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University of Phoenix College of Doctoral Studies leaders present at International Leadership Association summit

By Sharla Hooper

Dr. Kimberly Underwood and Dr. Joy Taylor from the Center for Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Research join the ILA Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Summit

Leaders in the University of Phoenix College of Doctoral Studies and Center for Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Research (CWDIR) Kimberly Underwood, Ph.D., MBA, chair, and Joy Taylor, Ed.D, CWDIR fellow and faculty, join the proceedings of International Leadership Association’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Virtual Summit, taking place June 21-22, 2023.

The event, intended for the global leadership community, is an interactive conference examining how leadership and practice drive inclusion and belonging for the greater good. The event features thought leaders raising awareness through learning and advocacy, provides workshops to co-create, share and implement best practices for creating and sustaining equitable, diverse, and inclusive groups, organizations, communities, and societies, and explores leadership research, theory, learnings and practice that can contribute to inclusion in the corporate and non-profit sectors.

“The International Leadership Association summit provides an important opportunity to engage in a global conversation on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging,” states Underwood. “We are pleased to have University of Phoenix and our CWDIR well presented and sharing insights on critical workforce trends that highlight the role and value of belonging in the workplace and education.”

Underwood’s presentation, “Beyond Inclusion: Cultivating Belonging in the Workplace,” on Thursday, June 22, at 11:00am EDT, examines how business leaders in large, national companies are re-envisioning DEIB efforts within the “new normal” to create actions and tactics — both impacting wider society and harnessing the opportunities for dynamism and growth that DEIB has long presented to companies themselves.

As the CWDIR Chair, Underwood guides many faculty, students, and alumni in research and scholarship focused on various aspects of DEIB in higher education and the workforce. She also serves as the Executive Sponsor of the Research, Scholarship, and Thought Leadership working group within the University of Phoenix President’s Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging. She is a highly sought after subject matter expert and consultant for various internal Colleges and departments and several external organizations to advance their DEIB strategies and initiatives. Underwood is the recipient of the UPCEA Research and Scholarship Award for 2023.

Taylor’s presentation, “Helping Teachers of Color Feel Included: What Can K-12 Leaders Do?”, on Thursday, June 22, at 2:00pm EDT, shares research, literature review and interview findings suggesting that administrators play a critical role in the successful onboarding of Black male educators when they strategically support them as they acclimate to school culture. With Black men representing just 2% of the K-12 teaching population, there is an urgent need for principals and district leaders to identify successful methods for recruiting and retaining these educators to ensure all students see themselves reflected in the school environment.

Taylor is a former classroom teacher, school principal, and district administrator with nearly forty years of experience in K-12 education, and has been fortunate to work with a wide range of school improvement stakeholders. A first-generation college graduate, Taylor fully embraces the role that education, mentoring and strong relationships play in navigating a path to success in the world of public education, and explores research topics that highlight these areas.

A complete schedule of the summit proceedings is available here.


About the College of Doctoral Studies

University of Phoenix’s College of Doctoral Studies focuses on today’s challenging business and organizational needs, from addressing critical social issues to developing solutions to accelerate community building and industry growth. The College’s research program is built around the Scholar, Practitioner, Leader Model which puts students in the center of the Doctoral Education Ecosystem® with experts, resources and tools to help prepare them to be a leader in their organization, industry and community. Through this program, students and researchers work with organizations to conduct research that can be applied in the workplace in real time.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, and Career Services for Life® commitment help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit