Course Description

City of Madison Presents Inclusive Leadership Conference,  framed in greenery and butterflies.

The Inclusive Leadership Conference invites attendees to learn how we can think about leadership in new and different ways. Our speakers will teach you tools to use in the workplace to be a more inclusive leader, especially for trans and queer people, Black, Indigenous, people of color, women and people with disabilities.

Who Should Attend

The Conference is open to all who want to grow as more inclusive leaders. A leader is someone who positively influences a group toward an inspiring vision or goal: no title, or position is necessary to make a difference. Collectively, we need to expand our idea of who and what a leader is and should be.

What You’ll Learn
  • Leadership development – Participate in interactive workshops to challenge your assumptions about leadership

  • Valuable insights – Learn from experts with life experience on how to face our own biases, address inequalities, and re-imagine inclusive workplaces

  • Tips and Proven Strategies –Strategies to practice and add to your toolkit

  • Connection – Engage with a diverse community and learn from shared personal and professional experiences

How We Designed the Conference

We involved those who are most impacted by exclusionary practices in the decision making for this conference. We did so by including employees who feel an affinity with the topic to choose the speakers for each day. We want to gather attendees to explore their own unique leadership and hold space for supporters/allies to learn in solidarity.


May 6

8:00-1:30 pm

Day 1: Disability & Leadership


Session 1

Leadership, Self-Determination, and Intellectual and Developmental Disability

Cole Sorensen (he/him)
Session 2 Make Disability Part of Your Work Emily Blum (she/her) Executive Director ADA 25 Advancing Leadership & Nakia Green (she/her) ADA 25 Advancing Leadership

Session 3

Disability Pride

Jason Glozier (he/him)

May 13

8:00-1:30 pm

Day 2: Trans & Queer Leadership


Session 1

Mutuality, Inclusion, & Leadership

Maddison Wagner (she/her) Certified Peer Support Specialist Mental Health America of Wisconsin

Session 2

Workplace dynamics, communication, and microaggressions

Sergio Dominguez (they/them) & Stephanie L. Budge, Ph.D. (she/her) Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Session 3

Queer/Trans Talk & Leadership Development

Mark Hargrove  DSW(C), MSW (he/him, they/them), Jill Nagler (they/them) & Ginger Baier (she/her) Outreach Madison

May 20

8:00-1:30 pm

Day 3: Women & Leadership


Session 1

Am I Invisible?

Sharon Brokenbough (she/her)


Executive Leadership Coach | DEI Thought Leader, Trainer & Coach | Author | Speaker | ICF Certified

Session 2

How to use Emotional Intelligence to Transform Trauma at Work & at Home

Brandie De La Rosa (she/her) CEO at E3i

Session 3

Informal Leadership & Influence

Samantha Baruah MBA, PMP (she/her) Associate Director at University of Wisconsin-Madison

May 27

8:00-1:30 pm

Day 4: Race & Leadership


Session 1

Acknowledging Barriers that “Add Insult to Injury”: Race, Identity, and Positioning in Leadership Dr. Aaliyah Baker (she/her) Assistant Professor in the College of Education and Leadership at Cardinal Stritch University

Session 2

Creating Sustainable DEI Change  Morgan L Phelps (she/her) Founder & CEO Color Connections

Session 3:
Lunch & Learn

 RECORDED WEBINAR: Combating Anti-APIA Racism & Violence, while being Pro-APIA in Madison

Tony DelaRosa (he/siya) Racial Equity Strategist & Motivational Speaker TonyRosaSpeaks, LLC

If you are in need of accommodations or have any additional questions including technical support to participate in the conference, please indicate your needs during registration or contact Organizational Development a week before the conference.

Live closed captioning will be available throughout the conference for all attendees.


  • City & PHMDC Employees: Free
  • Non-City Employees: $50 per day or $150 for the four-day conference series

Meet Our Conference Presenters

  • Cole Sorensen, a person with light skin, short hair and glasses.

    Cole Sorensen (he/him) is a mostly-nonspeaking trans autistic person, a public speaker, writer, and consultant. He holds a bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. He has worked extensively with both disabled young people and the professionals who support them as a consultant, PCA, and lecturer. His work focuses on promoting autonomy, self-determination, communication access, and dignity of risk for young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He has interned with the Autism Society of Minnesota, where he worked on making their programming more accessible to AAC users.


  • Emily Blum, a person with light skin and shoulder length brown hair.

    Emily Blum (she/her) is Executive Director of ADA25 Advancing Leadership and has a passion for helping people and organizations use their voice to create a better, more inclusive Chicago region. Prior to joining ADA 25 Advancing Leadership, Emily held senior positions at some of Chicago’s leading nonprofits, including Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) and Heartland Alliance. At all three organizations, she drove branding and strategic messaging campaigns that created new kinds of conversations with a wide variety of audiences. As a woman who experiences a disability, leading ADA 25 Advancing Leadership is both personal and professional. Emily is an ADA 25 Advancing Leadership Member (class of 2018), and that experience gave her additional tools to use her voice on behalf of those who experience disabilities.

  • Nakia Green standing with her hand on her hips. She has medium dark brown skin and short black hair.

    Nakia J. Green (she/her) is the founder of Culture Solutions and Culture Solutions In Action, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations designed to decrease unemployment and underemployment amongst minority and disabled college graduates. She also founded Nakia J Consulting, a consulting firm with specialized capabilities in Leadership Development, Organizational Development, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Nakia hopes to further the conversation on invisible disabilities in the workplace and its impact on minorities.


  • Headshot of Maddison Wagner a woman with light skin and red hair.Maddison E Wagner (she/her) is a Transgender woman and a Certified Peer Support Specialist. Peer support is grounded in lived experience. I use my personal experience with trauma, marginalization, living with mental illness and recovery to help others to deal with different challenges one may be facing and help guide them to a place where they can be their brightest most authentic self and find happiness however that may look for them


  • Sergio standing  with hands crossedin front of them.

    Sergio Dominguez (they/them) is a doctoral student in counseling psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Their research broadly examines trans wellbeing, ethical and legal professional issues in psychology, and relationship-centered research and clinical approaches. They provide instruction for mental health practitioners related to treatment with LGBTQ+ clients holding multiple minority identities, focusing especially on bolstering resilience and resistance in trans youth and adults. Sergio’s advocacy includes consulting with elected officials on legislation, advocating for minoritized students in psychology, and engaging in local and national activist-led efforts. In their free time, Sergio enjoys outdoor activities (e.g., hiking, canoeing), cooking, and shopping.


  • Headshot of S. Budge, a person with light skin and long blonde hair.

    Stephanie Budge (she/her/hers) is an associate professor in the Department of Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the director of the Advancing Health Equity and Diversity (AHEAD) program in the School of Medicine and Public Health at UW-Madison. Her research focuses on emotional and coping processes for transgender youth and adults, as well as the effectiveness of medical and psychotherapeutic treatments for transgender clients. She provides clinical trainings nationally and internationally related to LGBTQ issues, focusing on practitioners’ self-efficacy, knowledge, awareness, and skills. At the University of Wisconsin, she promotes transgender advocacy on campus by providing workshops to students, faculty, and staff related to navigating gender identity within a university environment. As a licensed psychologist, she also provides clinical services to transgender youth and adults.

  • Mark Hargrove, a person with brown skin, wearing a grey sweater and glasses​​​​​​

    Mark Hargrove (he/him, they/them), Jill Nagler (They/Them), and Ginger Baier (She/Her) are all associated with OutReach LGBTQ+ Community Center. Mark is an openly Queer/Non-Binary, gay, and Black person that lives outside of Madison. He is the Program Director and is working on his Doctor of Social Work Degree. Jillip Nagler is the President of the Board of OutReach. Jill is non-binary. Ginger has been affiliated with OutReach for over 20 years. Having served on the Board, Ginger is now the Transgender Advocate.

  • Sharon, a person with brown skin and long braded black hair wearing a dress.

    ​​​​​​Sharon Brokenbough (she/her) is an ICF credentialed Coach, Author, Speaker, Professor, Wife, Mother, and Founder & Managing Principal of ROS Professional Partners LLC based in the Greater Philadelphia area. ROS focus is to provide support for existing and emerging leaders to increase their overall positive contribution to their organization through Executive Leadership and Career Coaching. ROS also facilitates, educates, and analyzes organizations in the field of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Through this work ROS works with organizations to achieve their DE&I goals through evidence-based research, focus groups, training, coaching and consulting

    Brandi a person with straigh black hair and brown skin.

    Brandie de la Rosa (she/her) is the founder & CEO of E3inspire. She has a degree in Computer Science with a 20-year career in IT. Combined with her education in Psychology, specifically neuroscience, she decided to launch her own company helping businesses by building cultures that care. She is changing the game in the workplace by transforming the pain of trauma into production via Emotional Intelligence.


  • Samantha, a person with long dark hair.

    ​​​​​Samantha Baruah (she/her) has spent the past 12 years working with teachers, administrators, and policymakers promoting accessible and equitable public education at local, state, and national levels. Born in Vietnam, she immigrated to the United States as a political refugee and is proud to have become a naturalized citizen of the United States. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa and her MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. She is a two-time publicly elected school board member serving from 2008 – 2015. Baruah has also served on the United Way Community Impact Council, 2 PMI chapter boards, Foundation for Madison's Public Schools Board, municipal boards, and is an active volunteer of several nonprofits.

  • Ananda mirilli, a person medium brown skin and short hair.

    Tony DelaRosa (he/they/siya) is an aspiring Anti-bias & Anti-racist educator, DEIB Strategist, Spoken Word Poet, and Cross-Coalition Builder. By day he is a Teacher Leadership Coach at Teach for America Miami-Dade, and by night he is a Co-founder of NYC Men Teach's Asian American, Teacher Empowerment, Networking, and Development Initiative. Ask him about critical race / ethnic theory as it pertains to Asian Americans, Brown Asian Americans, and F/Pilipino/a/x Americans!

  • Dr Bakers, a person with brown skin and shoulder length brown hair.

    Dr. Aaliyah Baker (she/her) began her career in education as a classroom teacher with the Milwaukee Public School system. She earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Multicultural Education from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Aaliyah Baker connects critical theory to research and practice in multiple local, state, national, and international settings. Aaliyah Baker addresses issues of social justice on micro and macro levels. She works to advance the constructive dialogue around race, racism, and culture to advance responsive practices.


  • morgan phelps, a person with long braded  hair.

Morgan L Phelps (she/her) is the Founder and CEO of Colorful Connections, a social enterprise that transforms organizations into better versions of themselves by helping employers build, retain and grow inclusive teams that represent the communities they serve. Morgan also teaches Corporate Social Responsibility and Diversity in Organizations at Marquette University. Colorful Connections provides long-lasting solutions for employers who are invested in creating diverse and inclusive teams (such as talent placement services and cultural competency workshops). Colorful Connections also helps underestimated professionals secure promising careers, doing what they love with organizations committed to diversity and inclusion. Beyond serving as a change agent for diversity and inclusion, Morgan has more than 15 years of experience working as a PR and Communications Specialist, and she is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc and TEMPO Milwaukee.

  •  morgan phelps, a person with long braded  hair.Jason Glozier (he/him), disability rights and service coordinator for the Madison, Wis., Department of Civil Rights. Glozier's background includes nearly two decades of working in disability rights with organizations such as Adapt, Not Dead Yet, and the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities.


  • morgan phelps, a person with long braded  hair.

Kelly Jackson is an international award winning Native American artist. Her edgy and soulful pieces have decorated stages across the United States, Europe and Canada. Her music has gained admiration for its unique flare, soulful vocals and remarkable ability to inspire and empower her listeners. Her debut album, Spirit of a Woman earned a NAMA for best Americana Album of the Year, her second, Renditions of the Soul, also received international recognition. Her single, After All This Time, earned a #1 spot on XM World and Indigenous Music Countdowns. She has been inspired and influenced by some of the most powerful women in music; Pure Fe, Buffy St. Marie, Etta James, Josh Stone, Amy Winehouse and Susan Tedeschi to name a few. Most recently, Kelly has collaborated with other inspirational artists, touching on a more alternative style pulling from spoken word, rap, and reggae with her recently nominated hit single, Wake Up. Ms. Jackson’s genre is Native Americana, having roots in folk, jazz, blues, country, hip/hop and rock all infused with native influences. She has shared a stage with some of the greatest, Indigo Girls, Wade Fernandez and Bill Miller.


May 6 Day 1:

Disability & Leadership

Session Description

Session 1: Leadership, Self-Determination, and Intellectual and Developmental Disability

Style: Lecture

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) have historically and still today been kept out of leadership positions. The rights to autonomy and self-determination are foundational to the development of leadership skills, and yet rarely granted to people with I/DD. This session will cover the historical roots of employment for people with I/DD, explore how we can expand the concept of leadership to recognize the innate potential of every person to lead, and discuss universal design strategies and supports to people with I/DD to succeed in leadership roles.  

Session 2: Make Disability Part of Your Work

Style: Modified Panel Discussion

Disability is a natural part of the human experience. Yet making disability a natural and needed perspective in the workplace isn’t. Not only is it a shame, it’s a bad business decision.  Disability touches every community, every race and ethnicity, all genders, all sexualities. We are everywhere. We are everyone. But we don’t always reveal ourselves. Join a lively discussion about how to make disability part of your work.

Session 3: Disability Pride

Style: Lecture

Disability pride means you take pride in your whole self, which includes your disability. There is a rich history of advocacy that has created disability rights for people in the public sphere. Learn about the leadership required to make legal gains for people with disabilities and the leadership required to grow disability pride in our community.

May 13 Day 2:

Trans & Queer Leadership

Session Description

Session 1: Mutuality, Inclusion, & Leadership

Style: Personal Story/Affinity Space

What does inclusivity mean and why is it important to have affinity spaces and make each individual feel welcome, safe and heard?  Let’s dive into what affinity spaces are, what it means to participate, and who can participate… because yes, everyone can.

Session 2:Workplace Dynamics, Communication, and Microaggressions

Style: Workshop/Application

Surviving intentional and unintentional adversity in the workplace is often a commonplace experience for marginalized groups. Microaggressions - subtle, brief, commonplace expressions of prejudice toward marginalized people (Sue et al., 2007) - are a form of adversity that trans people frequently report experiencing in the workplace. Listen to the presenters' personal storytelling and empirical evidence to underscore the importance of addressing microaggressions while also attending to power dynamics in the workplace. Cis and trans attendees alike will have the opportunity to practice evidence-based communication skills that will equip them with specific techniques to mend ruptures that occur as a result of trans-specific microaggressions in the workplace.

Session 3:Queer/Trans Talk & Leadership Development

Style: Panel Discussion

Join Madison Outreach discuss leadership skills and LGBTQ+ significance.  Let's talk about inclusion in the workplace and how to support Queer/Trans Leadership. LGBTQ+ and QTPOC (Queer Trans People of Color) representation is necessary for inclusive workplaces. Learn how to open doors and promote new leadership.

May 20 Day 3:

Women & Leadership

Session Description

Session 1: Am I Invisible?

Style: Workshop/Application

Often for women & other marginalized genders in leadership, despite their education and professional accomplishments, tend to have to work harder and prove their worth, leaving them feeling invisible at times. Let's have a candid conversation on what it looks for women & other marginalized genders, the internal dilemma, psychological impact, and how to cope and respond.

Session 2: How to use Emotional Intelligence to Transform Trauma at Work & at Home

Style: Workshop/Application

This session will educate on how to be an impactful leader by understanding what "well-being" of employees really means.  Improving the workplace operation culture through psychological safety.  In essence building cultures that care. 

Session 3: Informal Leadership & Influence

Style: Workshop/Application

We often have team members from different departments within an organization and have no formal authority.  How can we grow our informal leadership and influence to move our projects through the pipeline to successful completion?  In this presentation, we will discuss what informal leadership is, how it impacts our projects and why it is important for career growth.

May 27 Day 4:

Race & Leadership

Session Description

Session 1: How to Combat Anti-Asian Racism in Your Organization & Company

Style: Workshop/Application

Over the last year, Asian Americans across the country have mobilized to speak truth to power in relation to the rise of Anti-Asian racism and violence. Over the last month, we’ve seen major news networks and companies denounce Anti-Asian American racism. But public statements and check-ins won’t save us. We need co-conspiratorship, which means we need action. This session will equip participants with tangible steps in taking action to identify Anti-Asian racism & how to respond both immediately and with policies, systems, and practices that will continue to help our community long term.

Session 2: Acknowledging Barriers that “Add Insult to Injury”: Race, Identity, and Positioning in Leadership

Style: Lecture

Cultural and family practices stemming from Black and Indigenous populations and communities are often lacking in examples of leadership. We have yet to expand our frames of understanding with regard to power and agency, organic leadership, and leadership for social justice in many of the policies, practices, and industries we uphold.  This session will ask participants to envision what inclusive leadership could look like in their own workspaces if we commit to breaking the mold on the ideology of authoritarian leadership and to begin to create that model?  This conversation would not be absent of problem assessment, power analysis, and tangible examples of lived experiences from the field.  In many cases, great progress has been made.  We can continue to create models for change and transformational thinking by way of leading in organizations founded upon the goal of social justice, social and emotional well-being, and unity.

Session 3: Creating Sustainable DEI Change

Style: Workshop/Application

To create long-standing cultural change within organizations, it is critical for leaders to address the cause of problems - not just the symptom of bias and prejudice. However, that’s easier said than done, as problems are often too complex to properly or quickly diagnose. This workshop provides a holistic look at three main categories that impact the ability to create long lasting change within organizations: the ability to ATTRACT, RETAIN and GROW talent that represent the diversity of the modern market. All three must work together, for leaders to achieve sustainability. 


Previous conference materials