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University of Phoenix hosts June Educational Equity Webinar 

By Michele Mitchum

Webinar examines the origins of stereotypes and potential impacts on identity formation

University of Phoenix is holding the newest webinar in its Educational Equity Webinar Series, titled “Mirrors, Windows and Lenses: The Impact of Early Messages,” on June 15, 2023, at 11 AM AZT. The June webinar is the first in a two-part event focused on examining stereotypes, their potential impacts on identity formation, and practical ways to unlearn assumptions and reduce biases. The event is part of a public series intended for educators, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) practitioners, higher education leaders and administrators, employers, nonprofit organizations, government affiliates, and University of Phoenix faculty, staff, students, and alumni across the globe.

"As we continue to lead in the space of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, it is imperative that we facilitate opportunities like this one, which offer the chance to examine and dismantle our biases," states Tondra Richardson, MBA, director of Student Diversity & Inclusion at University of Phoenix, and a host of the series. “We look forward to welcoming our expert speakers, and to having an open conversation around ways to break the cycle of socialization, use practical methods to unlearn harmful assumptions, and work to cultivate positive change.”  

The virtual discussion will examine messages of stereotypes and assumptions that can be learned at an early age from various socializers. The session will focus on examples of early messages and where they might come from. Participants will have an opportunity to:

  • Identify experiences that have consciously and unconsciously shaped their identities, including assumptions about other people and their world view

  • Reflect on ways to unlearn those messages to reduce bias towards students and other communities

  • Brainstorm ways to break the cycle of socialization.

Erin Beacham and Perri D. Chandler will be the featured guest speakers at the event. Experts on creating customized and meaningful approaches, Beacham and Chandler strive to help organizations create brave spaces of belonging. Approaches are based on the key principles of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and offer opportunities for self-reflection and empathy-driven advocacy.  

Beacham is an independent equity, diversity and inclusion consultant and founder of ACT (Activate/Challenge/Transform) Consulting LLC.  She has a proven track record of supporting the creation of equitable and brave communities. She is focused on building relationships, managing projects from concept to outcome measurements, as well as designing and adapting trainings and presentations based on the communities needs and goals. Prior to being an independent consultant, Beachman worked at the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) for 7 years, where her final position was the Director of Education, Southern Division. She is also a member of the Advisory Board for Alonzo A. Crim for Urban Educational Excellence, a group working to launch a street outreach program for unhoused LGBTQ+ youth.  

Chandler strives to create communities of respect in schools and neighborhoods through educational workshops with students, teachers/staff, parents/caregivers, and community members. The goal of the work is to create inclusive, diverse, and brave environments by naming our intersecting identities, exploring and taking ownership of our explicit and implicit biases, dismantling positive and negative stereotypes, and acknowledging all levels of power and privilege. She is a graduate of American University, a facilitator with the Anti-Defamation League, a former member of VOX Teen Communications’ board of directors, a member of the redefinED board of directors, and a pop-culture enthusiast.  

The discussion will be hosted by Tondra Richardson, MBA, director of Student Diversity & Inclusion and Saray Lopez, MBA, director, Student Diversity & Inclusion, both with the Office of Educational Equity (OEE) at University of Phoenix. The Educational Equity Webinar Series is part of a series of events with which the OEE engages aiming to foster cultural awareness, thought leadership and community alliances to promote and sustain educational equity and diversity initiatives. The OEE supports students and faculty year-round with programs like the Inclusive Leadership Summit and an internal offering for staff and faculty, The Inclusive Café. 

Register for the webinar here

Previous webinars can be accessed here.

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® help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit