pennsylvania. She has a Master of Science in Education from the University of Pennsylvania, a Doctorate of Divinity from Elbon-Solutions College of Ministry and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Howard University.

Howard C. Stevenson, Ph.D.

Recipient of CoachDiversity Institute’s 2018 Impact Award

Dr. Howard Stevenson is the Constance Clayton Professor of Urban Education, Professor of Africana Studies, in the Human Development & Quantitative Methods Division of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Stevenson is Executive Director of the Racial Empowerment Collaborative (REC), a research, program development, and training center that brings together community leaders, researchers, authority figures, families, and youth to study and promote racial literacy and health in schools and neighborhoods. He is also the Director of Forward Promise, a national program office funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to provide philanthropic support for organizations designed to improve the health of boys and young men of color and their families and to help them heal from the trauma of historical and present-day dehumanization, discrimination, and colonization. Since 1985, Dr. Stevenson has served as a clinical and consulting psychologist working in impoverished rural and urban neighborhoods across the country.

Sophia A. Nelson, Esq.

NBC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR, MSNBC Commentator, Award-Winning Journalist & Best-Selling Author

Sophia A. Nelson is a voice of reason in chaotic times. She engages audiences with her discerningly conservative, yet candidly independent perspective on the top political news of the day, and the importance of fostering inclusion in today’s cultural landscape. Sophia is an award-winning author of books like “Black Woman Redefined” and “The Woman Code”. She is an on air journalist, politico, attorney, and media commentator for MSNBC. Sophia is a highly sought conference and corporate speaker for her ability to bring clarity to a host of issues of the day, from women’s and civil rights, to what truly makes America great: our diversity. Sophia is a former congressional committee investigative counsel, high-powered corporate lobbyist, and political insider. She left legal practice in 2008 to become a journalist covering the historic Obama campaign. She went on to serve as JET Magazine’s first White House correspondent covering the Obama White House 2010-2012, and after that, writing award winning columns for Essence, The Washington Post, and The Daily Beast. Lastly, Sophia is the author of the Pulitzer nominated book, Black Woman Redefined: Dispelling Myths and Discovering Fulfillment in the Age of Michelle Obama, and global best-sellerThe Woman Code: 20 Powerful Keys to Unlock Your Life and her latest national best-seller, E Pluribus One: Reclaiming Our Founders’ Vision for a United America (2017).

Miguel Joey Aviles

Miguel Joey Aviles is a TEDx speaker, author and renowned D&I strategist. He is a change-maker with firsthand experience in the development of programs and initiatives that strengthen the systems, by which organizations recruit, engage and retain a diverse workforce. He is the Chief of Diversity and Inclusion for a global organization with over 88,000 employees. Miguel has been featured at the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, Telemundo, the Change Management Conference, Human Capital Institute, Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) Talent Management and D&I Conferences, Fortune 500 companies, and other global organizations. Miguel authored the eBook “Hispanics 101: How to Recruit, Manage and Retain your Hispanic Workforce.”

Gloria S. Chan

Gloria S. Chan is a High I.M.P.A.C.T. Leadership Consultant based in Washington, DC. She is an award-winning author of Colorful Leadership: How Women of Color Transform Our World. She offers strategic facilitation, leadership training and assessments, speaking engagements, and individualized coaching. Her clients include senior leaders and organizations in government, corporate, nonprofit, foundations, journalism, and youth and education sectors. She is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC), credentialed by the International Coach Federation (ICF). Gloria is the founder of the Asian Pacific Islander Life Coaches Network and a noted expert in the Asian American community.

Previously, Gloria spent seven years in national politics. She served as President and CEO of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS), which trains the political leadership pipeline for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. She facilitated an organizational turnaround, secured President Barack Obama as a keynote speaker for APAICS’s 18th annual gala, and raised $1.5 million to support APAICS leadership programs across the nation. She has also served in the U.S. Congress as executive director of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), as well as legislative counsel to Rep. Michael Honda.

In 1999, she founded Chinatown Youth Initiatives (CYI), a youth leadership nonprofit for high school students in New York City that has served over 2,000 youth since its founding. Gloria received her law degree from Harvard Law School and an undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College.

Jennifer Dooley Neumaier

Jennifer Dooley Neumaier began her career as a coal analyst for Thompson Financial. Intrigued by the financial markets she joined Bloomberg Financial where she spent almost 20 years serving the investment community. Having spent her career creating new businesses and staffing global sales teams to support them, her interest began to lie in the actual framework required to grown and maintain these businesses. By instituting and replicating hiring and training frameworks across the organization she was able to create consistency in client support while up-leveling skillsets of the teams she spent so much time putting in place.

When offered an opportunity to leverage these frameworks with LinkedIn’s clients, she didn’t bat an eye. Working with its largest clients she was able to consult on how to align company initiatives to bridge the skill gap, hire top talent, and implement measures to continuously engage this talent which optimized retention rates. All of this pointed back to learning, and implementing tools that would allow organizations to create a learning culture to up-level skills and increasing employee engagement. In April of 2017, Jennifer joined the LinkedIn Learning business line to work with its top tier companies consulting on best practice for implementing learning solutions across an enterprise.

Jennifer has always had a penchant for learning. She has received her Professional Pastry and Baking Arts degree from the Institute of Culinary Education. She is currently enrolled at Hofstra University in an American Sign Language certification course and attends The University of Pennsylvania’s CLO Executive Master and Doctoral Program which focuses on executive level education. She also lends her expertise to start up organizations and currently sits on an advisor board for PresentR, a app based communication improvement platform.

When not working on her Doctorate she believes in giving back to the community which served purposeful for her in her childhood. A member of the American Red Cross, she spent 4 months at the 9/11 disaster site providing relief to emergency workers. She also most recently worked with Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter, an incredible organization that works to provide shelter and jobs to the chronically homeless community.

Damon T. Hewitt

Damon guides a philanthropic network of 40 national, local, and community foundation presidents who are committed to changing policies and systems that limit opportunity for boys and men of color and to shifting the false narratives about our nation’s sons, brothers and fathers. Through his leadership, the EA has made philanthropy’s investments in boys and men of color more strategic and impactful.

Previously, Damon worked as Senior Advisor for U.S. Programs at the Open Society Foundations and for over a decade as an attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF). There he founded LDF’s Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline initiative and worked on extended assignment in his hometown of New Orleans to coordinate post-Hurricane Katrina litigation and advocacy on education, housing, and voting-rights issues. Damon also worked as Executive Director of the New York Police-on-Police Shootings Task Force.

Damon is coauthor of The School-to-Prison Pipeline: Structuring Legal Reform (2012, NYU Press), and he has published numerous articles and opinion pieces on racial justice, school discipline policy, and progressive education reform. He holds a B.A. in political science from Louisiana State University and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He currently resides with his wife and two daughters in the Washington, DC metro area.

Vega Subramaniam

Vega Subramaniam is a coach and trainer with Vega Mala Consulting. She has years of experience facilitating intentional life planning workshops for activists, nonprofit staff and leaders, and others. As a coach, her specialties include leadership, career transition, and intentional life planning.

Vega is a long-time activist promoting gender, racial, LGBTQ, and economic justice. She has facilitated leadership workshops, given conference keynote addresses, and presented professional development trainings for local and national organizations. She has also taught sociology and worked in student services at Penn State University, Western Washington University, and the University of Washington.

Allison Thom

Allison is a Senior Learning Portfolio Manager at McKinsey & Company. She manages the portfolio focused on all the learning that happens outside of the formal classroom through digital learning, learning on teams, coaching, and many other opportunities to learn. She also leads efforts to collaborate with McKinsey’s offices worldwide to support them in the learning they offer locally and improve sharing of best practices on learning and development. She is passionate about helping others develop and created Coach Now, a digitally supported program that offers coaching in the moment, so McKinsey consultants have access to a coach any time they need it.

Allison has spent the last 18 years at McKinsey, with most of that time in Learning and Development. She holds Masters degrees in Counseling and Organizational Psychology from Columbia University and a BA from the University of Notre Dame.

Allison lives in Connecticut with her three sons and her husband. Thankfully, she loves sports and being active, so has plenty in common with her household of boys. Some of her favorite activities are stand-up paddle, Pilates, and cheering for her sons’ various sports teams.

Tim Wikstrom

Tim Wikstrom is the CEO and Co-Founder of Presentr, a training and technology company dedicated to helping people communicate more effectively. His passion for communication has spanned two decades and he has been an executive coach and trainer for most of that time.

Tim has founded several companies focused on coaching and communication including Breakout Communications that he launched in 2006. At Breakout, he worked with Fortune 500 companies around the globe, including Cisco, Genentech and Chubb Insurance, training and coaching individuals and teams. In 2014 Tim co-founded Presentr as a game-changer in the world of communication skills training. He and his team introduced desktop and mobile applications that allow users to practice and gain real-time feedback on their speaking skills, similar to the experience his clients have with him. His goal is to democratize the access to learning and coaching to allow more professionals and students build their confidence and tap into their potential by dynamically communicating their ideas and messages.

This year, Tim and his co-founder launched a podcast, Figures of Speech, where they talk to business leaders, influencers and media personalities about their own experience as communicators. He is spreading the word and building a world of more confident speakers, one person at a time.

Darlene Nipper

Darlene is Rockwood’s CEO, and has been part of the training team since 2012. She has over 25 years of leadership and advocacy experience. She previously served as Deputy Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, Executive Director of the BET Foundation, founder of the Multicultural and International Outreach (MIO) Center, Chief Operating Officer at NAMI, and Director of LGBT Affairs in the Executive Office of the Mayor of D.C. Darlene, a native Washingtonian, is also an ordained interfaith minister, practices mindfulness meditation and yoga, and has practiced both near and far, including in India and the Bahamas.

Marion Hodges Biglan

Marion Hodges Biglan is a professionally certified diversity coach and independent consultant, focusing on helping non-profits achieve their missions by ensuring that their leadership and their approach to talent fuels their success in culturally proficient ways. Specifically, Marion provides leadership coaching to executives, strategic advising on talent and management practices, and facilitation of trainings that build culture and leadership throughout organizations. Marion is deeply committed to racial justice, and facilitates learning experiences for white leaders to learn about racism and their role combating it. Marion brings 20+ years of experience leading teams in non-profits, and continues her journey to learn and foster racial justice as a parent and community member in the Philadelphia region.

Roti Balogun

Roti is currently the Executive Organization, Talent & Learning Development Leader for GE Africa responsible for the integrated organization, talent, and skills development strategy for the company with 3000+ employees across 25 countries in the region. He joined GE from Ericsson where he returned to Africa canvassing the continent in a range of diverse careers spanning Engineering, HR Talent Management, HR Business Partnering & Learning Leadership roles across the continent. He completed his bachelor’s and master’s degree in Electronics & Software Engineering from Loughborough University UK, attained an MBA from the Imperial College London Business School, a postgraduate HR Diploma from the Cornell School of Industrial Relations, and an impending Executive Doctorate in Education (Ed. D) from the University of Pennsylvania.

Roti has been recognized locally and internationally, as a thought leader in the areas of national capacity and skills development. He is an entrepreneur at heart, passionate about the impact of technology on education and serves on the board of various indigenous technology start-up brands on the continent. He is a member of the association of talent development (ATD), a certified coach from the international coaching federation (ICF), institute of directors South Africa, and speaks regularly on innovation & sustainable education development in Africa, at various conferences globally. He lives with his wife Ruki in Johannesburg, South Africa

Yuh Wen Ling

Yuh Wen Ling is a life and leadership coach supporting high-achieving professionals from minority, immigrant, and working class backgrounds. She supports her clients in breaking free from family, cultural, and societal expectations in order to tap into their own power, purpose, and joy. Yuh Wen believes that the most important relationship that one has in life is the relationship that one has with one’s self. Getting to know one’s self – one’s values, behaviors, passions, and purpose — is one of the most rewarding tasks one will ever undertake.

Sara Guerreiro

Sara serves as the Global Development Program Manager at CoachDiversity Institute. She is a certified coach, providing support to international professionals who work in high stress environments or who are going through career or life transitions, helping them to build resilience and find a work-life balance.

With a law and international development background, she has worked over 18 years in home-based and field-based settings in four different countries. She speaks four languages, including English and Portuguese, and has strong cross-cultural competencies which offers her a unique perspective to her clients. Sara is passionate about building bridges between coaching, conflict prevention and mediation, human rights and resilience.

Sara coaches people around the world who want to make a positive difference, explore their creativity, and reach their full potential to leave a meaningful legacy behind. Her clients include professionals who work internationally with the United Nations or the Aga-Khan Foundation, as well as people from other backgrounds, such as technology (CEOs and Business Intelligence consultants), law and dance.

She trains and mentors people who are completing their coach certification program with CoachDiversity or who want to add coaching to their skill set. She also consults with UN agencies and other international organizations on matters of peace and reconciliation, statelessness, access to justice, other human rights and rule of law.
This work involves frequent travels to other countries, especially to Guinea-Bissau (West Africa) where she lived and worked for over 3 years. Passionate about movement, she loves dancing and she teaches a Salsa class, in her free time.

Frank Barciak III

After 14 years in HR leadership roles in large Fortune 100 companies such as United Airlines, Delta Airlines, Knowledge Universe (KinderCare) and Best Buy, Frank found his passion and home in the coaching space. While he has coached employees at multiple levels, up to and including CEOs, his passion is helping employees with visible and invisible disabilities flourish and thrive successfully in the workforce. Additionally, he relentlessly champions and encourages others in the coaching space to broaden their practice to include people with disabilities. Frank believes that the unique viewpoints of employees with disabilities are a vital and fundamental voice that must be heard to help organizations successfully serve their customers and shareholders in workplaces that employees love to be a part of.

Frank earned a B.S. in Industrial-Organizational and Neurological Psychology, as well as a Masters of Human Resources and Industrial Relations from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He completed his post-graduate coursework in coaching from Northwestern University and is pursuing an additional Diploma in Coaching from NYU alongside additional certifications from The Columbia Coaching Institute and The University of Georgia. He also prays frequently that he will eventually survive his doctoral work in Human Resource Management from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Frank is also passionate about leveraging online university learning to provide more open access to training for people with disabilities through the use of university MOOCs and, in the course of that journey, has completed over 200 certifications over 3 years with little desire to curb his MOOC addiction.

Lauren LeMunyan

Lauren LeMunyan is a high-energy engagement coach who works with professionals to help spark their creativity, develop clear goals and action plans, and increase accountability and fulfillment. Lauren’s clients include entrepreneurs in the creative and fitness industries, CEOs in the tech space, and home-based business professionals.

For eleven years prior to coaching full-time, Lauren held the role of executive director of three international trade associations simultaneously. During this time, Lauren restructured budgets to increase profitability, revamped value offerings and promotion strategies, organized staff and volunteers, and increased event and membership engagement and retention. Lauren also co-founded a CrossFit gym in Las Vegas, where she discovered her passion for coaching through positive mindset and self-care.

In addition to private sessions, Lauren expresses her creative energy in to a variety of professional development endeavors:  She is the founder of the Spring Cleaning Summit, an annual event focused on providing mind, body, soul and space clarity; host of The SpitFire Podcast, a weekly show focused on creative entrepreneurs and passionate professionals and a frequent lifestyle blogger.

Lauren is a Professional Certified Coach, credentialed by the International Coaching Federation. She graduated from Rutgers University with a major in Sociology and is constantly fascinated by the people she encounters.

More speaker announcements coming soon!

The Schedule


8:30 AM


by Dr. Towanna Burrous

9:00 AM

Longing to Belong: Leveraging Coaching in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Work

by Damon Hewitt; Darlene Nipper; Frank Barciak III; Vega Subramaniam

9:15 AM

Networking Break

10:30 AM

Rethinking Obedience: Empowering Women of Color in the Workplace

by Yuh Wen Ling

10:45 AM

Whiteness at Work

by Marion Biglan

11:00 AM

The Coach-Approach to International Development

by Sara Guerreiro

11:15 AM

E Pluribus ONE: Reclaiming Our Founders’ Vision for a United America

by Sophia A. Nelson, Esq.

11:30 AM

Lunch Keynote

Lunch is provided

12:00 PM

The Power of Belonging But Not Fitting In

by Dr. Howard C. Stevenson

12:15 PM

CDI Impact Award Presentation

by Dr. Towanna Burrous

1:00 PM

Innovations in Learning & Development: Cultivating Belonging through Sponsored Coaching Programs

by Allison Thom; Roti Balogun; Jennifer Neumaier; Tim Wikstrom

1:30 PM

Networking Break

2:45 PM

Inclusive HEROES

by Miguel Joey Aviles

3:00 PM


4:00 PM

*Agenda subject to change.

What to Expect

Through The Power of Belonging, CoachDiversity Institute is establishing the industry’s premier event for coaching and diversity. Never before has there been an event that holds a spotlight on the use of coaching as a toolkit for diversity and inclusion, and promotes and celebrates diversity in this ever-growing field. This symposium creates that forum to gather the best minds in coaching, diversity, and inclusion; and to share knowledge, resources, and tools.

Learn Best Practices

Develop and share of best practices in coaching and diversity. Get inspired with actionable, new ideas from the industry’s thought leaders.

Expand Your Network

Take part in community-building and networking for practitioners in business, talent management, public and non-profit sectors, coaching, and diversity. Make connections to grow your business and make an impact.

Honor Trailblazers

Honor trailblazers who are using coaching in innovative ways, whether in diversity, equity and inclusion work, using sponsored coaching programs, or other creative enterprises.

Be a Part of History

Join us as we establish this inaugural forum for coaching and diversity practitioners.

Nominate A Coach


CoachDiversity Institute is proud to celebrate innovation at the intersection of coaching and diversity with the inaugural CDI Impact Award.

Through this award, we seek to honor trailblazers who are uniquely leveraging the power of coaching in their work empowering diverse communities.

Nominations are now open for this national recognition of notable practitioners in the field of coaching and the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Recipients may be leaders within the following industries including, but not limited to, business, technology, foundations and nonprofits, education, government and media. CoachDiversity Institute celebrates diversity and encourages submission by all individuals regardless of their sexual orientation, religious affiliation, or race/ethnicity. Nominees from all industries are eligible for consideration.

If you know a leader who innovates at the cross-section of coaching and diversity, we encourage you to nominate them for the CDI Impact Award by August 15, 2018.

The honoree must be available to attend CDI’s inaugural symposium on September 27, 2018 in Washington, DC to accept their award.

The Venue

The Knight Conference Center at the Newseum
555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, 7th Floor
Washington, DC 20001

Get Directions

Where to Stay

Finding a good hotel can be tricky. Here are some of our favorites nearby the event location.

Grand Hyatt Washington
Grand Hyatt Washington
Kimpton Hotel Monaco Washington DC
Kimpton Hotel Monaco Washington DC
Pod DC Hotel
Pod DC Hotel


Frequently Asked Questions

Is this event just for coaches?

This event is for anyone curious about leveraging the coaching skill for employee engagement, individual and community empowerment, inclusion, improved employee performance, and organizational development.

Will you have an ASL Interpreter onsite?

Yes, we will.  Make sure you let us know your needs when you register.

How can I get to the venue?

The map and contact details are listed within the venue information. You will also receive a confirmation email with location map.

What about accommodation?

The cost of the hotel accommodation and travel is not included in the event fee.

Can I get a refund on my tickets?

All tickets are non-refundable unless the event is cancelled by us, in which case we will always make a full refund.

Will I receive Continuing Coach Education credits?

Yes. The International Coach Federation approved 6.25 hours of Continuing Coach Education.

How many stages will there be?

We are excited to announce that all speakers will share the same stage. There are no breakout sessions.

Is my registration/ticket transferable?

In the event a ticket bought for personal use must be sold or given away, such tickets may be transferred to another person after purchase, until September 13, 2018. Simply email us at with the name change. Any transfers or other changes to badge information after September 13, 2018 will incur a $50 fee.

How can I add my company to your list of Sponsors?

For sponsor information, download our sponsorship packet or email


For sponsorship information, email

Contact Us

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