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Action in Times of Crisis: Facilitated Discussion About Racial Inequity

In light of recent national events that have brought stark racial inequalities to the forefront of the conversation, organizations everywhere are navigating and facilitating unfamiliar discussions between leadership, employees and customers. How an organization chooses to handle this situation will have a direct impact on the workforce and define organizational culture as a whole. When it comes to confronting the issue of racial inequity, employers must create purposeful dialogue, create safe spaces for employees to listen, learn, share and be informed leaders, educated and equipped to stand against injustices.

View the facilitated discussion with community business leaders that explores how to have the necessary conversations to begin making progress toward racial equity in the workplace or listen to the audio version below.




Gail Fottrell-Jones

Senior HR Consultant | OneDigital

As an experienced Leadership development strategist and executive coach, Gail provides a relentless focus on the client, the client experience and the desired outcomes. Gail is a senior member of the Mid-Atlantic HR Consulting practice. She has received her Senior Professional in HR certification from the HRCI institute and has more than 2 decades of internal and external consulting experience.


Byron Boston

President, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chief Investment Officer | Dynex Capital

Byron Boston is the President, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chief Investment Officer at Dynex Capital, a mortgage real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on capital preservation, providing risk-adjusted returns reflective of diversified, high-quality leveraged fixed-income portfolio. During his 39-year career, Mr. Boston has held a number of leadership positions in the asset management/investment banking community, is the founder of a successful public company and personally built a second successful public company.


Ruth Jones Nichols, Ph.D

President & Chief Executive Officer | Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore

Ruth Jones Nichols, is the President & CEO of the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, a regional hunger-relief organization that has been leading the effort to eliminate hunger in the community since 1981. As an executive leader, Ruth has more than 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector with progressive responsibilities ranging from program development, fundraising, marketing, strategic partnership development and advocacy. Prior to joining the Foodbank in January 2016, Ruth served as Executive Director of the YWCA South Hampton Roads. Ruth earned a Ph.D. degree from Catholic University, Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and Bachelor’s degree from the College of William & Mary. She was born and raised in Hampton Roads and often says, “there’s no place like home.”


Ingrid Tolentino

Chief Executive Officer | Metlife Legal Plans

Ingrid Tolentino is the Chief Executive Officer for MetLife Legal Plans, a wholly owned subsidiary of MetLife. MetLife Legal Plans is the largest Group legal plans benefit provider in the country with 225 of the Fortune 500 businesses. During Ingrid’s 20-year career at MetLife, she also served as Planning Officer for the company and Chief of Staff to the President of Group Property & Casualty.

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