DEI Conference Panels & Presentations

The Sanford Let’s Do It Together DEI Conference brings in speakers, panel discussions, keynote addresses, and workshops to members of our community who play the greatest role in building organizational DEI success.

Please take a closer look at our topics and presenters below.

8:15 - 8:30am - Registration

8:30 - 8:45am - Greetings from Jeannette T. Peace and Susan Gomez

8:45 - 9:30am - Opening Keynote: ``Why Relationships and Connections Matter``

9:00 – 10:00 – Joe Conway, ABIDE

Joseph “Joe” Conway is the Founder & Chief DEI Investor for A.B.I.D.E., LLC, a business consulting firm dedicated to and focused on bias mitigation in professionals and organizations.

Before starting A.B.I.D.E in March 2022, he was employed with Novant Health/New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, NC for 14 years and served four years as their inaugural Director of Health Equity & Human Experience for the Coastal Region. Joe has over 25 years of leadership experience and is actively involved in the Wilmington community. His purpose statement is “to cultivate an environment for your success.”

9:30 - 9:45am - BREAK & TRANSITION

9:45 - 10:45am - Concurrent Sessions (Choose One)

“Strengthening Emotional Intelligence to Create Community” – Jason Butler

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to recognize and manage our emotions, behaviors, and impulses, as well as apply this knowledge to the world around us. It encourages self-awareness, internal motivation, and the exploration of diverse perspectives. Through effective and authentic communication, emotional intelligence will create positive relationships within any organization. Participants will obtain a greater recognition of their own emotions and how those emotions may color their interactions with those around them.

“Recruiting, Hiring and Retention Strategies that Support Inclusion” – Linda Jones DEI Director Town of Apex  

This session will offer insights and strategies for employers, executive directors, and managers who seek to create a work environment that is attractive to a diverse workforce.  

“Culturally Competent Leadership that Promotes Belonging” – Dr. Donna Hawkins Department Head, Business Administration Business & Public Svcs. Tech. Wake Technical Community College  

Will your team say “Our manager meant well but. . .” Don’t let your team say that about you! Value what everyone on your team has to offer. Improve employee engagement, mitigate burnout, and reduce stress by cultivating connections and community.

Building Better Connections Through Language Justice” – Tony Macias TILDE Language Justice Cooperative” 

Language barriers deeply impact our ability to hear, respect, and respond appropriately to others. Using language as a bridge to build multilingual, multiracial, and multiethnic community connections helps us eliminate exclusion and marginalization. This workshop will offer perspectives and tools to improve your ability to work cooperatively across language differences to support individuals impacted by language injustice.


10:45 - 11:00am - BREAK & TRANSITION

11 - 11:45am - Key Note by Curtis Hill

As an award-winning educator, Curtis Hill spent the early part of his career developing systems that lead to top performance in students. In 2010 he began working with organization leaders of Fortune 500 companies who see DEI as a strategic initiative. His keynotes and trainings maximize people, profitability, and performance because they tap into what allows team members to bring their full potential to work.   

11:45 - 12:45pm - BREAK & NETWORKING LUNCH

12:45 - 2:45pm - Creating a Culture of Belonging Workshop by Curtis Hill

2:45 - 3pm - BREAK

3 - 3:30pm - Call to Action & Closing with Bishop Charles Mellette

When the conference is over, you will have information and tools to assist you on your DEI journey, regardless of where you are starting.  You will walk away from the conference ready to value all individuals. You will be empowered to use your influence for Building Connections That Create Belonging.