Our second annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Conference includes an outstanding group of DEI experts. To learn more about our speakers, the Let’s Do It Together Foundation invites you to read their bios and accomplishments below.

Joe Conway

8:45 – 9:30am – Opening Keynote: “Why Relationships and Connections Matter”

Bio

Meet Joseph ‘Joe’ Conway, one of Wilmington, NC’s beacons of equity and inclusion and the driving force behind A.B.I.D.E. of NC, LLC. As Wilmington’s first Chief Equity & Inclusion Officer and a former Director of Health Equity/Human Experience at Novant Health | NHRMC, Joe combines more than 25 years of leadership with a dedication to justice and community growth. His approach to equity work is infused with optimism, humor, and a commitment to fostering environments where everyone can succeed.

Joe’s academic background spans from the halls of the United States Naval Academy to being a Church Ministries major at Trinity Baptist College (Jax, FL), to earning an MBA in Healthcare Management, along with DEI certifications from Cornell University and a Lean-Six Sigma Black Belt initiated at Belmont University. Married to his high school sweetheart, Tiffany, for over 32 years and a father to four adult sons, Joe’s passions extend to reading, music, cooking, and travel. Joe Conway is a man who lives with purpose, challenges the status quo, and enriches
his community with every step, or at least he tries to.

jasonbutler headshot

Jason Butler

9:45am – 10:45am – “Strengthening Emotional Intelligence to Create Community”

Bio

Jason Butler has over 20 years of leadership experience in community-facing roles as an executive director, community organizer, and business entrepreneur. Throughout his career, he has helped organizations and communities navigate difficult change through positive community asset positioning, impact values investments, and a systems solutions focus. Now, he helps executive leaders and HR professionals successfully adapt to the changing needs of employees through his Village Mindset framework that utilizes the science-based research of compassion and the soft skills of emotional intelligence to activate the powerful principles of Servant Leadership. Jason is a strategic thinker, a dynamic keynote speaker, and the author of The Village Mindset. When he’s not working, he loves to ride his Harley, go skydiving, and go out for Carolina BBQ. He lives in Raleigh with his partner, Andrea, and their 7 kids!

Linda jones

Linda Jones

9:45am – 10:45am – “Recruiting, Hiring, and Retention Strategies that Support Inclusion”

Bio

Linda Graham Jones was born and raised in Mount Airy, NC. Having the desire to further her education and expand her horizons from a small town, she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business management with a minor in Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Linda Graham Jones joined the Town of Apex on February 21, 2022, as the town’s first Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She worked for the City of Raleigh in various community engagement roles beginning in 2003, most recently as the Community Engagement Administrator in the Housing and Neighborhoods Department. She has over 20 years of local government experience including liaison roles to boards and commissions. Additionally, she is a graduate of the Public Executive Leadership Academy and the Municipal and County Government Administration certification programs from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Government, and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Executive Certificate program at Georgetown University.

In her spare time, she loves to play golf, spend time with her husband, and volunteer. She is passionate about being a part of the community-building process that can help government and the community from all backgrounds create a sense of belonging and facilitate positive change together.

Donna Hawkins

Dr. Donna Hawkins

9:45am – 10:45am – “Culturally Competent Leadership that Promotes Belonging”

Bio

Dr. Donna Hawkins is a highly experienced professional serving in leadership at a large community college, bringing decades of leadership expertise in education,
pharmaceutical and other industries. With a Ph.D. and MBA from respectable
institutions, they adeptly prepare students for the dynamic business landscape,
emphasizing business principles, management strategies, and organizational dynamics.

Their broad contributions across multiple industries enrich teaching pedagogy with
practical insights and reflect a steadfast commitment to lifelong learning and social
responsibility through research, professional development, and community service.

Dr.Hawkins is recognized as a workshop leader and conference speaker, specializing in leadership development, and strategic management, inspiring diverse audiences to foster inclusive cultures and drive positive change.

Tony Macias

Tony Macias

9:45am – 10:45am – “Building Better Connections Through Language Justice”

Bio

Tony Macias is a native of the US South, and an interpreter/translator and facilitator in the popular education tradition with over 20 years of experience in the labor, migration, and international human rights sectors. He was one of the coordinators of the U.S. Social Forum’s Language Justice Team in 2010, and later co-founded the Austin Language Justice Collective and the Tilde Language Justice Cooperative. He is also a founder of the Tilde Education Fund and its program titled the Colibri Academy for HIV and Language Justice. Tony comes to language justice because his family lost its connection with its ancestral languages due to immigration, migration, and colonization: some of his ancestors crossed the U.S./Mexico border; for others, the border crossed them; and yet other ancestors left their European languages behind to assimilate into white English-speaking American life. His work as an English and Spanish interpreter is his favorite way to contribute to his community and the world and is a form of personal and ancestral healing.

Curtis Hill

Curtis Hill

11am – 11:45am – Key Note Presentation
12:45pm – 2:45pm – “Creating a Culture of Belonging Workshop”

Bio

In today’s world? DEl&B should no longer just be components in cultivating fair. safe. and effective business environments – they are a must.

That’s where diversity strategist. educator. author. speaker. and trainer Curtis Hill comes in. Curtis brings audiences an empowering message of awareness. culture. and resilience. combined with a potent mix of savvy business skills honed from a lifetime of raw and well-crafted experiences.

Growing up in Chicago. Curtis quickly drifted into a life of violence and crime and quickly rose to become one of the city’s most recognizable and notorious gang members. But. while dealing drugs earned him a six-figure per month bankroll. it cost him everything when he witnessed the cold-blooded murder of his best friend and came face-to-face with the immense suffering it caused in his community.

Consequently, Curtis turned to education to springboard his street smarts into solid business acumen. After earning four degrees. including a Master of Arts in Teaching. an M.ED in Administration and Supervision. and he holds a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma. Curtis now travels the globe working with corporations. associations. and organizations to Create A Culture Of Belonging™ to maximize people. profits and productivity. In addition. his unique way of communicating complex issues like race and division with humor and humanity keeps audiences engaged with laughter while they learn.

International Men's Day Fashion Sale Instagram Post

Bishop Charles Mellette

3pm – 3:30pm Call to Action & Closing

Bio

Bishop Charles Mellette is the founder and senior pastor of Christian Provision Ministries, Inc. (CPM), a multicultural church in the heart of Sanford, North Carolina.  He also serves as the Chairman of Positive Direction for Youth (PDY), an innovative youth conference designed to encourage and inspire.  This conference serves nearly 4,000 youth, youth leaders, and pastors annually. He served as the Facilitator for the City of Sanford Equity Task Force, this multi-racial diverse team of eighteen (18) are business professionals and community leaders; their 58-page, report with findings, recommendations, and action steps can be found on the City of Sanford website.

With more than 40 years in ministry, Bishop Mellette is committed to “Changing Lives and Building Communities”.