CWU News

CWU Community, Local Business Leaders Of Color Invited to Free Emotional Intelligence Workshop

A flyer for the event, highlighting the two featured speakers

Business leaders and students of color can learn how to increase their emotional intelligence and develop their stress response in a virtual workshop later this month.

Part of Central Washington University’s Mindful Leader Workshop series, “Mindfulness and Emotional Regulation” is co-faciliated by Alanah M. Dillard, a licensed marriage and family therapist and mindfulness facilitator, and Andy Parks, CWU Kuolt Professor of Business and co-founder of Emotional Intelligence for Professionals. The free workshop will be held via Zoom on Saturday, May 21, from 10-11:30 a.m., and is open to the public.

Studies show people of color face amplified challenges in the workplace, including increased instances of code switching, imposter syndrome and a lack of inclusion, Parks said. Studies show that Black employees feel they have to work harder than their peers to advance and experience racial prejudice at work.

The workshop will introduce participants to principles of mindfulness and a custom tool for emotional regulation Parks teaches in his emotional intelligence classes and workshops: the emotional catch, observe, and release model.

Mindfulness practices are linked to numerous benefits, including an increased sense of self-efficacy and inner peace; improved immune system, sleep and memory; reduced anxiety and depressive symptoms; increased emotional regulation; and overall more satifying interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships, Dillard said. 

“As you become more familiar with these practices, you will begin to integrate them in your daily routine, ultimately creating a new normal for your way of living,” Dillard said. “The more you practice, the easier it becomes to recognize when the mind has left your body and gives you the opportunity to call it back with clarity, compassion, and gentle control.”

The combination of mindfulness with emotional regulation training enhances its benefits, and can help manage difficult emotional triggers, Parks said.

“The emotional catch, observe and release model is designed to increase the time between stimulus and reaction. It helps slow down the activity in the emotional part of the brain and shift it to the thinking part of the brain so we can make logical, less emotional decisions,” Parks said.

Each participant will receive a certificate of completion from CWU and a professional development book. To register for the workshop, visit CWU's website. This event is Presented by the Seattle National Pan-Hellenic Council in partnership with CWU College of Business and Washington Employers for Racial Equity.

About Central Washington University
Central Washington University is located in Ellensburg, Washington, and is one of the most diverse higher education institutions in the state of Washington. CWU has been honored with the prestigious Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award in seven of the last eight years.

Media contact: Dawn Alford, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1484,