Diversity & Inclusion Academy

About the Diversity & Inclusion Academy

Recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce continues to be a major challenge and priority for our members.

In response to our members’ needs, we have created a new program, The Diversity & Inclusion Academy.  This unique Academy is taught by nationally recognized industry experts – it is truly the region’s premier offering for Diversity & Inclusion.

Attendees will be given a robust foundation from which they can create an actionable, next step “strategy workbook” for their workplace.

If you or your organization is serious about Diversity & Inclusion, then this class is a must attend.

Join the conversation and “exchange ideas” about inclusive leadership skills and strategies for addressing today’s diverse work environment.

Classes launched for the current session in February. To sign up for our fall sessions, please fill out the application form and we will reach out to you with further information.

Each class is limited to 30 people to maximize interaction with facilitators.

Participants are required to have taken Racial Equity Impact Analysis Training (REIAT) before starting the Academy.  Please indicate on the application if you need to complete REIAT.

Who should attend?

Best practices reveal that for Diversity & Inclusion training to be effective, it is critical that a senior level executive with the authority to influence or execute change, should be the one to attend or accompany other employees who are responsible for D&I initiatives.

What will participants learn?

The curriculum has been developed by local and national experts. It includes courses in:

  • The Business Case for Diversity and Inclusion
    • An analysis of organizational case for diversity, equity and inclusion, identifying opportunities and challenges
    • Discussion of organizational case for diversity, equity and inclusion, including baseline questions about best practices
  • Unconscious Bias and Perspective Taking
    • Understanding bias in policy and practice
    • Discussion of current policies, including bias analysis
  • Goal Setting
    • Overview of best-in-class diversity, equity and inclusion practices and policies
    • Assistance with setting achievable goals including addressing common challenges
  • Policies and Practices
    • Small group and one-on-one work to finalize participants’ plans for creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace
  • Development of an organizational “strategy workbook”


Mr. Marc Burt

Mr. Marc Burt served as Honda’s Assistant Vice President and Division Manager of the Office of Inclusion & Diversity.  Burt was the first to hold that position created for him, in 2007. His office developed structure and strategy, turning Honda into a leading company for D&I.

Burt began his work at Honda in 1999, establishing a department of Minority Dealer Development, doubling the diversity of Honda’s retail network in 4 years.  Respected as an industry leader in retail dealer diversity, Burt was honored to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award in July 2017.

Burt has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ.   Currently, Burt consults in D&I, Organization Development and Market Representation.

Dr. Karen Clinton Jones

Karen A. Clinton Jones, Ph.D., serves as the chief diversity officer (CDO) for Buffalo State. In this role, Jones leads and coordinates the university’s strategic approach to diversity.

Prior to joining the Buffalo community, Jones served as executive director for equity and access at Virginia Tech, ensuring compliance with federal, state, local, and university regulations relating to all aspects of the employment process.

Karen’s professional experience also includes her serving as the director of corporate diversity at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield (Lifetime Health Care Companies) in Rochester, New York, where she directed the corporate and the five region-wide diversity related initiatives.

Jones holds a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy, with a concentration in higher education, from the University at Buffalo. She earned an M.S. Ed. in counselor education from SUNY College at Brockport, and a B.S. in criminal justice from Buffalo State (SUNY).

For Additional Information

Nancy McNamara, Senior Manager, Member Engagement
(716) 541-1767 | NMcNamara@thepartnership.org