The DEI Executive Forum

DEI Executive Forum


Get the support you need to advance DEI at your station.

Public media leaders have a critical responsibility to implement equitable practices in our organizations and build more diverse audiences. And yet, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work can feel overwhelming, directionless, or unrealistic when done poorly, despite the best of intentions.

How do you bridge the gap between intention and visible change?

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 stations who:

  • Hold executive decision-making responsibility (e.g. CEOs, 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?

The DEI Executive Forum works on three levels– organizational, individual, and systemic.

On the organizational level, we give executives the knowledge, tools, and templates to create an actionable strategic plan that is bespoke to their organization’s needs and goals. (We also help tweak existing strategic plans that may be gathering dust.)

On the individual level, each participant will develop and enhance their own unique leadership skills in order to ensure they can effectively implement their plan and meet evolving needs from staff and audiences.

On the systemic level, participants will join a learning cohort of 10-15 fellow public media executives for six months. Numerous past attendees have said that this is one of the most powerful benefits of the Forum, fostering a sense of belonging and movement building with other executives grappling with similar challenges in the public media ecosystem. Participants also get access to alumni of the program after completion.

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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.
  • Have skills for managing resistance and culture change at your station.
  • 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 award-winning author, keynote speaker, and strategic consultant with more than 20 years of professional experience. She is the founder of Brevity & Wit, a strategy + design firm that has worked with numerous public media stations across the country. Minal has written for the Stanford Social Innovation Review and The Hill and has been a featured guest on numerous podcasts and shows, including the Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU. She 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.

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

Learning Areas

Session 1: Getting Grounded

Friday, April 14, 2023

What exactly are we talking about when we talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion? What’s the goal? And how much do I need to be involved?

You are not alone if you are asking yourself these questions as a leader, and we’ll spend the first day grounding ourselves in the principles and best practices of ethical and effective DEI. Participants will be presented with an overview of the course and how to design an equitable public media organization, as well as why an equitable organization is critical for audience development and the survival of public media. Participants will be exposed to leadership assessments that will help them reflect on their own leadership style, and asked to make appointments between session 1 and 2 to receive the results. Participants will also receive templates that can help them craft a strategic plan for their organization.

See the complete schedule

Session 2: Vision Setting

Friday, May 12, 2023

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.

Session 3: Communicating Change

Friday, June 9, 2023

Guest Speaker: Keith Woods, Chief Diversity Officer, NPR

Leaders will learn about the two domains of communication skills needed for DEI – interpersonal and institutional– and how they differ. Guest speaker Keith Woods will share a framework for interpersonal communication that focuses on skillfully talking across difference. Minal will cover institutional communications, that is, 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.

Session 4: Structure & Operationalizing DEI

Friday, July 7, 2023

When it comes to designing equitable organizations, our building blocks are power, money and time. Participants will see new ways of using these resources in a more fair and just manner. In doing so, participants will also be able to better operationalize DEI goals in terms of observable behaviors–a critical step for culture change.

Session 5: Designing Interventions

Friday, August 4, 2023

When it comes to behavior change, you not only need to know what you’re asking for, but what will get in the way. Participants will be exposed to a framework that will help them diagnose obstacles to their desired change, and develop interventions to move past those obstacles. Through this process, participants will gain an in-depth understanding of the difference between performative DEI and DEI that leads to tangible outcomes. We will also briefly cover DEI progress and success metrics.

Session 6: Capstone

Friday, September 15, 2023

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