Our team has the experience and knowledge to expertly assess needs, improve skills, and deliver the highest training ROI.

Founder's Story

Passion led us here.

The Stanton Adams Team

The Diversity Experts®

Cecilia Stanton Adams & Malissa Adams

Founder's Story

The Stanton Adams team ("The Diversity Experts®) 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.    When they re-connected 20 years later through social media, they took some BRAVE, BOLD STEP'S, and founded Stanton Adams Consulting.

With Cecilia Stanton Adams' experience in social science research and Malissa Adams's background in organizational behavior, the two set out to help organizations across the country identify and address diversity, equity, and inclusion challenges. Sidebar: they also got married in 2011!

With over 25 years of research, knowledge, and practical experience in Diversity, Equity, and inclusion, Cecilia and Malissa became leading providers of diversity, equity, and belonging consulting and education in Minnesota, other parts of the U.S.

By 2020 Cecilia and Malissa were coined as The Diversity Experts© by clients and their constituency. This is apparent in the fact that most of Stanton Adams's clients are referrals.

On their journey, it became evident that, regardless of the industry, size, or geographic location, organizations were struggling with implementing DEI Strategies. Sometimes these challenges resulted in issues of race, gender, religion, or generational conflict.

Cecilia and Malissa developed DEI Assessments and Frameworks that move public, private, nonprofit organizations, and communities along on their DEI journey.

Stanton Adams Consulting creates opportunities for individuals to express their deepest concerns in a BRAVE SPACE.

At the same time, we are capable of helping others heal from past hurts by holding space for courageous conversations.

In January 2020, Cecilia and Malissa (The Diversity Experts©) took another BRAVE, BOLD STEP, and started

The Diversity Institute.


The Diversity Institute is a public benefit corporation dedicated to uncovering the systemic issues that cause barriers to equity and access for marginalized communities. Our Goal at The Diversity Institute is to develop Minnesota's Diversity, Equity, and Belonging Community of Practice (MNDEB CoP). 
Where we are creating:

  • Progressive Organizational Standards,

  • DEI Practitioner Certification,

  • DEI Competencies for org’s and

  • DEI Competencies for practitioners,

  • Benchmarking based on the GDIB (Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarks).

Malissa Adams currently serves as the Executive Director of The Diversity Institute. To learn more about THE DIVERSITY INSTITUTE go to

Cecilia Stanton Adams serves as Board Chair of Stanton Adams Consulting and serves as an Ambassador for our Global Partnerships for The Diversity Institute.

The two live in their Minneapolis home with two dogs (Danny and Scrappyand two cats (Lulu and Tom Thumb).


When Cecilia and Malissa are not out creating a more diverse equitable society where everyone feels they belong, they enjoy spending time with their lovely daughter Celisia Stanton.

Celisia Stanton is a highly sought after wedding photographer whose joy comes from capturing the most special memories of others.  She leverages her Social Media Influence to exact change by inspiring her 30k + Instagram follower (from around the world) to take action through her social justice and Anti-racism Master Classes. To learn more about Celisia and the fabulous work she is doing please visit her on Instagram at

(612)730 - 3103

Minneapolis, MN 

©2020 by Stanton Adams