The Inclusive Manager Program

Inclusive Manager Program


Learn to lead with essential skills of managing people in today’s complex and dynamic public media organizations.

Organizations look to today’s managers and leaders to address the complex challenges facing our industry while fostering inclusive and thriving work teams.

As we head into a critical election year, the pressure on public media organizations will be immense. With heightened scrutiny and the potential for increased division, effective management that prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is crucial to helping teams navigate sensitive situations.

The Inclusive Manager Program, designed for new and experienced managers who have not received recent formal training, equips you with the skills to navigate this challenging environment with confidence.

Through hands-on sessions and discussions, participants will learn about situational leadership, the types of power we have as leaders and why we need more empathy in the newsroom.

Created and led by veteran editor Kathy Lu and leadership development and DEI specialist Shilpa Alimchandani, this six-week cohort equips participants to adapt their leadership style to various challenges, while also guiding them through the principles of effective human-centered management strategies.

Who is it for?

The Inclusive Manager Program is for leaders and managers in any department at a public media station who check any of these boxes:

  • Have not had recent formal leadership training
  • Want to become more self-aware leaders and colleagues
  • Are responsible for making decisions that affect station culture and/or content
  • Have direct reports
  • Believe that DEI principles are integral to public media’s sustainability and mission

What Does It Do?

By the end of the six-week program, participants will have built their competence to manage a team in a fast-paced environment, confidence to lead effectively in uncertain times, and community to support their ongoing learning.

Participants will join a learning cohort of 15-25 fellow public media managers for 6 two-hour sessions that will be held once a week over the course of six weeks.

What People Are Saying

From the first cohort:

"I'm so glad my organization gave me the opportunity to participate in this program. I learned not just what to do but how to do it! 5 Stars!"

Cindy Collins, Operations Manager

St. Louis Public Radio

"Through some foundational discussion and then real-life examples and discussion, I was able to see how to be inclusive and accountable. I was given permission to be myself as a manager and make mistakes but also open up the conversation to my team about their emotions and intentions behind actions so we could get to a better place. I'm still learning, but this program gave me the confidence to move forward as a leader and an effective and empathetic one."

Amanda Horvath, Managing Producer

Rocky Mountain PBS

Group Facilitators


Kathy Lu

About Kathy Lu

The Inclusive Manager Program is co-designed and facilitated by Kathy Lu.

“Kathy Lu did a great job leading sensitivity training for our newsroom. We were able to come together and have open and honest conversations. We wanted to hold these sessions in a timely manner and Kathy delivered. We hope to work with her again in the future.”

– Norman Parish, deputy managing editor for DEI/administration and planning, Chicago Sun-Times

Kathy Lu is the founder of Audiencibility, a media consulting business dedicated to helping people, especially journalists, be successful. She draws from more than two decades of experience in the industry as a leader, manager and editor. She has worked in public media as a digital editor for America Amplified and in legacy media (The Kansas City Star and The Roanoke Times) as an enterprise and features editor. She is currently an adjunct at Poynter who leads DEI training and leadership programs.

Shilpa Alimchandani

About Shilpa Alimchandani

The Inclusive Manager Program is co-designed and facilitated by Shilpa Alimchandani.

“Shilpa’s calm and caring demeanor, rooted in her own personal story, experiences and authenticity has enhanced our organizational engagement around DEI. Shilpa’s subject-matter expertise and inclusive approach makes her an ideal strategic ‘thought partner’ and leader in the DEI space.”

– Jacqueline Oburu, Vice President, HR & Administration, Search for Common Ground

Shilpa Alimchandani is Principal Consultant at Brevity & Wit, a strategy and design firm focused on helping organizations achieve the change they wish to see in the world. Shilpa Alimchandani has more than 20 years of experience in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), leadership development, and facilitation. With her deep knowledge of various learning modalities, intercultural leadership development, and human-centered design, Shilpa is able to craft interventions that are targeted, impactful, and appropriate for diverse, global audiences. She is also a certified leadership coach who partners with clients to realize their full potential.


All sessions will be two hours and take place virtually. Each session will be a combination of education, breakout discussions, practice, and problem solving with peers. All sessions take place from 1:00 – 3:00 pm ET.

Participants will join a learning cohort of 15-25 fellow public media managers for 6 two-hour sessions that will be held once a week over the course of six weeks.

See the full schedule

Tuesday, May 14, 2024
SESSION 1: Redefining leadership for yourself


  • Orient to purpose and goals of the program
  • Create a sense of community in the cohort
  • Deepen self-awareness

Tuesday, May 21, 2024
SESSION 2: Understanding power and building trust


  • Define power
  • Learn how to use power to effect positive change
  • Create systems to foster trust

Tuesday, May 28, 2024
SESSION 3: There’s no one “best way” to be a leader


  • Diagnose the needs of your team
  • Identify what leadership skills best address those needs (delegate, support, coach and direct)
  • Practice adjusting your leadership to meet the needs of different situations

Thursday, June 6, 2024
SESSION 4: Harnessing your emotional intelligence


  • Identify what emotions underlie your reactions and behavior
  • Build skills in practicing empathy as a manager
  • Learn how to influence leaders in positions with greater authority than your own

Tuesday, June 11, 2024
SESSION 5: Navigating difficult conversations


  • Learn how to prepare for difficult conversations
  • Develop skills to give feedback
  • Learn how to receive feedback and demonstrate accountability

Tuesday, June 18, 2024
SESSION 6: Putting it all together


  • Describe your leadership fears and hopes
  • Share insights and skills you learned in the program
  • Commit to practicing three inclusive leadership behaviors



The Inclusive Manager Program includes six two-hour sessions, course materials, and the benefit of cohort learning among peer leaders in public media.

The cost to participate is $1,200 per person for participants registering on or before April 12, 2024.

The fee increases to $1,350 starting April 13, 2024.


Registration is now closed. 

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