Ecosystems of Inclusion

March 7, 2024
3:00 pm
4:00 pm


Partner Series

WEPAN and its ACCESS+ initiative hosted Shani Dellimore Barrax, founder of the Aurora Change Agency, to discuss Ecosystems of Inclusion.

As diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) efforts strive to endure recent attacks, organizations must consider how to develop sustainable strategies with demonstrated impact. Many well-intentioned efforts are undermined by approaches that neither consider the broader implications of people and culture or the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and organizational intentionality required to facilitate successful results.

In this session, participants explore a model that proposes organizational change through broad engagement with both the "doing" AND the "being" of this important work.



Available to WEPAN members only. Log-in required.
Available to WEPAN members only. Log-in required.


Shani Dellimore-Barrax

Shani Dellimore-Barrax (she/her/hers) is a strategic diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioner with more than 25 years of practical experience in organizational culture change and change leadership, training and development, strategic planning and execution, and coalition and capacity building. She serves as the Principal of Aurora Change Agency, a consulting firm partnering with organizations to create intentionally inclusive and humane cultures of belonging characterized by psychological safety, self-inquiry, and the freedom to innovate. Most recently, she became a co-founder of the Ikoni Collective, a work well-being movement for Black Women. A trained mediator, Cornell Certified Diversity Practitioner/Advanced Practitioner, Intercultural Development Inventory Qualified Administrator, and Prosci© Certified Change Management Practitioner, Shani has led and liaised with cross-functional teams across sectors - such as education, non-profit and professional associations, corporate entities and the arts - to increase individual and organizational capacities through change agency facilitation. Her skills include integration of cultural humility and self-reflection into learning and development strategy through innovative curriculum design and delivery, data storytelling for strategic road mapping, application of academic theory to practice, and inclusive leadership development.

Shani spent several years in higher education, most recently as an Assistant Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of North Texas (UNT) where she led a learning and development team, planned and delivered the UNT Equity and Diversity Conference, managed employee resource groups and diversity and inclusion councils, and developed strategic partnerships for the university. At both UNT and Tarrant County College District, a community college where she served as the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, she led an institution-wide campus inclusion climate survey and strategic planning process leading to institutional diversity and inclusion infrastructure. She served in a similar capacity for Vizient, a for-profit health care performance improvement company where she led an emerging diversity and inclusion team and partnered with key stakeholders such as human resources to enhance policies and practices.

Her thought leadership includes piloting INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine’s Women of Color Need Courageous Allies In the Academy Series, and partners with Viewfinder Campus-wide Climate Surveys for higher education data collection and analysis services. Her Coursera titled Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access Essentials has become an international resource for DEIB capacity-building. A sought-after keynote speaker, facilitator, and presenter at numerous conferences events, and organizations, her thought leadership contributions include the NAIS publication Diversity Work in Independent Schools: The Practice and the Practitioner and textbooks such as Quantum Realities: Educational Truth-telling in an Era of Alternative Facts and Multicultural and Diversity Issues in Student Affairs Practice: A Professional Competency-Based Approach.

A former city council candidate who lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Shani has served on the boards of Child Care Group and North Texas Diversity Council, and is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated. Hailing from Raleigh, North Carolina and proud of her Caribbean Vincy heritage, she is an alumna of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a dance and UT Austin Mom, and cuddler to three cats.

2001 L St. NW, Suite 500-50176, Washington, DC 20036

© 2022-2023 WEPAN. All right reserved.