The 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 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.

Participants will join a learning cohort of 10-25 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).

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Cohort members will participate in six day-long sessions with corresponding action items; receive coaching sessions focused on personal development toward desired DEI objectives; and have access to support and solutions from fellow executives via 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.
  • Develop a communication plan for organization-wide DEI buy-in.
  • 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.

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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 TheHill.com, 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:

Dates

All sessions will take place virtually from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. PT.

Module 1: Equitable Leadership – July 23, 2021
We begin with the business case for DEI and why it’s imperative for the mission and survival of public media. We will 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. Participants will also be briefed on the IDI and EQI and receive their individual reports after the session.

See the complete schedule

Module 2: Envisioning DEI in the Newsroom and Beyond – August 20, 2021
Guest Speaker: Keith Woods, Chief Diversity Officer, NPR
Keith Woods will co-facilitate this session, talking about the critical need for public media news stations to address DEI both in their organization’s hiring practices, but also in editorial and programming. Keith and Minal will facilitate a conversation about what DEI can look like for different stations, offering concrete examples of how he has helped nurture this work in a variety of stations over the years, from holding trainings on “Talking across Difference” to setting strategic goals with leadership.

Module 3: Communicating Change – September 17, 2021
Leaders will learn how to frame and communicate DEI for greater buy-in from leadership and staff. They will learn what they need to know before they can effectively communicate DEI to an organization, such as identifying core values, explaining how the system works, and being clear about the “ask” from staff and leaders.

Module 4: Define and Diagnose – October 22, 2021
Based on the data they gathered from staff after Module 2, leaders will define what outcomes they want to see in their organization, and attached clear observable behaviors to them. They will then explore how to diagnose obstacles to behavior change, an important step in change
management.

Module 5: Brainstorming Solutions – November 19, 2021
Through a facilitated brainstorm session, leaders will create possible solutions to the obstacles to the behavior change they need to see. Through cohort learning, they will uncover ways to troubleshoot problems or avoid pitfalls in their journey. This will allow them to go develop a strategic plan for the change they wish to see.

Module 6: Capstone – December 17, 2021
Leaders will share their strategic plans, getting feedback from the group and ideas for how to take their ideas further through continued testing and prototyping. Leaders will also be offered an opportunity to share their own personal growth stories, and find ways to stay in touch.

Participants will take the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) and the Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-I 2.0) before the first session.

Investment

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.

Registration

To register for the DEI Executive Forum please visit this link.

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