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The Uplifting Impact Podcast is a platform that fosters dynamic conversations around the intersection of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Leadership. Directing our conversations are Uplifting Impact’s Chief Change Agent, Deanna Singh, and Chief Information Officer, Justin Ponder. Both are renowned thought leaders, teachers and consultants within the DEI space and are known for the ability to teach difficult lessons in gentle ways that inspire change and innovation within organizations.

Our mission is to provide actionable insights and wisdom from various leaders, executives, consultants as well as entrepreneurs. We’ve had industry leaders from companies such as Hewlett Packard (HP), Ford, Kohl’s and more come on board to share their expertise within the DEI space.

If we inspire one listener and leave them with ideas of how they can improve their DEI leadership and life skills, we consider that the ultimate accomplishment.


Valentines Special: Love and DEI

on Feb 17, 2022 12:00:00 AM By | Michelle Abendroth | 0 Comments |
Happy Valentine’s Day from the team at Uplifting Impact! Justin and Deanna are changing things up a little in this episode, and instead of bringing on a guest, they are sitting down to talk about love. They give a little insight into their relationship and how they make it work, discuss the intersection of love and DEI, and share the role love plays in the workplace. Justin shares a few book recommendations on the topic of love, Deanna brings up DEI from a motivation of love over fear, and they detail strategies for implementing love with team members and employees in order to continue to humanize those around us and to keep working towards a common goal. If you wish to enjoy this episode with captions, please check out the video on YouTube and turn on Closed Captions!  
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DEI is not an option, it's a must

on Feb 10, 2022 3:00:00 AM By | Michelle Abendroth | 0 Comments |
Trisch Smith is the Global Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer of Edelman, the world’s leading global communications marketing agency. In her role, she oversees all diversity, equity, and inclusion, strategic planning, education, cultural development, external partnerships, and recruitment efforts to ensure Edelman's workforce reflects the increasingly diverse marketplace. She has been featured as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America” and one of the “Most Influential Women in Corporate America” by Savoy Magazine.
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Intent Versus Impact

on Feb 3, 2022 3:00:00 AM By | Michelle Abendroth | 0 Comments |
Ashley M. Hines is an advocate, strategist, and entrepreneur dedicated to equipping communities to advance equity and create spaces where everyone is safe, valued and respected. She currently serves as the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Advocate Aurora Healthcare, a top 12 U.S. not-for-profit health system. In her role, Ashley focuses on partnering with leaders as a strategic advisor to achieve system-wide goals and launching, scaling, and sustaining DE&I programs and initiatives. Ashley also dedicates her time to causes with emphasis on communities of color, youth, and health equity. She envisions a community where everyone is empowered and has the tools needed to fulfill their purpose.
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Creating an Environment of Transparency and Accountability

on Jan 27, 2022 3:00:00 AM By | Michelle Abendroth | 0 Comments |
Ashton Henderson works as the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the Detroit Pistons, the tenth organization in the association to add this important role. He is a native of Tallahassee, Florida, but he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Advertising from Michigan State University in 2010. He was a four year letterman, playing cornerback for the Michigan State football team, and while he was a graduate assistant at Michigan State University he developed and administered a freshmen mentoring program for football players called "Keeping It Real Mondays" which still exists today.
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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Education

on Jan 20, 2022 3:00:00 AM By | Michelle Abendroth | 0 Comments |
Dr. Decoteau Irby is an associate professor of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research examines the relationship between equity-focused school leadership and the quality of Black youth academic achievement and overall well-being. He is the author of Stuck Improving: Racial Equity and School Leadership, which analyzes the complex process of racial equity reform within K12 schools. Dr. Irby's research is applied through his work with Derute Consulting Cooperative, where he helps leaders and teams create anti-racist organizational learning and improvement.
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Justice Looks Different for Different People

on Jan 13, 2022 3:00:00 AM By | Michelle Abendroth | 0 Comments |
Kisha Brown is an established civil rights attorney and the Founder and CEO of Justis Connection, an organization committed to empowering the community about their rights and responsibilities and deliver personalized lawyer referrals. Justis Connection is the nation’s only Black lawyer referral and legal resource platform, and is particularly dedicated to assisting individuals and businesses of all sizes with culturally competent legal counsel.
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Advocating DEI For All: The Underrepresented and The Represented

on Jan 6, 2022 3:00:00 AM By | Deanna Singh | 0 Comments |
Cecilia Ogude is the Senior Vice President and Global Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at IRI. In this role, Cecilia works with leadership to facilitate the development, implementation, and continuous evolution of IRI’s DEI strategy, initiatives, programs, tools, and resources. She previously held roles at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and McKinsey & Co. where she worked to drive intersectional and inclusive experiences for employees and senior leaders. Cecilia currently lives in New York and is an active volunteer with several organizations there.
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Season Two Finale: How DEI Can Have Ripple Effects

on Dec 16, 2021 3:00:00 AM By | Michelle Abendroth | 0 Comments |
Welcome to the Season 2 finale of the Uplifting Impact podcast! In this special episode, Deanna Singh and Justin Ponder sit down to talk about their own journeys and perspectives as they think about DEI and how DEI shows up in their day-to-day lifestyles. You’ll hear them each talk about how they continue to grow and develop in this space, and about some of the people who have had the biggest impact on them and their growth. You will also hear them answer the question they ask each of their guests: what brings you joy?
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Measuring Success In DEI

on Dec 9, 2021 10:49:15 AM By | Deanna Singh | 0 Comments |
Dr. Johné Battle is the Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for Dollar General Corporation and oversees the strategy for diversity, equity, and inclusion for over 157,000 associates. Within this role, he works across the organization to make data-based decisions using tools such as belonging indexes, talent-flow analysis, and inclusive leader assessments. Dr. Johné Battle is recognized by the National Diversity & Leadership council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in 2021 and is renowned as a Global Business Executive and thought leader who brings the powerful combination of skillful talent development and human capital expertise.
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Creating An Atmosphere Where DEI Can Thrive

on Dec 2, 2021 3:00:00 AM By | Deanna Singh | 0 Comments |
Guillermo Gutierrez and Deanna Singh have quite a lot in common, including their drive to travel across the globe, investing themselves into communities, and sharing that with others. In this conversation, Guillermo and I discuss how important their experiences with travel have impacted their DEI journeys and have helped them exercise empathy and understanding, which we carry with us in our day-to-day.
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