A Different Dialogue: A Diversity Event

The End of Diversity as We Know It: How to Make Diversity Efforts Really Matter

M Davidson BookBased on the new book by Professor Martin Davidson
Tuesday, 6 March from 3:30-5:30
Abbott Center Auditorium at the Darden School of Business University of Virginia

A frank and provocative conversation about the barriers to sustainably incorporate people who are different into organizations and institutions. The panel will also discuss the opportunity for overcoming these barriers by leveraging difference. The event will feature dialogue that incorporates each panelist's area of expertise and facilitate audience involvement.

Who Should Attend?

This event is perfect for managers, leaders, and professionals who want to see, talk about and deal with diversity differently. It is also appropriate for those looking for a unique diversity training. Community leaders who want to take full advantage of the diverse workforce and volunteer base to meet their organization's mission should attend this unique event. Professionals working on teams, students experiencing an increasingly diverse peer population, and anyone who wants to engage in a thought provoking, unique and civil discourse on diversity would benefit from "The End of Diversity" event.

Please register here to ensure we receive an accurate participant count.

Event Agenda

3:30 p.m.

Welcome by Peter Rodriguez, Senior Associate Dean and Chief Diversity Officer, Darden School

Conversation in the Round

  • Introduction to key arguments and premises
  • Questions posed to audience

Audience Engagement

  • “Buzz” Groups: sharing burning questions or thoughts about diversity that surface
  • Room invited to share comments, questions, discussion
  • Engage in plenary dialogue

Audience Conversation

5:30 p.m.

Audience “Popcorn"

  • Insights and thoughts
  • Closing remarks
Reception and book signing to follow.

Panelist Bios

M Davidson PhotoMartin N. Davidson

Associate Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior Martin Davidson teaches, conducts research, and consults with global leaders on how they can use diversity strategically to generate superior business performance. His research on the impact of culture and ethnicity on career development and on conflict management appears in top managerial and academic publications including Harvard Business Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, Research on Negotiation in Organizations, Journal of Personality, Review of Educational Research, The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist and the International Journal of Conflict Management. He has also conducted research on four continents identifying the critical competencies for managing effectively across national boundaries. Executive summaries of Davidson’s academic journal articles and book chapter contributions may be viewed on his website, www.leveragingdifference.com/research-articles/

His new book, The End of Diversity as We Know It: Why Diversity Efforts Fail and How Leveraging Difference Can Succeed, introduces a research-driven roadmap to help leaders more effectively create and capitalize on diverse and inclusive organizations.

In addition to teaching leadership in Darden’s MBA and Executive Education programs, he consults with a host of Fortune 500 firms, government agencies and social profit organizations. He has served as Associate Dean and Chief Diversity Officer for the Darden School, and as the national chair of the Gender and Diversity in Organizations Division of the Academy of Management. Davidson has been featured in numerous media outletsincluding the New York Times, BusinessWeek, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and National Public Radio. He has been a member of the Darden faculty since 1998.

FreemanEd Freeman

Elis and Signe Olsson Professor R. Edward Freeman is academic director of the Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics . From 1987 to 2009 he was Director of Darden's Olsson Center for Applied Ethics, one of the world's leading academic centers for the study of ethics. He is a senior fellow of the Olsson Center at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. Freeman is also a professor of religious studies and a faculty advisor to UVA's Institute for Practical Ethics and adjunct professor of stakeholder management. In March 2010, the University of Virginia Board of Visitors named Freeman as a University Professor. Freeman is the first faculty member in Darden’s history to be given this rare honor, accorded to less than 20 professors among the more than 2,200 professors at UVA.

Before coming to the Darden School, Freeman taught at the University of Minnesota and the Wharton School. His book, Managing for Stakeholders: Survival, Reputation and Success, was published in 2007 by Yale University Press. His new book is Stakeholder Theory: The State of the Art, published by Cambridge University Press in early 2010. He is the author or editor of more than 20 volumes in the areas of stakeholder management, business strategy and business ethics as well as more than 100 articles in a wide variety of publications. At its 2010 annual meeting, the Society for Business Ethics gave its “Outstanding Contributions to Scholarship Award” to Freeman, noting that there were more than 12,000 citations to his work on stakeholder theory.

Freeman is perhaps best known for his award-winning book Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach, originally published in 1984 and reprinted 2010 by Cambridge University Press, in which he suggests that businesses build their strategy around their relationships with key stakeholders. In 2008, He has received a number of awards for teaching excellence from the Wharton School, Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and the Darden School. In 1993, he was chosen for the Outstanding Faculty Award by the Darden student body; in 2001, he was honored by the World Resources Institute and the Aspen Institute with a Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement; and in 2005, he received the Outstanding Faculty Award from the Virginia State Council on Higher Education. Freeman teaches the popular "Leadership & Theater: Ethics, Innovation, and Creativity" course each spring.

Rhonda HendersonRhonda Henderson

Rhonda Henderson is a second-year student at the Darden School of Business. Prior to Darden, she held several roles in the education environment, notably teaching high school social studies and managing a business unit for Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions.

While at Darden, Rhonda has examined the intersection of business and education. She convened experts from public education funds, school administration, consulting firms and think-tanks to comment on “Education in the New Economy,” the focus of the Black Business Student Forum ’s 2011 conference. As a member of the Community Consultants of Darden, Rhonda led a team to provide a Charlottesville-area public school with insight into closing its achievement gap.

Recently, she initiated a new topic of conversation for the Black Business Student Forum (BBSF), “Leap of Faith,” which asks Darden alums to reflect on taking a risk in their personal or professional lives. The series culminated with an interactive workshop at the 2012 BBSF conference, in which students explored the risks they were contemplating.

Rhonda intends to return to the public education space upon completing her MBA. Originally from Washington, D.C., she earned a BA in Urban Studies from Columbia University, and an Ed.M from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

Charles Hill ResizedCharlie W. Hill

Charlie Hill retired as Executive Vice President, Human Resources of Landmark Media Enterprises LLC formerly Landmark Communications, Inc. His retirement ended more than 40 years of progressive leadership and managerial experience as an organizational performance and results improvement agent. He is co-founder and President of the Hampton Roads Prostate Health Forum and a member of the Community Free Clinic of Newport News (Virginia) Board of Directors. He has been an active board member of several civic and business groups, including the Board of Directors of the Crispus Attucks Cultural Center, the Corporate Advisory Board of Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia, the INROADS Mid-Atlantic Regional Board of Directors, and the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Advisory Council of Hampton Roads, VA, among many other civic endeavors. He also is a former member of the Hampton Roads Health Coalition Board of Directors and a member of the National Association of Minorities in Cable Hall of Fame. He was awarded the Honorary Associate Degree of Humane Letters from the Thomas Nelson Community College in Hampton, Virginia in 2011.

He holds an MBA from Hampton University, a Bachelor’s in economics from Virginia State College, and also studied at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. Mr. Hill is an active member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., an active Elder at Carver Memorial Presbyterian Church in Newport News, VA and a member of the Virginia Peninsula Chapter of the 100 Black Men of America.


LiedtkaJeanne Liedtka

Jeanne Liedtka is a Professor of Management at the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia. Formerly the Executive Director of the School’s Batten Institute, a foundation established to develop thought leadership in the fields of entrepreneurship and corporate innovation, Jeanne has also served as Chief Learning Officer for the United Technologies Corporation (UTC), headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut, and as the Associate Dean of the MBA Program at Darden. Jeanne’s current teaching responsibilities focus on design thinking, innovation, and organic growth in the MBA and Executive Education Programs at Darden.

 Jeanne’s current research interests focus on exploring how design thinking can be used to enrich our ability to create inclusive strategic conversations about organizational futures. Her book, The Catalyst: How You Can Lead Extraordinary Growth, co-authored with R. Rosen and R. Wiltbank, was based on a three year study of operating managers who excelled at producing revenue growth in mature organizations. Published in March 2009, The Catalyst was named one of Business Week’s best innovation and design books of 2009. Her most recent book, Designing for Growth: A design toolkit for managers was published in June, 2011 and was named the best management of 2011 by CEO READ.

 Jeanne joined Darden in 1989, having received her DBA in Management Policy from Boston University and her MBA from the Harvard Business School. She has been involved in the corporate strategy field since beginning her career as a strategy consultant for the Boston Consulting Group. 


SmithRhonda M. Smith

Rhonda M. Smith is the Founder of Breast Cancer Partner, an organization that focuses on breast cancer recovery through health and wellness and taking a more integrative and holistic approach to recovery. Breast Cancer Partner provides tools, resources and information to help breast cancer survivors recover, restore and reenergize themselves after treatment. The organization’s mission is to function as a "partner" to breast cancer survivors (and their families) who are nearing the end of or have completed treatment, on their journey to recovery, or who are cancer free.

Through her work, Rhonda’s goal is to help breast cancer survivors effectively cope with and manage life during and post-treatment, empower them to become their own health and wellness advocate and adopt a lifestyle and practices aimed at cancer prevention and survival. Ultimately, Rhonda wants to create a world in which each and every breast cancer survivor lives a life that is full of vitality, cancer-free and without fear, so that recovery is a life-enhancing rather than a life-limiting event.

Rhonda appeared in the October 2010 issue of More Magazine as a first runner-up in the More’s Beauty Search Contest based on her essay “Why This is the Most Fabulous Time in My Life”. The essay was about her breast cancer journey and how she has emerged from that experience with a new identity and sense of passion and purpose. Most recently, Rhonda was chosen to participate on the Merz Aesthetics’’ expert advisory panel for their “Stand and Deliver Program”, a national initiative that recognizes women who stand up for a cause they believe in and have an impact in their community. Rhonda will also be profiled and recognized as a woman who stands and delivers on the More Magazine Reinvention TV Show in November 2011.

With more than 20 years of experience that includes sales and marketing management and learning and development consulting, Rhonda has parlayed her professional and personal experience into a unique skill set that includes creating survivorship programs for breast cancer centers, and health and wellness experiences, events and products for breast cancer survivors.

Rhonda earned her MBA in marketing and operations management from the Colgate Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and her B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech. She is the Immediate Past-Chair of the Board of The Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade and a CEO Forum member of The Commonwealth Institute of the South Florida. Rhonda served on the 2007 NFL Super Bowl Special Events Committee and, in 2006, was named one of the South Florida’s “25 Most Prominent and Influential African-American Women by Success South Florida Magazine.

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