DEI Learning And Practice

The Ask

To support a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, an inclusive company must equip their talent pool using DEI-infused educational opportunities. When done well, workshops, discussions, training, and coaching bolster a diverse and inclusive culture the many benefits of which include increased employee engagement, employee retention, and overall business performance.

The Problem

But what does it mean to do it well? Research shows us that inclusion efforts and initiatives to improve diversity can back-fire when they lack practicality. For example, some trainings point out unconscious bias describing and defining it without actually preparing people to address it.

Further when the focus in a training is on “minority groups” it can like that employees of color, LGBTQ+ employees, employees with disabilities, among other underrepresented groups are being singled out for special treatment 9in a way that doesn’t actually increase equity but rather stirs resentment among majority groups.

Our Take

Companies can navigate this tension by centering the employee experience for the diverse and inclusive workforce they aim to create. A diverse and inclusive workplace culture is one in which employees feel valued for their identity factors including elements like their sexual orientation, national origin, ethnic diversity, gender diversity, and racial diversity. The also feel valued for their unique talents and fresh ideas. This applies to all people.

Appreciating both an individual’s identity and talents while demonstrating to employees that they have equal access to opportunity are two interconnected concepts that when combined generate belonging. To secure psychological safety, employees need to know that diversity initiatives and inclusion policies mean more opportunities for people to be treated fairly, not fewer.

What we Provide

We know from experience that the personal impacts the professional, particularly in mission-driven organizations. In our learning programs, we create space for people to bring their authentic selves to the DEI process; to create an environment rich with self-expression and contribution.

Understanding the starting point and the nuances of your company culture is vital to a successful DEI process. Engrained in our learning programs are opportunities for employees and leaders to reflect on their personal history, articulate current realities in relation to the organization, the field, and society, then consider how all of these intersect to inform action for a diverse workforce.

Our learning and leadership development programs include:

Core workshops: pre-designed sessions proven to have a positive impact on different groups;
Custom workshops: co-designed with clients to maximize relevance within the work environment;
DEI Practices Spaces: sessions to hold difficult conversations; and
Coaching: advising groups and leaders to build capacity a diverse and inclusive workforce

Core Workshops


Over years of delivering custom courses to clients of all types, we have distilled the lessons, activities, and frameworks that have been the most impactful across audiences into core workshop series.

Adult Learning and Change Praxis

At Hyphens and Spaces, we fundamentally engage diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work as organizational change work. To achieve transformation in DEI efforts and equitable outcomes organizations, individuals need these three elements:

Context for change

Willingness to change

Tools to change

Our courses address each of these elements. We equip a company’s workforce with foundational conversations to level set on what DEI is and why it matters (context). We lead diverse employees through an active process of articulating their role in this work (willingness). And we help participants with diverse viewpoints practice the skills to navigate working across difference (tools).

Adult learners retain information and behavior changes best when it is applied immediately and in a sustained way. Thus, all of our packages require a minimum of 3 workshops in a series to better encourage sustained practice in between sessions and ensure a holistic experience.

The Hyphens and Spaces Workshop Experience

Four words to describe our workshops are warm, challenging, invitational, and practical. Our facilitation styles cultivate deep human connection and memorable shared experiences.

All of our workshops are highly interactive with space for iteration based on participant needs and topics of interest, while also facilitating critical reflection, authentic communication, and curiosity over judgment.

The experiential activities in our workshops create opportunities for sharing experiences and perspectives while also creating spaces to practice the behaviors you aim to see beyond the workshop.

Our Core Workshops cover topics including:

  • Allyship and Advocacy

  • Anti-racism in Institutional Contexts

  • Building Inclusion Starting with “Why”

  • Communicating Across Difference

  • Cultivating Common Language

  • Introduction to Anti-racism

  • Managing Diverse Teams

  • Racism and Anti-racism Processing Circles

Our core learning programs pinpoint the essential features to support a diverse and inclusive workplace. Helping employees develop these core skills helps diverse companies retain diverse talent, sustain inclusion initiatives, and thus attract diverse talent.

Custom Workshops

Anti black racism

As mentioned, adult learning relies on applying skills for retention. Too often learning initiatives teach great and inspiring concepts that we love in the room and forget as soon as we leave. Hyphens and Spaces programs combine learning with immediate application to help the learning about diversity and inclusion stick. 

Our co-created custom learning programs focus on the key needs of your team. By gathering site-specific data on inclusion in the workplace, we gain deeper insights into the experiences of employees at your organization then can invite and incorporate those experiences into the learning engagement.  

The unique features of our custom workshops include: 

Learning and Development Survey: Our brief survey hones-in on learner’s needs and opportunities 

Custom Curriculum Design: We take the learnings from the survey to develop a custom curriculum for your team and organization 

Course Series: All of our learning programs are delivered in a two, three or four part series so that learners can process concepts, cement learning, and practice skills in between sessions via assignments and exercises. That coupled with the benefit of group coaching supports true behavior change. 

DEI Practice Spaces

what does DEI mean in the workplace

We designed DEI Practice Spaces to solve for seeming gaps in opportunities for application. Some DEI learning can feel theoretical, unattainable, and full of jargon. These practice spaces pull situations straight from client workplaces or the news headlines to introduce a socially relevant conversation for participants to discuss and work through using frameworks we provide.

As the name implies, the sessions provide an opportunity to practice the skills teams are cultivating. The primary objective is for participants to expand their view of a topic building self-awareness and awareness of others’ perspectives through discussion prompts. This builds cultural competence.

To learn more about our services and pricing, please fill out our 2 minute Services Overview Request Form. Upon completion you will receive an automatic response email with a link for you to download the PDF. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] and one of team members will be happy to help.

Click here to go to our DEI Strategy and Enablement page.
Click here to go to our DEI Leadership Coaching page.

Shopping Cart