We are...

A safe space to collaborate, with the authentic intention to share experience and learn from each other. 

& Advocates




Who We Are

The National Diversity + Inclusion Consortium was established in Kansas City in 2014, when Michael Gonzales, Kirstin Hadel, and Derrick Nelson met for coffee to discuss their new positions in the world of D&I. 

What started out as three people meeting at a coffee shop quickly and organically, expanded to a little bit larger group at restaurants, and then to an even larger, and always growing, group that now meets at members’ company headquarters.

Based in Kansas City, the consortium has grown to over 502 D&I practitioners and advocates from 72 cities, 39 states and four countries. Our members work in a vast array of industries including private and public companies and corporations, local and national; non-profit organizations; local and national, educational institutions, hospitals and more.

The primary purpose of the Consortium is to provide each other with insights and support in regards to D&I opportunities and challenges, by providing unconditional and authentic support in a genuine way.

Ángela María García

The D&I Consortium is a wonderful community of real-world DEI practitioners and advocates from different industries and sectors coming together to share promising practices, resources and our lived experiences.  The Consortium facilitates a forum for innovative thinking, learning and enables opportunities for authentic connections across the DEI discipline. With each interaction there is intentionality towards creating value, a supportive environment and fostering a genuine sense of belonging for each member. 

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Consultant
Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association

Vanessa Vaughn West

The Consortium continues to be an excellent resource for my continued professional growth. Each time I attend a meeting I walk away with new insights, ideas and contacts.  For those who are looking to participate in thoughtful discussions about critical CD&I topics and all practices that touch all industries, this is a “Run, don’t walk” organization.  It’s a benefit to the both the seasoned D&I professional and for those who are new to the field because it leverages experience and new innovations to support and improve D&I practices and practitioners across industries and business models.

Director of Diversity & Inclusion
Lathrop GPM

Darla Wilkerson

As a disability activist at heart, the D & I Consortium allows me to share with others my passion for promoting disability inclusion in the workplace. As I am a person with a disability, it’s important for me to work with colleagues who share in my efforts to be non-judgmental, creative, and deliberate about their work in
disability inclusion. I hope to influence others to recognize the very areas of influence they have to elevate inclusivity. Learning and being challenged by others gives me energy.

Retired Executive Director
Center for Disability Inclusion

Olivia Law-Delrosso

As a D&I practitioner and educator, the Consortium has provided me valuable insight and guidance. Members come from different backgrounds and work in different industries and roles yet we each get just what we need from the organization. Our world is constantly changing and we are all challenged to build organizations where everyone feels a sense of belonging. The community in the Consortium is one of my most important resources to not only share what works but also rejuvenate my spirit.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director
College of Business, Kansas State University

Dr. Tyrone M. Bates, Jr.

The DEI Consortium has been an incredible journey of discovery, collaboration, and growth for me. As a vibrant community of DEI practitioners and advocates from various industries, it offers a unique platform where sharing our lived experiences, promising practices, and resources becomes the norm. What truly sets the Consortium apart is its commitment to fostering innovative thinking and learning through thought-partnership, idea sampling, and saw-sharpening sessions. Each meeting is a testament to the group’s intentionality in creating real value, supporting one another, and nurturing a genuine sense of belonging among all members. The opportunities for authentic connections across the DEI discipline have been unparalleled, enriching my professional journey with meaningful insights and relationships.

CEO / Founder at True Empowering, LLC
Kansas City

Wanessa Dougherty

The consortium has been a valuable resource for becoming a stronger DE&I advocate. This group of individuals with diverse backgrounds comes together with the same objective: to share and learn DE&I practices that bring true impact to the workplace.

Employee Relations Specialist/Affirmative Action
Fraternity Without Borders

Steve Hills

As director of DEI at the Mid-America LGBT Chamber of Commerce, I am always striving to ensure that our goals of economic access, education, and inclusion are at the forefront of our processes and objectives. In order to best equip myself and others with the necessary skills to succeed in this endeavor, membership in the D&I consortium has proved invaluable. It allows me to maintain consistency in knowledge of best practices, connects me with other D&I professionals across a wide variety of communities, and serves as a necessary space to reflect, identify, and plan for growth. I am grateful to Michael for nurturing this space and for his work as a partner to my own community and others.


Amy Leslie

Creating workplaces where all can thrive requires us to seek perspective.  The consortium provides a safe space of humans coming together to ask questions, share, or just listen!

Perspective Consulting