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Committed to Making a Difference

Diversity was our business long before it became a buzzword.

The aftermath of George Floyd's murder saw DEI roles increase by 150%, demonstrating a shift in the industry and a growing recognition of the importance of diverse and inclusive workplaces. However, despite this progress, little attention is paid to the mentorship, coaching, and development of DEI talent. These leaders are expected to navigate complex organizational cultures and effect lasting change without the support and guidance they deserve. The Diversity Institute was founded to address this urgent need for community, education, and inspiration. Our programs provide a safe space for DEI practitioners to learn, grow, and thrive, unlocking their potential to drive real change and create a more equitable world. Join us in building a brighter future and driving progress towards SDG 5 (Gender Equality) and SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities).

“Creating places and spaces of belonging is central to our core values”

Malissa Adams

Meet Our Founders

Meet Our Founders

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Cecilia Stanton Adams

Co-founder & President

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Cecilia Stanton Adams MA is a sociologist and entrepreneur committed to creating innovative approaches to strengthening leadership development and diversity efforts. She is most noted for her ability to foster paradigm shifts, change behavior, and empower individuals, teams, and communities. She is an award-winning trainer and was recognized for outstanding research on unconscious bias by the American Psychological Association.

Stanton Adams is a visionary leader with more than 15 years of experience as a strategic diversity expert. She works with diversity leaders and practitioners from educational institutions, nonprofits, government agencies, and corporations to sharpen their skills and successfully execute strategic diversity initiatives.


Malissa Adams

Co-founder & Board Chair

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Malissa Adams MBA currently serves as the COO of The Diversity Institute. She is a racial equity expert and business consultant with over 20 years of experience developing diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI) strategies. She is most noted for her straightforward approach and ability to create brave spaces for difficult dialogue.

Adams was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, where she was inspired to pursue a career in the nonprofit industry. Her passion for DEI work is driven by her commitment to social justice. She is currently working with leaders willing to experiment with innovative problem-solving approaches.

"They were so engaging and so relevant. I would love to use them at our college again for employees."

Elizabeth Urang

Our Partners

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