Fall 2021

In this section:

Inclusion Drives Innovation is a ten-week professional development program designed by and for Kendall Square Association members focused on building anti-racist organizations by activating a team of change agents. Inclusion Drives Innovation uses race as a foundation for learning. In America, race and racial relations are intractable issues – by centering this program’s work on designing programs and policies for people at the margins of society. With Inclusion Drives Innovation, participants learn to solve the problems of those in the greatest need, which in turn creates a positive impact for everyone using an inclusive and equitable frame of reference.
90% of graduates reported feeling more confident in both having anti-racist conversations in the workplace and in their ability to implement anti-racist action items.

What to Expect

Inclusion Drives Innovation is an entirely virtual program; learning takes place via Zoom. Participants can expect to:

  • Uncover learning opportunities and new content to expand DEI expertise
  • Engage in a forum that fosters collaboration, peer accountability, and mutual sharing of best practices across various Kendall Square industries
  • Assess current organizational policies from an anti-racist lens 

The program will meet once a week for 10 weeks. Each session is two hours long. Inclusion Drives Innovation has two parts:

  • Part I: Your personal anti-racist learning journey
  • Part II: Tools and best practices for building an anti-racist organization

Participants should be prepared to self-reflect and engage with readings, content, and discussion topics that will refine their thinking and understanding of what it means to be an ally and anti-racist. 

Total time commitment to Inclusion Drives Innovation is approximately 25 hours. 

Session Information

The Fall 2021 cohort kicks off September 15 and will convene every week through November 17. Below is a schedule of program sessions and topics. Enrollment closes on August 13. Participants should plan to attend all sessions. 

  • September 15: Foundations of DEI and Racial Equity Work 
  • September 22: Identity, Power, and Privilege 
  • September 29: Working Group Session 
  • October 6: Socialization, Bias, and Roots of Racism 
  • October 13: Working Group Session 
  • October 20: Addressing Racism and Practicing Allyship 
  • October 27: Working Group Session 
  • November 3: Using an Anti-Racist Framework to Support Inclusive Culture 
  • November 10: Working Group Session 
  • November 17: Moving From Understanding to Action

Working Group Session

A hallmark of Inclusion Drives Innovation is its small group experience, where participants are broken out into working sessions for discussion, reflection, and application. Groups will vary in terms of makeup, so that participants will have an opportunity to meet and develop relationships with others both from their own organizations, as well as other organizations in different industries.

Who Will Be There

We encourage multiple employees from your organization to participate to create shared language, insights, and action plans. Anyone participant of Inclusion Drives Innovation will learn a lot, but you can’t do it alone! Alumni who have sent teams report more organizational cohesion and intentional conversations leading to action back in the workplace.

This program is for individuals who have taken DEI trainings before* and/or have the motivation and self-awareness to deepen their understanding and champion anti-racism at their organization. Additionally, senior leaders empowered to create impact will derive the most benefit. Participants might come from the following fields:

  • Human Resources 
  • Diversity and Inclusion Executive Leadership
  • Executive Leadership
  • People Management 
  • Affinity Group Leaders 

What Will I Learn and Experience?

  • Understand and articulate language associated with anti-racism, and diversity, equity, and inclusion,
  • Become more comfortable with and honest about your role in the systems that oppress marginalized people,
  • Learn how to create positive impact within your organization through systems and process change, and 
  • Build a peer network for support and shared learning.

Participation Fee

The participation fee for this program is $2,000 per person. Groups of four or more from a particular organization receive a 10% discount. Please note that seating is limited. Be sure to reserve your seats before the enrollment deadline on August 13. 

Refund Policy

Because we must limit participation to ensure a high quality program, we cannot offer full refunds after an individual has enrolled. 

  • KSA will grant a 50% refund for cancellations received by July 30. No refund will be granted for cancellations received after that time. 
  • Organizations may replace an individual who needs to cancel with a different individual from the same organization for no fee prior to the program start date. 
  • Organizations may choose to defer participant enrollment to the 2022 program. The dates for this program are TBA. 
  • 10% bulk discounts will only be applied to participants who are enrolled in the same session.

Do you need additional information?

Contact Yuqi (yu-shi) Wang, Senior Manager of Programming at yuqi@kendallsquare.org

* Prior DEI trainings and experiences can include, but not limited to: microaggression training; unconscious and implicit bias training; safe space trainings; restorative justice training; cultural competency training; allyship training; actively participating in internal company conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion; actively participating in ERGs or accountability groups; openness to talking about white privilege, being anti-racist, and the oppressive systemic structures that create racial inequities for people of color.

** Subjects and topics are subject to change