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News & Press: CIT

California’s Demographics and Diversity Front and Center at Session II

Wednesday, May 8, 2019  
Posted by: Leadership California

The second session of the CIT 2019 Program has wrapped and what an insightful and inspiring session it was. 

Taking place in Los Angeles, Session II focused on “How California's History & Diversity is Shaping its Future.” It was an amazing session that allowed participants to dig deep into the issues around diversity, inclusion, and shifting community and workforce dynamics.

On the first day, the 2019 CIT Class started with a briefing on “California's Demographic Trends,” by Dowell Myer, Ph.D., Professor & Director of Population Dynamics Research Group at University of Southern California. This truly set the stage for the following discussions. Dr. Myers said of the changing demographics in those who call California home, “We are all minorities now.” Myers also told the Class that California is becoming a homegrown state with the primary growth coming from within the state.

Following that presentation, Cassandra Pye, President, 3.14 Communications, led a talk and training on “Leading a Diverse Workforce,” and unconscious bias. If there was one takeaway from that it would be that we all have unconscious bias, and until we can acknowledge and recognize that, we can’t change the impacts of them. 

In the afternoon, the 2019 CIT Class joined honorees, sponsors and other guest for the VIP Special Session Panel featuring six California State University women presidents. The power panel, moderated by Leadership California Board member Michelle Hahn, highlighted the journey of each of the presidents on their way to the top. Each president provided lessons and learned and words of wisdom from their experiences. For more on the special session click here!

The special session led into the highlight of Session II – the Legacy of Leadership Awards Celebration. It was truly an inspiring evening hearing from the award winners. You can read more about the event here.

On day two, participants spent time reflecting and further developing their own leadership values and credo working with Dr. Janice Thompson, before hearing from two thought provoking panels. The first discussed, “Women Leaders: Advancing Diversity and Inclusion,” Panelists included: Kim Shiner, Associate Vice President, University Development, CSU San Bernardino; Anna Klein, Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs / Internal Communications, Estee Lauder Companies; Kiesha Nix, Executive Director, Los Angeles Lakers Foundation; and Flor Tolley AVP, Community Relations Consultant – Foundation Inland Empire, Imperial County & Coastal Communities, Wells Fargo Corporate Philanthropy and Community Relations.

The second panel focused on “California's Infrastructure: Serving Diverse Communities.” Panelists included: Victoria Kidman, Legal Counsel, State Farm Insurance; Teresa Gonzalez, Senior Public Affairs Officer, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California; Trisha Muse, Director, Community Relations, Southern California Gas Company; Seleta Reynolds, Executive Officer, Los Angeles Office of Transportation; and Jennifer Manfre, Principal Manager, External Engagement, Regulatory Affairs, Southern California Edison.

Both panels addressed timely and pertinent issue around how California’s diversity is shaping the state’s workforce, service industries and political landscape.  Panelists also shared their personal leadership journeys and lessons learned.

In addition to the enlightening panels, the Class got to visit the amazing Broad Museum and take a field trip to the Huntington Library and Gardens to hear from Dr. Louis Warren, W. Turrentine Jackson, Professor of Western U.S. History, Director Research Initiative in Environment & Societies, Dept. of History, University of California, Davis, about California's amazing history and tour the magnificent grounds. 

Dr. Dowell Myers   Dr. Louis Warren
Dr. Janice Thompson  2019 CIT Class Member 
 “California Infrastructure Serving Diverse Communities” Panel
 “Women Leaders Advancing Diversity & Inclusion” Panel
 Class members work on their leadership values and credo
 Cassandra Pye  2019 CIT class members at the Huntington Gardens