New NIXLA Accelerator

Leading on Unsettled Ground:
Responding to Anti-DEI Forces and Complexities on Campus

One 4-hour event, March 26, 2024

Today the Israel Hamas or October 7 war is creating deeply divisive complexities on college, university, and K-12 campuses. These situations are explosive and rooted in identity, and they require careful handling from leadership.

Additionally, while conditions vary by state, the anti-DEI movement continues having a very real impact on DEI in healthcare, K-12 schools, and on college and university campuses.

Please join Dr. Damon A. Williams for a special half-day, online institute designed to support individual leaders, work groups, teams, task forces, councils, and committees in developing an action plan/strategy to both negotiate the October 7 war and navigate the anti-DEI movement and its legislative and legal changes.

The institute begins with a briefing on these causes of unsettled ground. We review the anti-DEI movement today, touching on its history, origins, and growth curve. Dr. Williams will then move into anti-DEI legislation and policy in the US, how new policies are impacting educational institutions, and the anti-DEI implications, ideologies, and dynamics playing out globally via war and unrest.

This institute will focus on developing response readiness in the current, intensifying climate of anti-DEI sentiment. We will advocate a proactive strategy and approach to communication, partnership, and community engagement when managing within these shifting political environments and strange new legal realities.

Participants in this accelerator will receive a complete copy of our latest publication, Leading on Unsettled Ground: How Leaders Can De-escalate Israel Hamas Tensions on College and University Campuses.

The 4-hour accelerator format begins with a live, interactive webinar with Q&A for the first 2.5 hours. After a break, we will move to 90 minutes of strategy exchange workshops in breakout rooms.

You can participate in this accelerator series as an individual learner or with teams of 5 or more. Institutional teams will be assigned their own breakout room along with a NIXLA coach/facilitator to support your efforts.

Register Now

Questions Answered

This institute will help leaders grappling with hard questions such as:

  • What do I need to understand about the Israel Hamas war? How is it impacting campuses? What are leading diverse perspectives on it? What de-escalation strategies should leaders consider?
  • What are the top five things leaders who are working on unsettled ground should be doing right now? (Examples will be applicable to all regions and environments.)
  • If my current institution is banning DEI and I work in this area, what should I do next? What are my options? What should I know?
  • How can I better understand the anti-DEI movement and stay committed during these challenging moments?
  • With new anti-DEI legislation and policies being implemented, I’m being encouraged, directed, or forced to move away from DEI branding in marketing and communications. What can I say/do? What is the pivot language?
  • How can my institution evolve/reframe/revise/adapt/update  our current plans to align with current policy?
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Benefits of Attending

As either an individual learner or a team participant, you will receive:

  • Tools and resources for the session
  • Exclusive access to our latest resource about how to manage Israel Hamas War tension on campus and its toolkit
  • Adaptable NIXLA tool/template to develop a response strategy of your team’s choosing—for use during strategy exchange workshops and beyond!
  • Access to the Part I session recording for 7+ days
  • Best practices exchange with DEI leaders at other institutions
  • Networking opportunities with your institutional team or with your peers from across the U.S.
  • NIXLA alumni status—access to ongoing special sessions, resources, and discounts as well as our active private facebook group
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Schedule: Tuesday, March 26

Part I: Presentation by Dr. Damon A. WIlliams (2.5 hours)

  • 11 am – 1:30 pm Eastern / 8 – 10:30 am Pacific
  • The State of DEI, Current Anti-DEI Legislative Dynamics, Anti-DEI Legislation & Policy
  • What leaders need to know about the Israel Hamas war today
  • How to navigate and respond to anti-DEI legislative dynamics—strategies for presidents, DEI officers, and senior leaders
    • Aligning existing strategies, branding, marketing, and comms to comply with anti-DEI legislation and policies
    • Wavering commitment (dealing with fly-by-the-seat requests for major change in fear of political backlash)

Part II: Strategy Exchange Workshops (1.5 hours)

  • 2 – 3:30 pm Eastern / 11 am – 12:30 pm Pacific
  • Interactive virtual activities and group discussions
  • Peer-to-peer working and feedback sessions in breakout rooms
  • Participants carefully grouped together based on registration type, similarities in plans/units, rigor of changes, etc.


If you know someone who might benefit from the program,
we hope you will share this link and encourage their participation!