Course Description

We should be listening for understanding, but often fall into the trap of listening to respond. Come learn practical listening skills, including how to give good feedback as a listener, how to demonstrate you’re listening, and how to respond with a focus on providing clear validation.

Meet Our Conference Presenters

  • Cole Sorensen, a person with light skin, short hair and glasses.

    Cole Sorensen (he/him) is a mostly-nonspeaking trans autistic person, a public speaker, writer, and consultant. He holds a bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. He has worked extensively with both disabled young people and the professionals who support them as a consultant, PCA, and lecturer. His work focuses on promoting autonomy, self-determination, communication access, and dignity of risk for young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He has interned with the Autism Society of Minnesota, where he worked on making their programming more accessible to AAC users.


  • Emily Blum, a person with light skin and shoulder length brown hair.

    Emily Blum (she/her) is Executive Director of ADA25 Advancing Leadership and has a passion for helping people and organizations use their voice to create a better, more inclusive Chicago region.Prior to joining ADA 25 Advancing Leadership, Emily held senior positions at some of Chicago’s leading nonprofits, including Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) and Heartland Alliance. At all three organizations, she drove branding and strategic messaging campaigns that created new kinds of conversations with a wide variety of audiences. As a woman who experiences a disability, leading ADA 25 Advancing Leadership is both personal and professional. Emily is an ADA 25 Advancing Leadership Member (class of 2018), and that experience gave her additional tools to use her voice on behalf of those who experience disabilities.

  • Nakia Green standing with her hand on her hips. She has medium dark brown skin and short black hair.

    Nakia J. Green (she/her) is the founder of Culture Solutions and Culture Solutions In Action, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations designed to decrease unemployment and underemployment amongst minority and disabled college graduates. She also founded Nakia J Consulting, a consulting firm with specialized capabilities in Leadership Development, Organizational Development, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Nakia hopes to further the conversation on invisible disabilities in the workplace and its impact on minorities.


  • Headshot of Maddison Wagner a woman with light skin and red hair.

    Maddison E Wagner (she/her) is a Transgender woman and a Certified Peer Support Specialist. Peer support is grounded in lived experience. I use my personal experience with trauma, marginalization, living with mental illness and recovery to help others to deal with different challenges one may be facing and help guide them to a place where they can be their brightest most authentic self and find happiness however that may look for them


  • Sergio standing  with hands crossedin front of them.

    Sergio Dominguez (they/them) is a doctoral student in counseling psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Their research broadly examines trans wellbeing, ethical and legal professional issues in psychology, and relationship-centered research and clinical approaches. They provide instruction for mental health practitioners related to treatment with LGBTQ+ clients holding multiple minority identities, focusing especially on bolstering resilience and resistance in trans youth and adults. Sergio’s advocacy includes consulting with elected officials on legislation, advocating for minoritized students in psychology, and engaging in local and national activist-led efforts. In their free time, Sergio enjoys outdoor activities (e.g., hiking, canoeing), cooking, and shopping.


  • Headshot of S. Budge, a person with light skin and long blonde hair.

    Stephanie Budge (she/her/hers) is an associate professor in the Department of Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the director of the Advancing Health Equity and Diversity (AHEAD) program in the School of Medicine and Public Health at UW-Madison. Her research focuses on emotional and coping processes for transgender youth and adults, as well as the effectiveness of medical and psychotherapeutic treatments for transgender clients. She provides clinical trainings nationally and internationally related to LGBTQ issues, focusing on practitioners’ self-efficacy, knowledge, awareness, and skills. At the University of Wisconsin, she promotes transgender advocacy on campus by providing workshops to students, faculty, and staff related to navigating gender identity within a university environment. As a licensed psychologist, she also provides clinical services to transgender youth and adults.

  • Mark Hargrove, a person with brown skin, wearing a grey sweater and glasses​​​​​​

    Mark Hargrove (he/him, they/them), Jill Nagler (They/Them), and Ginger Baier (She/Her) are all associated with OutReach LGBTQ+ Community Center. Mark is an openly Queer/Non-Binary, gay and Black person that lives outside of Madison. He is the Program Director and is working on his Doctor of Social Work Degree. Jillip Nagler is the President of the Board of OutReach. Jill is non-binary. Ginger has been affiliated with OutReach for over 20 years. Having served on the Board, Ginger is now the Transgender Advocate.

  • Sharon, a person with brown skin and long braded black hair wearing a dress.

    ​​​​​​Sharon Brokenbough (she/her) is a ICF credentialed Coach, Author, Speaker, Professor, Wife, Mother and Founder & Managing Principal of ROS Professional Partners LLC based in the Greater Philadelphia area. ROS focus is to provide support for existing and emerging leaders to increase their overall positive contribution to their organization through Executive Leadership and Career Coaching. ROS also facilitates, educates and analyzes organizations in the field of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Through this work ROS works with organizations to achieve their DE&I goals through evidence-based research, focus groups, training, coaching and consulting

    Brandi a person with straigh black hair and brown skin.

    Brandie de la Rosa (she/her) is the founder & CEO of E3inspire. She has a degree in Computer Science with a 20 year career in IT. Combined with her education in Psychology, specifically neuroscience, she decided to launch her own company helping businesses by building cultures that care. She is changing the game in the workplace by transforming the pain of trauma into production via Emotional Intelligence.


  • Samantha, a person with long dark hair.

    ​​​​​Samantha Baruah (she/her) has spent the past 12 years working with teachers, administrators, and policymakers promoting accessible and equitable public education at local, state, and national levels. Born in Vietnam, she immigrated to the United States as a political refugee and is proud to have become a naturalized citizen of the United States. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa and her MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. She is a two-time publicly elected school board member serving from 2008 – 2015. Baruah has also served on the United Way Community Impact Council, 2 PMI chapter boards, Foundation for Madison's Public Schools Board, municipal boards, and is an active volunteer of several nonprofits.

  • Ananda mirilli, a person medium brown skin and short hair.

    Tony DelaRosa (he/they/siya) is an aspiring Anti-bias & Anti-racist educator, DEIB Strategist, Spoken Word Poet, and Cross-Coalition Builder. By day he is a Teacher Leadership Coach at Teach for America Miami-Dade, and by night he is a Co-founder of NYC Men Teach's Asian American, Teacher Empowerment, Networking, and Development Initiative. Ask him about critical race / ethnic theory as it pertains to Asian Americans, Brown Asian Americans, and F/Pilipino/a/x Americans!

  • Dr Bakers, a person with brown skin and shoulder length brown hair.

    Dr. Aaliyah Baker (she/her) began her career in education as a classroom teacher with the Milwaukee Public School system. She earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Multicultural Education from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Aaliyah Baker connects critical theory to research and practice in multiple local, state, national, and international settings. Aaliyah Baker addresses issues of social justice on micro and macro levels. She works to advance constructive dialogue around race, racism, and culture to advance responsive practices.


  • morgan phelps, a person with long braded  hair.

    Morgan L Phelps (she/her) is the Founder and CEO of Colorful Connections, a social enterprise that transforms organizations into better versions of themselves by helping employers build, retain and grow inclusive teams that represent the communities they serve. Morgan also teaches Corporate Social Responsibility and Diversity in Organizations at Marquette University. Colorful Connections provides long-lasting solutions for employers who are invested in creating diverse and inclusive teams (such as talent placement services and cultural competency workshops). Colorful Connections also helps underestimated professionals secure promising careers, doing what they love with organizations committed to diversity and inclusion. Beyond serving as a change agent for diversity and inclusion, Morgan has more than 15 years of experience working as a PR and Communications Specialist, and she is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc and TEMPO Milwaukee.