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2022 D&I Symposium: Meet Anna-Lesa Calvert, Featured Speaker

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Cheryl Ciccarelli

April 11, 2022

The BNP is pleased to welcome  Anna-Lesa Calvert, Manager of Professional Development and Diversity, Hodgson Russ as a featured speaker at our 2022 D&I Symposium: DEI at Work.

We will be helping you get to know each presenter, panelist, and moderator in the weeks ahead, leading up to the 5th Annual D&I Symposium on June 16th – get your tickets here.

2022 D&I Symposium Speaker Blog - squareALC 600x600

Presentation Highlights (what can the audience expect to learn or take away?):  Cultural humility is the path and goal for organizational inclusion. By acknowledging our own willingness to be uncomfortable, accepting the limitations of our knowledge, and becoming lifelong learners, individuals can great organizational cultures where people are able to be themselves.  Come learn how this training concept can help you and your colleagues to become more inclusive and welcoming.

D&I Resources, Recommendations, & Inspiration

Book:  I’m currently reading Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619–2019, a 2021 anthology edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain. I was drawn to this book because it includes stories “though the eye of historical icons or the untold stories of ordinary people” with a goal of “deconstructing the idea that Africans in America are a monolith.” In reading the array of stories I am able to listen to new voices and discover more about the history of our nation and the larger story of us all.

I recently finished Murmur of the Bees by Sofia Segovia which was translated from Spanish and follows a family on the verge of the Spanish Revolution in Mexico. I love historical fiction because it opens my eyes to new perspectives and leads me down new paths of learning.

2022 D&I Symposium Speaking Topic: The 6th Sense: Cultural Humility

Discuss the knowledge and awareness of cultural humility required to be an ally in the D&I work.  

 Learn how the importance of respect for people’s strength, culture, and knowledge is the foundation for allyship. 


  • Anna Lesa Calvert, Manager of Professional Development and Diversity at Hodgson Russ   

Beginner to Intermediate level

Learn more about Anna-Lesa and her topic, Cultural Humility in this video.

Person:  Two people I find inspiring are Brene Brown for her work on empathy and Clint Smith’s for his work on the power of speech and voice.

Other Media (podcast, show, social, publication):  COVID slowed down some of my drive time listening, but I really enjoyed podcasts on the way to work. I found the Serial podcast Season 3 about the legal system in Cleveland and Season 4 about parental involvement in urban school districts to be really interesting. I am listening to Amended, a podcast about the stories we are not taught about the Women’s Right’s Movement, and am excited to share it with my daughter. I am a lover of TedTalks and especially appreciate Drew Dudley: Everyday Leadership, as it reminds listeners that people often impact one another in ways we are never aware of – a lesson I try to remember every day.

Advice for someone starting, or continuing, on their D&I journey: The work is hard and without a finish line, and there is no way to know everything. But if you are willing to become comfortable being uncomfortable, to step back and let others lead, and to constantly learn, then you will put yourself in a position to help others grow.

More About You

Short Bio:

Born and raised in Dallas, Anna-Lesa Calvert moved to Buffalo in 2001 to attend the University at Buffalo where she played on the Women’s Soccer Team. By graduation, Calvert had fallen in love with Buffalo and started her career there in non-profit work. After a few years with national non-profits, Calvert began working at Algonquin Sports for Kids (ASK), an organization that uses sports to connect under-resourced students with mentors and athletic opportunities. During her twelve years at ASK, her passion for diversity grew as she learned from the families, organizations, and communities she served. After obtaining her Master’s in Strategic Leadership from St. Bonaventure in 2019, Calvert moved to Hodgson Russ to serve as the Manager of Professional Development and Diversity — a move that allowed her to mix her passion for helping others to grow with her desire to make a meaningful impact on the firm’s diversity and inclusion. A TedxBuffalo speaker, ATHENA Young Professional Award Finalist, and a Leadership Buffalo graduate, Calvert lives in Hamburg with her wife and two kids.

Link to full bio or LinkedIn:

Attend the 2022 D&I Symposium

Our 5th Annual Diversity & Inclusion Symposium will feature national experts on D&I sharing their knowledge on subjects such as building an inclusive culture, and the best practices, cultural assessments, and dimensions of diversity.

KEYNOTE: Melissa Donaldson, Chief Diversity Officer, Wintrust.

This event will feature workshops and break-out sessions with actionable next steps for attendees to take away.

Tuesday, June 16, 2022
9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT
Register to Attend Here

See Full Event Details & Agenda Here

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