Rhodes PerryRhodes Perry is an award-winning social entrepreneur, best-selling author, and sought-after keynote speaker. Nationally recognized as a LGBTQ+ thought leader, he has 20 years of leadership experience having worked at the White House, the Department of Justice, and PFLAG National. Media outlets like Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and the Associated Press have featured his powerful work as a diversity, equity, and inclusion influencer. He serves as the CEO of Rhodes Perry Consulting, a global leadership and management consulting firm helping visionaries and change makers build belonging at work. He earned a BA from the University of Notre Dame, and an MPA from New York University. He also serves on the National LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce’s Transgender Inclusion Task Force.

Rhodes Perry will be offering several workshops throughout the semester, starting on Monday, January 18, 2021, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Introductory session

Jan. 18, 2021

“The Active Bystander: Learn How to Interrupt Casual Racism.”
Racism is pervasive in the United States. It is deeply woven into the fabric of every institution and system, including higher education. It also exists on an interpersonal level, challenging the relationships we cultivate with our peers and colleagues. During this introductory workshop, we will examine how racism arises in our daily exchanges and learn ways we can begin to safely disrupt it. Our goal will focus on the ways we can begin undoing the learned and everyday behaviors that reinforce racism. Together we will move towards building a healthier campus culture that centers those on campus least likely to feel safe.

Belonging Learning Series

Note: This is intended as a series, not six non-connected sessions. When considering your involvement, we ask that you commit to all six sessions, notwithstanding unavoidable conflicts. Rhodes Perry will facilitate six, one-hour learning sessions all about the power of building a greater sense of belonging on campus. Each workshop includes empathy building exercises, relevant research, and every day actions participants can take to build a healthier workplace culture. Included are mini-lectures, one-on-one and small group activities, and larger group discussions.

The most important question we will explore in this learning series: “Who are we intentionally including, and unintentionally excluding in our virtual work?”

Your outcome will be a team prepared to begin building cultures of belonging – for themselves and for their peers, colleagues, and students on campus and in our virtual work.

Key takeaways:

  • The ability to avoid the mistakes of overlooking the importance of building a virtual sense of belonging.
  • Improved results from learning the belonging foundations of safety and trust.
  • Appreciation of the personal actions anyone can virtually take to enhance the overall workplace culture.
  • Expanded knowledge and strategies on the important issue of inclusive leadership.
  • Enhanced clarity about what it will take to build virtual workplace cultures of belonging.
  • Knowledge of virtual communication approaches that transcend differences. Discovery of the specific steps required to virtually build belonging at work.

Session descriptions

Feb. 8, 2021, noon

Belonging Basics
A combination of large group, small group discussions processing what belonging on campus means, who is most likely to feel a strong sense of belonging, and who is least likely to feel it. A mini-lecture about the role psychological safety and trust play in feeling a sense of belonging will help frame the conversation.

March 1, 2021, noon

Build Your Empathy Muscles
This session focuses on empathy. Participants will have the opportunity to identify a topic that they strongly support, consider another person’s perspective that strongly disagrees with their position, and then argue why they are right. This session involves small & large group discussions and will introduce the concept of ponder.

March 22, 2021, noon

Your Inclusive Leadership
This session allows each participant to name some of the six inclusive leadership traits they already possess as well as to identify those leadership traits they can strengthen – no matter their role on campus. This work will be done in small groups with guided reflection questions.

April 12, 2021, noon

Power on Campus
This session is focused on how power works on campus. Distinguishing the differences between equality and equity, and the feelings of belonging for those who are the most enfranchised on campus compared to those who are the least enfranchised. Participants will consider why those furthest away from positions of power may feel excluded, and gain strategies to address these disparities.

Zoom recording of "Power on Campus" (50:24)

May 3, 2021, noon

Fumbling Towards Repair
This session covers what to do - not if - but when a good intention produces a negative impact. How do we fumble towards repair after a rupture? How do we truly apologize, name the behavior that has caused harm, identify how we will change that behavior in the future, and move on?

Zoom recording of "Fumbling Towards Repair" (53:14}

Worksheet for practicing the Repair Framework - if interested, please complete before the May 24 session.

May 24, 2021, noon

Making a Commitment
This session focuses on the DEI long-game and why making a lifelong commitment to this work matters. Participants have the option of sharing one commitment they will make, or one personal action they will take to apply some of their learnings after the session is over. This session will help close out the full Belonging learning series.

Zoom recording of "Making a Commitment" (39:47)


Nhora Lucía Serrano, Ph.D.

Director of Learning and Research Services

Help us provide an accessible education, offer innovative resources and programs, and foster intellectual exploration.

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