The DEI Executive Forum

DEI Executive Forum


Create an actionable strategic plan to advance DEI at your station with the support of other public media executives.

This time has long passed when diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) outcomes are a nice-to-have. Public media leaders have a critical responsibility to implement equitable practices in our organizations and build more diverse audiences. As leaders, we’re being called to develop new skills and new strategies. We must lead our organizations differently. The change starts with ourselves, but we can’t do it alone.

The DEI Executive Forum is a powerful cohort experience that gives public media executives the leadership skills and strategy to make equity a reality in our organizations.

Created and led by Equity Strategist Minal Bopaiah, this six-month cohort uses principles of behavioral science and human-centered design to enable participants to move toward lasting organizational change.

Who Is It For

The DEI Executive Forum is for leaders at public media news stations who:

  • Hold executive decision-making responsibility (e.g. general managers)
  • Recognize that leaders are responsible for DEI station outcomes
  • Believe that DEI must advance in order for our stations to be able to fulfill our mission and be sustainable
  • Have completed some foundational DEI work at the station and are committed to allocating financial and internal resources to DEI efforts

What Does It Do?

Each participant will create an actionable strategic plan focused on specific and meaningful advancement of DEI at their organization. At the same time, each participant will develop and enhance their own unique leadership skills in order to ensure they can effectively implement their plan.

Participants will join a learning cohort of 10-15 fellow public media executives for six months.

Each cohort member will be supported to develop a strategic plan that meets their station’s thorniest DEI challenges. (The plan may be newly created or integrated into an existing organizational strategic plan).

Continue reading

Cohort members will participate in six day-long sessions with corresponding action items; receive coaching sessions focused on personal development and emotional skillfulness; and have access to support and solutions from fellow executives via a Slack channel.

At the end of the program, you will:

  • Know how to define pragmatic and actionable DEI outcomes at your station.
  • Have new tools to successfully develop new audiences.
  • Have language for fostering organization-wide buy-in for your DEI goals.
  • Set a vision for DEI as a core business function, enabling your station to maintain relevance in 5-10 years.
  • Carry forward ongoing, supportive connections with other public media executives who share your vision for DEI outcomes.

About Minal Bopaiah

Minal Bopaiah The DEI Executive Forum is designed and facilitated by Minal Bopaiah.

“Minal is an excellent guide through challenging terrain. She brought an engaging and thoughtful approach to discussions that newsroom leaders need, especially for groups that might think a topline grasp is sufficient understanding to really move the needle on their teams.”
Edith Chapin, V.P. & Executive Editor, NPR

Minal Bopaiah is an author, speaker, and strategic consultant with more than 20 years of professional experience. Her areas of expertise include human-centered design, behavior change science, and the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion as they relate to media, marketing and communications, and organization design.

Continue reading

As the Founder and Principal Consultant of Brevity & Wit, Minal is passionate about designing for equity. Her work includes an organization-wide assessment and strategic plan for Evans Consulting, a human-centered management consulting firm, and working with NPR’s news managers to design a system for diversifying news sources. As a marketing strategist, she is responsible for a 1450% increase in website traffic and 50% increase in event revenues for Cook Ross, a diversity and inclusion consulting firm. Brevity & Wit’s clients also include PBS KIDS, Slate, Amnesty International, and the International Center for Research on Women, among others.

Minal’s previous work includes being an educational content specialist for Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street and its international co-productions, and a press intern for Doctors Without Borders. She also served as the International and Features Editor of Boston Metro and has worked in communications and marketing for a number of nonprofits.

Minal is a sought-after speaker, and her virtual keynote for Greater Public’s Summer Series in 2020 was attended by more than 1300 professionals in public media. Her thought leadership has been published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review and, and she has been a guest on several podcasts and radio shows. Her book Equity: How to Design Organizations Where Everyone Thrives will be published by Berrett-Koehler in the fall of 2021. She is also collaborating with Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole to publish a non-fiction book on leadership and social justice.

Minal has a B.A. in English from Bowdoin College, a Master’s degree in clinical psychology from Fordham University, and was formally trained in organizational development and change leadership at Georgetown University. She is an Advisory Board member for Dent Education, a nonprofit teaching entrepreneurship, design thinking and making to Baltimore high school students, and for Bring Change to Mind, the nonprofit started by the actress Glenn Close and her sister Jessie Close to end mental health stigma. Her complete C.V. can be found here.

Minal lives with her family in Silver Spring, MD.

Praise for Minal’s forthcoming book Equity: How to Design Organizations Where Everyone Thrive, which captures her expertise about human-centered design for equitable and inclusive organizations:

Learning Areas

Module 1: Seeing the System 
This cohort will take advantage of having the first session in person to focus on developing system sight, a critical skill for equitable leaders, and strengthening ties as a cohort. We will discuss why DEI is imperative for the mission and survival of public media, and tie DEI goals to audience development and other key business functions. Participants will be provided with an overview of how to design an equitable organization with the unique considerations of public media in mind. They will be exposed to concepts of equitable leadership, and have the opportunity to discuss how they can make these ideas a reality in their organizations.

Between Module 1 and 2, participants will be invited to a webinar to be briefed on two leadership assessments that they will undergo – the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) and the EQi-2.0. These webinars will be recorded so that participants can watch them at their convenience if they are unable to attend the live event. No other sessions will be recorded during the Forum in order to preserve confidentiality.

See the complete schedule

Module 2: Vision Setting
Guest Speaker: Radhika Dutt, Author of Radical Product Thinking
What is the mission of public media? What is your vision for DEI at your station? And how do the two tie together? Guest speaker Radhika Dutt and Minal will discuss how you can craft an effective DEI vision – one that leads to greater clarity, helps you make decisions about conflicting interests, and allows your organization to stay nimble in an ever-changing industry. We’ll also cover how you can adopt human-centered design techniques, such as perspective gathering, to ensure that the organization is supporting a more diverse staff and audience.

Module 3: Communicating Change
Guest Speaker: Keith Woods, Chief Diversity Officer, NPR
Leaders will learn about the four domains of communication – intrapersonal, interpersonal, institutional and systemic, and how to adopt their communications for each domain. Guest speaker Keith Woods will share a framework for talking across difference that will allow leaders to heighten their emotional skillfulness for tough conversations. Minal will cover how to frame and communicate DEI for greater buy-in from leadership and staff, including identifying core values, explaining how the system works, and being clear about the “ask” from staff and leaders.

Module 4: Define and Diagnose 
DEI is fundamentally about behavior change. In this session, leaders will be introduced to an easy framework for instituting behavior change, whether it’s with individuals, teams, or an entire organization. Participants will also develop skills for diagnosing obstacles to behavior change and the types of solutions that work to get better adoption.

Module 5: Putting It All Together
Leaders will begin to put together their learnings from the previous sessions and flesh out their strategic plans. Through a facilitated brainstorm session, leaders will also discover a technique for prioritizing problems and ensuring the solutions are addressing the needs of the target user or audience. Through cohort learning, they will uncover ways to troubleshoot problems or avoid pitfalls in their journey. Lastly, we will cover some aspects of measurement for DEI.

Module 6: Capstone
Our last session will be co-designed with participants to ensure it meets the unique needs of the cohort. Options include case studies of completed strategic plans, sharing of lessons learned, and personal connection with colleagues, as well as brainstorming how to magnify impact from the Forum.


The DEI Executive Forum includes six day-long sessions, two leadership assessments, one-on-one coaching between sessions, course materials, a strategic plan template, as well as the benefit of cohort learning among senior leaders in public media. The cost to participate is $9,950 per participant.

A bespoke engagement with an organization resulting in a strategic plan usually costs between $50,000-$100,000, depending on the size of the organization. Through cohort learning with leadership, general managers will save significant expense.


If you are interested in learning more, please complete the form below.



Caryn Mathes

“I could hardly be more enthusiastic about this program!

Minal is deeply knowledgeable and skilled and yet so capable at breaking down complex, nuanced and – let’s face it—uncomfortable and scary topics in ways that are relatable to all. She’s a favorite at KUOW; her workshops and presentations “stick” and it is gratifying to hear tenets she’s introduced repeated by staff long after the sessions are done.

Our industry desperately needs practicums like the DEI Executive Forum to guide leaders through all of the stages of this challenging work.”

Caryn Mathes, President and General Manager, KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio