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706 L&D’s Role in Reducing Racial Inequity at Work

2:45 PM - 3:45 PM
Thursday, April 21

Tracks: Management & Strategy

Issues of diversity and racial equity have taken on renewed importance in many organizations. L&D professionals may be asked to develop DEI training to support new or renewed goals around diversity. L&D reaches every employee in an organization and we have a unique opportunity to advance equity in every learning experience we create. How can L&D better prepare to engage and lead equity efforts? This session will help those who hold more privileged identities and those who don’t connect meaningfully to the conversation on racial equity at work, process our feelings and perceptions, and create an action plan for what’s next.

This session includes multiple perspectives and has been designed in three sections: foundational knowledge, structures that support equity, and equity action planning. The first section will cover personal socialization and bias. This is a key first step to engaging and leading equity work. While many participants might want to get right into actions and strategies (which we will also cover), a key component of equity work is to understand the impact personal socialization can have on relationships with others. We will use the cycle of socialization tool developed by Bobbi Harro to normalize how we learn bias, because we all have it. Then we will examine social identity mapping. Participants will learn how the intersection of different identities can and does affect learning design. The second section will help participants take a deep dive into the structures and processes that could be perpetuating inequity in the workplace. Participants will be given a checklist to help them to consider a few key perspectives to challenge this inequity and to create and sustain change. Finally, the action planning for equity section will look at what L&D can do next to address inequity. By reviewing an action mapping tool and making personal commitments, learning leaders will leave this session equipped with key next steps to drive change.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to explore personal socialization and subsequent bias
  • How to assess if structures, processes, and/or social interactions are equitable
  • How to work more effectively with your team across lines of difference
  • How to make impactful anti-racist decisions that make your learning leadership more equitable

Technology discussed:

Inclusive stock photo platforms, IAT bias assessment

Jess Jackson

Racial Equity Strategist


Jess Jackson is an instructional designer, writer, speaker and has over 15 years’ experience as a diversity peer educator. She is the author of TorranceLearning’s curriculum Cultivating Racial Equity in the Workplace (CREW), a holistic microlearning training program that addresses equity barriers in the workplace using evidence-informed best practices from social psychology research. She has worked within education addressing access, retention, and success of diverse learners, and her commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion has been recognized at the international level. Her work has been featured on platforms such as Mic, TedX, Michigan Advance, Learning Solutions Magazine, and ACPA, among others.

Megan Torrance



Megan Torrance is CEO and founder of TorranceLearning, which helps organizations connect learning strategy to design, development, data, and ultimately performance. She has more than 25 years of experience in learning design, deployment, and consulting . Megan and the TorranceLearning team are passionate about sharing what works in learning, so they devote considerable time to teaching and sharing about Agile project management for learning experience design and the xAPI. She is the author of Agile for Instructional Designers, The Quick Guide to LLAMA, and Making Sense of xAPI. Megan is also an eCornell Facilitator in the Women’s Executive Leadership curriculum.