From 1985 to 1989, Legacy International offered a series of presentations and discussions on interfaith understanding, regional conflicts, and environmentally sustainable development known as the Global Viewpoints Forum. In these forums, Legacy President and Founder J.E. Rash gathered experts, policy makers, and religious leaders to discuss current critical issues of development in the Washington, DC area. On May 9th, in conjunction with Legacy International’s 40th anniversary and as part of the Professional Fellows Program (PFP), Legacy convened an interactive panel discussion on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, why it’s essential, and how to be aware of hidden biases when building inclusive teams. The speakers included Darlene Slaughter, Shelly Bell, and Timothy Kane.

Darlene Slaughter, VP Chief People Officer at March of Dimes, is leading efforts to expedite and advance worldwide diversity and inclusion strategies, partnerships and initiatives working closely with community-based United Ways, as well as corporate and community partners. Her work in diversity and inclusion has been recognized in various ways. She has won many awards and honors including SAVOY’s 2012 Top 100 Influential Women in Corporate America, Profiles in Diversity Journal’s list of Women Worth Watching, Black Enterprises’ Top Executives in Diversity and Heart & Soul’s Women of Substance in Finance.

Shelly Bell, Founder of Black Girl Ventures, Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 & 2018 Minority Female Professional of the Year, Shelly Bell is a system disruptor and business strategist who moves ideas to profit while empowering people to live more authentically. As a cultural translator, she connects entrepreneurs, investors, and corporations in order to diversify their talent pipeline, increase equity and grow their brands. Her organization, Black Girl Ventures (BGV) is a social enterprise that creates access to social and financial capital for Black/Brown women founders. Google recognized Shelly’s ability to engage an audience from grassroots to government. As a result, she serves as one of eight Google Digital Coached working to bridge the digital divide for Black & Latinx business owners. Shelly Bell has been covered by Forbes, Entrepreneur.com, NewsOne, Adweek, the Washington Business Journal and more.

Timothy Kane, President, and Founder of Niche2Norm Consulting creates safe space for authentic dialogue and empowering communication regarding personal identities, individual strength, and community success. Through the lens of diversity and inclusion, Timothy invites audiences to embrace their role as servant-leaders and agents of constructive social change. By using an interactive and outcomes-oriented presenting style, Timothy illuminates promising practices and pathways of getting from diversity to inclusion. Timothy also works as the Associate Director for Inclusion Initiatives at The George Washington University (GW) in Washington, DC.

When answering the question, ‘What do you mean by diversity?’, Bell answered, “Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance, and belonging is dancing whether anyone asked you or not.” As Bell emphasized through her words, it is essential to know the differences and distinctions between terms like diversity, inclusion, and belonging. In all environments – whether they be business-related, educational, and even social – it is important for people to not only have a diverse and inclusive environment, but also (and more importantly) one that gives its people a sense of belonging. Through our programs, we at Legacy International are always trying to promote belonging in communities all over the world; and we are were so glad to celebrate our 40th anniversary by sharing knowledge and facilitating discussions with enlightened leaders like Bell, Slaughter, and Kane.