Hailing from the nation’s capital with huge hair, a million watt smile, and contagious laughter, Kimberlee Yolanda Williams has had a heart for the perceived underdog for as long as she can remember. From her earliest years, Kimberlee’s experiences unfolded in communities filled with diversity of every kind, where gatherings around topics of equity and inclusion were explored with courageous authenticity. She grew up thinking engaging across differences was something everyone wanted to do and knew how to do. So why didn’t they do it?
As an educator, DEI administrator, consultant, workshop leader, speaker, and certified life and health coach, her adult years brought her to a variety of US cities. With each new context she increasingly understood what held people back from crossing social divisions. Kimberlee found herself able to consciously place herself in the center of these divisions, in particular racial dynamics, and support people across the racial spectrum in stepping closer to one another.
Kimberlee is first and foremost a humanist, a deep believer in what is possible when humanity is centered. Her mix of authenticity and raw truth gives permission for those around her to choose progress over perfection and bring their full selves into the room. She is known for finding humor and challenge at just the right moments, and like the best of coaches, leaning in and pushing audiences just enough to believe in the potential she sees. Her approach of connection and compassion is what makes a consultation feel like a conversation with your best friend, a workshop feel like a workout with your favorite trainer, and her presentations feel like a present from your closest confidant.
Kimberlee received a B.A. in Foreign Language Education from the University of Maryland (go Terps!), as well as an M.S. in education from Dominican University. She currently lives in Seattle with her partner where they refuel by being in community (with other folks of color), reading and reading some more, and relaxing near any body of water. In addition to all of the above, Kimberlee is a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, a cousin, an aunt, a niece, a dancer, an avid learner of languages (five to date), a free spirit, an empath, and now a writer.
Keynote-Canceling the Microaggression: 45-90 minutes
Feeling like you will always say or do the wrong thing? Like you’ll never show up as the ally or co-conspirator that you know in your heart you are? Like your intentions and your words or actions somehow never line up? Well, that is all about to change. Follow an easy-to-access formula and step-by-step model to minimize the microaggressions you commit and to truly show up as the ally that lives inside you. You will no longer have to explain your good intentions, because your words and actions will speak for themselves. Watch your relationships deepen and the trust and faith that people have in you increase with just a few small steps. While this might be challenging, what’s more important, is that it’s possible.
Keynote-Different approach, different results-Radical Inclusion & Belonging in the Workplace: 45-90 minutes
Insanity is sometimes defined as doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. So, if we desire to truly create a sense of belonging and inclusion in the workplace, but are unwilling to change our approach, do we actually expect to impact the survey responses from employees when asking them about their sense of belonging? No. If you want different results, you need to do something different. Get ready to implement radical changes in your organization to yield increased senses of belonging and inclusion. Lean in, take notes, and drum up the courage to take the necessary actions to ensure all of your constituents feel radically included and that they belong.
Workshop-Dear White Woman, Please Come Home: 90 minutes-4 hours
How have white supremacist structures driven white women to ignore and harm their sisters of color? Have you experienced cross-racial sister bonds that haven’t quite taken off? Whether you’re a white woman or a woman of color, do you wonder if a genuine bond and connection across the white/women of color racial divide is even possible? White women, do you really know how you are perceived, experienced, sometimes merely tolerated, and sometimes even longed for? Come hear how Kimberlee is learning to dig into this work in surprisingly vulnerable and creative ways. While diving into Kimberlee’s book, Dear White Woman, Please Come Home, together we will explore how to racially diversify our friend groups, how to show up for and with colleagues in ways that disrupt historic patterns, and how to intentionally and thoughtfully be in community with one another.
Workshop-Bypassing Bias by Taking Your Inventory: 90 minutes-4 hours
Do you feel like you are always going to say and do things that make you sound racist? Do you wish deep down that people knew you were a good person? And, are you questioning how you continue to offend people even though you are indeed a “good person”? It’s bias. All of our words and actions originate in the bias that is sitting at the bottom of our subconscious designed to protect us and to guarantee our survival. Join Kimberlee to learn how to bypass your bias and to show up the way you hope others see and experience you. You will learn to do this by taking an inventory of your biases, uprooting them, and challenging them. This step-by-step process will shock and surprise you over and over again, but it will also empower you to shift your inherited biases and beliefs to those you more consciously subscribe to.
An Open Conversation on Race: 90 minutes-4 hours
There is so much to say, so much to ask, and so little time! Here is your blank slate to come with all of your unanswered questions and to have an open discussion about the ins and outs of race issues in this country. We will discuss all major issues and everything in between. Your thoughts and questions will guide the discussion, and you'll come out stronger and wiser for having attended this workshop. More importantly, you'll come out with more compassion, understanding, and empathy. No question or topic is off limits. Let’s exercise this muscle that is underworked and dive in together.
Talking to your children about race: 90 minutes-4 hours
Do you want to talk to your children about race, but you're not sure how to do it? Maybe you think they are too young or won't understand. Perhaps you are afraid you will break their spirit or confuse them. Come learn how to approach the subject of race with your children with an experienced DEI practitioner and coach. Gain the language, tools and confidence to talk to your children about race while leaving their innocence intact.
Using Your Dominant Identity to Your Advantage: How to support the marginalized folks in your life and community: 90 minutes-full day
You know you have privilege, you've taken several courses, yet you still don't know what to say and what not to say. You have no clue what to do and what not to do. You want to speak up, but don't know if your words might make things worse. Join us to take a deep dive into do's and don'ts for allies. We'll discuss everything that you’re wondering about and everything you don’t know to wonder about. Immediate and actionable steps to take for folks looking to be accomplices in this work. Whether you don't know where to start or you need more tips, this workshop is for you!
Navigating Conflict in Cross-Racial Conversations-90 minutes-4 hours
Afraid of entering conflict around race? Looking to heal or reconcile after experiencing cross-racial conversations that led to conflict? Don't know where to go from here? Still want to help? Want to keep that friendship? This workshop is for you! Bring your stories, and let's move toward healing these breaches together.
White teachers and parents teaching and raising kids of color
What you must know, must hear, must see and must do-90 minutes-full day
Are you a white American who is teaching, raising, mentoring, coaching, counseling, advising, treating, or simply interacting with children/teens of color? If so, your attendance at this workshop is an absolute must! Without knowing it, you are possibly doing a disservice to these children whom have been entrusted to your care. Come work with an expert DEIB practitioner to receive the tools and tips to navigate these interactions and relationships in a way that heals and uplifts these children instead of unintentionally harming them.
Keynote | Speaker and workshops
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