Diversity & Inclusion Professionals

DEI Resources

Whether you’re new to the field or an experienced DEI leader, DAIP is here to serve as a resource and sounding board as you progress in your career path.

Past DAIP Events and Recommended Resources

Educational programs are one of the ways we offer professional development opportunities to our community.

We invite you to explore recordings of recent programs below.

July 2023

The Future of Affirmative Action: What’s at Stake?

DAIP hosted legal experts for a virtual discussion on the recent SCOTUS decisions in two cases involving race-conscious university admissions policies, which is often referred to as affirmative action.

The conversation provided historical context leading up to the decisions, and covered the anticipated impacts of blocking affirmative action–on admissions practices, student experiences, workforce pipeline, workplaces, and more. Panelists also offered insights and advice for professionals who are wondering whether the rulings would impact DEI programs and roles.

The panel was moderated by Ralph Tavares Jr. (Equity & Inclusive Excellence Manager, Diversified Search Group), who has spent two decades creating equity and access in higher education for students of color. Panelist Diana J. Hassel (Professor, Roger Williams University School of Law) is a legal expert in constitutional law and civil rights litigation. Panelist Michael J. Yelnosky (Professor, Roger Williams University School of Law) is a founding member of the RWU law faculty, and a legal expert in employment and labor law, employment discrimination law, and judicial selection.

July 2023

(One Brilliant Take) Steps to Becoming Anti-Racist

It takes courage to be an ally, whether you’re a large corporation, or a single voice speaking up in your personal interactions with others.  We’re all aware of the variety of ways that brand partnerships and awareness campaigns can cause headaches for corporations who are trying to appeal to niche markets while maintaining the support of a wide customer base. For instance, the Spring 2023 conservative backlash after Bud Light’s brand partnership with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney, and the backlash after Target’s prominent Pride Month displays which were relocated or removed due to customer anger.  Companies are trying to be more inclusive, but they often back down when segments of their audience push back. That is not being actively and genuinely anti-racist. Click the link below for the full article.


Reshaping Power Structures through Black Resistance

With DAIP framing all of our 2023 programming around transformative action, this Black History Month we focused on Black Futures, and amplifying the work of leaders who are challenging the status quo to transform workplaces, communities, and society as a whole. DAIP founder Linda Newton moderated this important conversation with the following panelists: Stephanie Akunvabey (Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at Roger Williams University), Leslie Moore (Owner, Core Collaboratives), Juan Wilson Jr. (Founder, The MUSE Foundation).

The panel highlighted methods to influence and shift power dynamics, whether one is inside or outside of traditional power structures.

July 2022

Roe v. Wade Overturned:

The SCOTUS decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has led to the biggest changes to American reproductive rights in half a century, and raised countless questions. How will this decision impact us here in the Northeast? Will your insurance benefits change? Will this decision impact more than reproductive rights and coverage? Panelists Kelly Nevins (CEO, Women’s Fund of Rhode Island) and Zari Watkins (COO, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England), and moderator Patricia Holliday (SVP, HR Consultant, Human Services Management Corporation) shared resources and insights to help decipher and anticipate potential impacts.

June 2022

What comes after Roe v. Wade for the workplace? A conversation with Law Professor Brittany L. Raposa, Esq.

Weeks after the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, protesters gathered around the country, and Americans grappled with this major blow to reproductive rights in America. Law professor and legal expert on reproductive rights Brittany Raposa joined us to talk through the potential implications. What can HR professionals expect as a result of this change? What can employees expect, both on a personal level, and on a policy and organizational level? Brittany’s historical context and expert insights provides a comprehensive primer for those looking to understand this important topic.

March 2022

Supporting Women in the Workplace: Pandemic Impacts on Gender Equity

The pandemic has disproportionately impacted women, and current trends suggest new and evolving challenges for women at work. DAIP’s panel of local community leaders discussed how you–and your workplace–can help close this gap! Panelists included Katje Afonseca (CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rhode Island), Marcela Betancur (Director, Latino Policy Institute), Kelly Nevins (CEO, Women’s Fund of Rhode Island), and Kaitlyn Rabb (Health Policy Analyst, Rhode Island Kids Count).

February 2022

Power Dynamics & Resistance to Change

This inspiring conversation featured a thought-provoking lecture from scholar and professor Marco A. McWilliams, and a conversation with Kim Barker Lee. Marco and Kim examined the historical trends of resistance to change from the civil rights era to present day, explored how this resistance persists within organizations, and offered insights on how to use this knowledge as DEI practitioners.

November 2021

DAIP’s 10th Annual Awards Luncheon

DAIP’s 2021 Annual Awards Luncheon featured keynote speaker Lexi Butler, a tech and non-profit leader, who argues that all of us must become modern-day freedom fighters. DAIP speakers considered the work ahead of us as diversity and inclusion professionals, and honored DAIP’s 2021 Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion Award winners. Nina Pande of Skills for Rhode Island's Future received an Individual Award, and Rhode Island Community Food Bank received an Organizational Award.

Kevin Matta


Kevin Matta  (he, him, his) is a strategic differentiator, comfortable challenging the status quo, and brings both passion and experience to ensure client success and human engagement with his brilliant ability to make connections.

Kevin’s interest in justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion work developed as he witnessed his parents encounter inequities and injustices while navigating the American healthcare and workplace landscape. His passion for this work continues to be strengthened by the systemic injustices people around the world continue to experience.

Kevin serves as president of DAIP’s board of directors.