CWU News

Former Governor Chris Gregoire to Introduce Racial Equity Workshop Co-Sponsored by CWU

VP for Diversity, Equity & Inclusivity Kandee Cleary talks with former Student BOT Member Alex Harrington

l-r: VP for Diversity, Equity & Inclusivity Kandee Cleary talks with former Student BOT Member Alex Harrington

Washington Governor Christine Gregoire, who served from 2005-2013, is the opening speaker at an online CWU co-sponsored Racial Equity Workshop, scheduled for Saturday, October 23, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Washington State Governor Chris Gregoire“We are extremely honored that Governor Gregoire has agreed to kick-off this workshop,” said Central Washington University President Jim Wohlpart. “As Governor, and through her work as CEO of Challenge Seattle, she has been committed to building a future rooted in equity for all Washingtonians.”

The workshop, titled, “Leadership and the Role of Self-Awareness (To Flex or Not to Flex),” will be facilitated by Anderson Parks, a CWU marketing and management professor, who is also the Kuolt Distinguished Professor of Business and a Diversity, Equity & Inclusivity Faculty Fellow.

The session will focus on providing employees of color with leadership skills. It is a partnership between the Washington Employers for Racial Equity (WERE), the Seattle National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), and CWU. Parks is a member of the Seattle NPHC board of directors.

Topics to be discussed will include: identifying and improving the two types of self-awareness, understanding emotional triggers, managing feedback, avoiding blind spots, and building self-aware teams.

“The reason I’m doing the workshop is I teach the Emotional Intelligence for Professionals course and it’s really had a tremendous impact on professional effectiveness in the workplace for the people who have taken the course,” Parks said.

“However, not everyone is in a position to take the full course,” he continued. “So, what I’ve been doing is pulling out some of the more pertinent modules and then conducting workshops for free that are targeted to emerging leaders of color, although anyone is welcome to attend.”

Andy ParksParks, who previously served as a global account director for Coca-Cola, said he draws on his own experiences as a person of color in a business leadership position and relates it to the experiences of the emerging leaders of color in attendance.

He noted that research indicates that less than two-thirds of Black employees have ever interacted with the senior leaders in their company. He said another eye-opening statistic he uncovered was that white candidates for a job are called back 36% more often than are Black applicants with the same qualifications.

“What I’m trying to do is really build up the leadership skillset with verifiable credentials from Central Washington so that these emerging leaders of color have more credentials and more skills to go in and interview with, which helps with career readiness and career advancement,” he said. “Really, the reason I’m doing this is to help close the equity gap.”

Each participant will receive a certificate of completion from CWU and a copy of the self-awareness book, Insight, by Tasha Eurich.

To register for the workshop, go to:

About Central Washington University
Central Washington University is located in Ellensburg, Washington, and is the most diverse higher education institution 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,