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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 a high-quality diversity curriculum and interactive learning sessions with measurable outcomes. Despite its impact, they learned training alone wasn't enough to solve the larger systemic issues that lay at the foundation.​

After years of research and practice, Cecilia and Malissa expanded to include The Diversity Institute in 2020 – a brave space for diversity leaders and champions to come together, learn from industry experts, and have an authentic dialogue about the successes and challenges of the DEI industry.

“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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