DEI Essentials Logo (1)

May & June, 2023

DEI Essentials is an introductory course on diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI) led by VISIONS, which has been offering training to individuals, groups, and organizations since 1984.

We took our four-day PACE I intensive and broke it into smaller, more digestible sessions in an ongoing, small group format to offer participants an introduction to VISIONS’ core tools. The series occurs over four 2-hour weekly sessions over Zoom in small groups with no more than 20 participants.

DEI Essentials engages participants from different backgrounds in an interactive, facilitated space that is conducted with an invitational approach that creates an authentic, non-blaming learning environment.

Who is this for?

  • Educators, human service & healthcare providers, and staff and volunteers in the nonprofit sector who are looking to improve interactions with colleagues and improve client/ student/ patient experience.
  • Leaders in organizations who would like to learn about how DEI training can benefit their organization.
  • Teams who want to attend DEI training together.
  • Interested individuals who are new to DEI
  • People who have attended DEI training in the past and would like a refresher course


6:00-8:00pm ET (East Coast cohort) & 6:00-8:00pm PT (West Coast cohort)

May 23, 2023
May 30, 2023
June 6, 2023
June 13, 2023

Cost: $350; $450 for those attending for CE credit.

Continuing Education Information

CE Credits Offered: 6

Learning Objectives

As a result of attending the DEI Essentials workshop, participants will: 

  1. Learn and understand VISIONS Three Dimensions of Change and Multicultural Process of Change models.
  2. Identify their historically included and historically excluded group memberships.
  3. Demonstrate awareness of how social and hierarchical power dynamics can operate in personal and group interactions.
  4. Apply VISIONS Feelings as Messages emotional literacy model.
  5. Practice VISIONS Skills for Effective Communication Across Difference.

This program is Approved by the National Association of Social Workers (Approval # 886744521-2954) for 6 continuing education contact hours.

East Coast cohort details & registration

DEI Essentials_EastCoast

Facilitation Team

Dr. Richard Pinderhughes

Dr. Richard Pinderhughes earned his doctorate from William James College (formerly Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology).Besides his administrative duties as VISIONS Associate VP of Consulting, Dr. Pinderhughes applies his clinical experience to training, group facilitation, coaching and technical assistance in corporate, non-profit, educational, faith-based and healthcare settings, consulting on a wide range of institutional and organizational change issues from a multicultural perspective. He also supervised the VISIONS’ Legacy Project, a summer program for youth, from its inception in 2008 through 2018. With a background in adoption issues, particularly transracial and international adoption, he has practiced individual, group and family therapy for over 30 years in greater Boston. 

Jessie Justin

Based in Providence, RI, Jessie Justin is a certified personal coach, equity coach and consultant, educator, and parent. Through life experience and educational pursuits. Jessie has learned to weave social justice consciousness into everyday life. Jessie brings a keen awareness of the intersectional identities that affect who we are and how we respond to our surroundings. As a gender non-binary, queer white person, Jessie is dedicated to helping communities become aware of and challenge systemic oppression and racial injustice. They are a founding member of the White Noise Collective RI and a member of the Providence SURJ chapter. Jessie has been involved in and influenced by VISIONS, Inc. for over 10 years and is now a consultant for them. Jessie earned a B.A. Skidmore College and an M.A. in Psychology from Antioch University.

West Coast Cohort Details & Registration

Facilitation Team

Jabari Carmichael Brown

Jabari Carmichael Brown is an explorer, storyteller and creator. Not much of an inside kid, he found solace in the great Mississippi outdoors. Exploring was an opportunity for Jabari to dream of the possibilities of life and to learn about how to grow food, read the sun and understand what time of day it was.

In 2011 Jabari joined Jeanne, Johanna and Leo in founding Grow Dat Youth Farm. Grow Dat is an urban farm in New Orleans that nurtures young leaders through the meaningful work of growing food. While at Grow Dat he wore many hats but finished his tenure with the organization as the Program Manager and Site Manager. As the Program Manager he was responsible for supervising 45 teenagers and 8 young adults, curriculum development, logistics, parent contact liaison and fundraising just to name a few. As the Site Manager he was responsible for maintaining an eco-campus, and 4 acres of lawns, bio swells, swamps, old growth hardwoods and understory, riparian areas and his engagement was crucial in designing the early phases of the birding corridor in City Park.

Zan Ehly

Zan Ehly, VISIONS, Inc. Principal Consultant, has been on the VISIONS consulting team for 12 years. In addition, they are an experienced educator (middle school through graduate levels, former faculty at Episcopal Divinity School, UMass Boston, New England Conservatory, Walnut Hill School for the Arts, and lecturer at Harvard University, Boston University and Boston College), workshop and retreat leader, and professional musician. As an educator, their focus has been on voice, body, culture, and leadership and on the intersected ways that racism and other isms live in the bodies and imaginations of both historically “included” and historically “excluded” groups. As a white, Protestant, queer, U.S. person, it is their delight and also their responsibility to engage in the challenging work of equity, inclusion, liberation, and justice at the personal, interpersonal, institutional and cultural levels.

DEI Essentials_WestCoast

Session Agendas

May 23: VISIONS Guidelines for Effective Cross-Cultural Dialogue

VISIONS guidelines offer participants important skills for effective communication across difference in addition to providing the group an agreed-upon set of behaviors. They have been designed specifically to create effective cross-cultural interactions. They also provide a safer ‘container’ to invite full participation in the group. 

May 30: Historically Excluded and Historically Included group memberships

This reflective, identity-focused work instills an appreciation of the reality that we all share multiple group membership based on our age, race, gender and other cultural locations that form the basis of privilege and/or oppression. In addition to examining the respects in which we are part of included and excluded groups, we will examine the impact that these memberships have on each of us.

June 6: Feelings as Messengers

There are many cultural differences in the allowance or inhibition of feelings, which  can be a serious barrier to communicating across difference, including when thoughts and feelings are confused. Emotional literacy is key to fostering inclusive environments and engendering more productive communication across difference. This tool provides participants with a model for emotional literacy where the importance of an accurate awareness of our feelings is stressed. An exploration of how early messages can set us up to unwittingly support oppression and limit our range of responses that in many cases results in outcomes opposite to what we might actually desire. This framework also offers options for resolving difficult feelings that fuel resistance to change. Presentation of concept will be followed by an experiential activity that helps people identify the feelings they feel in different situations, and offer a model for how to work with them in a generative way.

June 13: Multicultural Assumptions and Definitions and the Three Dimensions of of Change

A clear agreement on what is meant by specific terms is key to begin having meaningful discussions and identifying priorities. The Multicultural Process of Change model serves as a tool for individuals and organizations to assess where they are on the continuum from monoculturalism to multiculturalism, equity, and inclusion. It also provides a framework for understanding historical and current forms of oppression, and who receives or is denied benefits within the organization. The Three Dimensions of Change model explains the cognitive, behavioral and affective dimensions and how the affective (feeling) component has too often been ignored in institutional settings.


Refund and Cancellation Policy 

If a workshop is canceled by VISIONS, participants will receive a full refund. If a participant cancels more than 30 days in advance of the training start date, they can get a full refund or transfer to another session.

If a participant cancels 15-30 days in advance, they can receive up to a 50% refund or have a 50% discount applied to a future training.

Cancellations made 14 days or less in advance of the training are not eligible for a refund or transfer to another training.