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Committed to Making a Difference

Diversity was our business long before it became a buzzword.

Our story

Cecilia Stanton Adams & Malissa Adams met as teenagers at the now well-known Hetrick-Martin Institute in New York. Even then, they were driven by a passion for bringing people together across differences. They founded Stanton Adams Consulting in 2010 to help organizations identify and address diversity, equity, and inclusion challenges.

Stanton Adams quickly gained a reputation for high-quality diversity curriculum and interactive learning sessions with measurable outcomes. Despite the impact, they knew it just wasn't enough. Training alone did not get to the core of the systemic issues that lay at the foundation.

In 2020, Cecilia and Malissa expanded to include The Diversity Institute – a brave space for diversity leaders to come together, learn from industry experts, and have an authentic dialogue about the successes and challenges of their industry.


Meet Our Founders


Cecilia Stanton Adams

Co-founder & Board Chair

  • LinkedIn

Cecilia 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 has worked with educational institutions, nonprofits, government agencies, and corporations in developing and executing strategic diversity initiatives.


Malissa Adams

Co-founder & President

  • LinkedIn

Malissa is a racial equity expert with a passion for coaching leaders. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY where she was inspired by her parents to pursue a career in the nonprofit industry. Through coaching and training, she has made a positive impact in the Twin Cities community. She is most noted for implementing collaborative, community-designed solutions for housing homeless Minnesotans.

​With over 15 years of experience in operations management and organizational development in the public and private sectors, Adams understands how to motivate others and be an effective liaison between organizations and members of under-served communities.

Our Partners

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