The IDEAL 2021 Conference

Friday, November 19

The Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility for Learning Conference
A Community-led Event to Help You Learn & Build Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility

What is IDEAL21?

The IDEAL21 Conference is a one-day virtual event that provides practical strategies and solutions to help L&D professionals better understand and plan their inclusion and diversity initiatives.


What we are building

This community-based event features presentations from leading experts sourced from active members of the TLDC community.

Our speaker and content info will be updated regularly so check back for updates.



7:00 am

L&D's Role in Cultivating Racial Equity in the Workplace

How do we in L&D, including both those who hold more privileged identities and those who don’t, connect meaningfully to conversations on racial equity, process our feelings and perceptions, and design learning experiences that are equitable? In this session, we’ll discuss L&D’s role in cultivating racial equity and participants will walk away with key resources and actions to:

  • Explore personal socialization and subsequent bias
  • Discuss the intersection of race & other social identities to address inequity across other aspects of marginalization (gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity).  
  • Assess if structures, processes, and/or social interactions are equitable
  • Make impactful anti-racist decisions that make your training and learning solutions more equitable
  • Work more effectively with your team across lines of difference

Megan Torrance and Jessica Jackson

8:00 am

L&D as Catalyst for Real Change

As DEI evolves, many are starting to challenge the efficacy of the field in producing real, meaningful change in organizations. In this session, we will explore how trainers can be champions for real impact, but first must learn to determine what is real and what is merely performative. We will discuss how DEI goes beyond simply surface-level human relations in the workplace, and must address the deep systemic change that in turn influences culture and workplace behaviors.

Farzin Farzad

9:00 am

Who Is Your Diversity Program Leaving Out?

What components of diversity training is your organization missing? Do all of your employees feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work? Star will discuss how to make your organization more welcoming to members of the LGBTQIA+ community and how best to accommodate individuals with disabilities. This will include supporting neurodiverse employees as well as transgender employees who are transitioning.

Star Peterson

10:00 am

Show Me the Numbers! Data-Informed DEI

Data is a powerful tool.  Together, we’ll delve into ways data can strengthen your DEI efforts.
We’ll focus on:
Data Resources
Data as the Foundation of your Direction (Why you're doing what you're doing.)

Dezirae Choi

11:00 am

Reducing Barriers in L&D through Empathy Mapping and Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

In this session, we will explore how the use of empathy mapping alongside UDL can promote inclusive mindset development and practice. Both gaps and opportunities will be discussed where organizations can identify ways to design more equitable experiences for all organizational members.

  • Review empathy mapping with universal design for learning principles as it applies to user perspective
  • Discuss potential gaps and strategies for proactively preparing for future opportunities to build with users’ needs in mind
  • Identify ways to create a sustainable and consistent approach to inclusive learning with a UDL mindset

Suzanne Ehrlich & Michelle Bartlett

12:00 pm

Multicultural Excellence: Diversity and Inclusion Starts with M.E.

This session will highlight that companies’ and organizations’ Diversity and Inclusion journeys can be strengthened by:

1) highlighting that since we are all multicultural beings, it’s necessary for individuals to reflect on the full range of their multicultural identities, while also specifically focusing on which identities have been marginalized in difference spaces and

2) focusing on incorporating empathy and workplace wellbeing.

Milo Dodson


Megan Torrance

CEO, Author, Speaker, Leader, Torrance Learning

Megan Torrance is CEO and founder of TorranceLearning, which helps organizations connect learning strategy to [execution] design, development, data, and ultimately performance. She has more than 25 years of experience in learning design, deployment, and consulting with organizations such as UnitedHealth Group, Dow Chemical, Kohler, and Kellogg's.

Jessica Jackson

Racial Equity Strategist & xAPI Cohort Host, Torrance Learning

Jess Jackson is an instructional designer, writer, speaker and over 15 years’ experience as a Diversity Peer Educator. She is the author of TorranceLearning’s curriculum Cultivating Racial Equity in the Workplace (CREW) a holistic microlearning training program that addresses barriers to equity in the workplace using evidence informed best practices from social psychology research.

Star Peterson

Instructional Designer & Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Trainer, Stellar Diversity Training

Star Peterson is a freelance instructional designer and diversity trainer. They provide training and consultation on a variety of EDI topics. These include neurodiversity, sensory processing disorders, and issues specific to the LGBTQIA+ community. Star strives to make workplaces more accommodating for people with disabilities and for members of the queer community.

Farzin Farzad

Owner and Principal, Critical Equity Consulting LLC

Farzin Farzad is an Organizational Justice practitioner with experience in higher education, local government, and the private sector. Holding two master’s degrees in international affairs and diplomacy as well as a certificate in conflict resolution skills, Farzin leverages his unique academic background, extensive travel experience, and experiential knowledge to provide comprehensive, thought-provoking local and global approaches to his work. In addition to training and education programs, Farzin is a seasoned project manager with expertise in developing strategies that build equitable workplace environments and government services, as well as Employee Resource Group events and programs. Farzin is the founder of Critical Equity Consulting, LLC, a boutique Organizational Justice consulting firm focused on helping organizations rebuild with a primary focus on creating equitable outcomes.

Dezirae Choi

Educator | Instructional Designer

Dezirae is an educator and a certified instructional designer, who is passionate about engaging learning experiences and intuitive human-centered design. Dezirae earned her Master of Education from Utah State University. Additionally, she is an Adjunct Professor of Diversity in Education at Weber State University.
She is an enthusiast of World History (she teaches the subject after all), a lover of Korean dramas, and a competitive volleyball player.  

Milo Dodson

Senior Manager for Diversity & Inclusion and Community Outreach, Belkin International

Dr. Milo Dodson is a Licensed Psychologist and serves as Senior Manager of Diversity & Inclusion and Community Outreach for Belkin International, Inc. In this role, he develops, deploys, and sustains D&I programs and community engagement strategies at the local, regional, and global levels, focused on inclusive behaviors and business practices. In collaboration with key executives and senior leaders, Dr. Dodson leverages organizational design and development expertise to introduce best practices to attract, retain, and develop diverse talent company-wide.

Michelle Bartlett

Faculty Scholar/DELTA Faculty Fellow, Belk Center, North Carolina State University

Michelle Bartlett, Ph.D., is a faculty scholar at the Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research at NC State University where she leads a doctoral program for community college leadership. Michelle creates programs in Universal Design for Learning, Accessibility Design in Online Environments, and Instructional Design. She serves as Professional Development Trustee for the Association for Career and Technical Education Research and co-founder of the UNITE Design Lab.

Suzanne Ehrlich

Associate Professor/Co-Director UNITE Design Lab, University of North Florida/UNITE Design Lab

Suzanne Ehrlich, EdD, is an Associate Professor in the Educational Technology, Training and program at the University of North Florida and is a certified ASL/English interpreter. She has presented nationally/internationally on the topics of implementing the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework for improved learner engagement, accessibility in learning design, and leveraging technology for access. Her service has included Association of Training and Development (ATD) of Northeast Florida and recently as program chair for AERA’s Workplace Learning SIG.

Delia Smola

Global Learning and DEI Consultant, Independent

Global Employee Development Strategist with over 20 years of demonstrated leadership helping organizations across multiple industries deliver resources and programs to modern working teams. Expertise in corporate training, HR planning, DEI, organizational development, and coaching. Experience in private and public sectors including financial services, legal, contact support centers, online retail, business process organizations (BPO), and fulfillment.

Our Sponsors

Special Thanks to the Sponsors of IDEAL21