Fireside Chat - Leadership for the Next Stage of the Inclusion Movement


In-person session offerings are on a first-come, first-served basis. Seating is limited.

To view all event accessibility & accommodations details, visit here.

General session doors will open around 9:30 AM.

Today, our workplaces and our communities are becoming ever more divided. People are afraid to share diverse viewpoints for fear of being judged, canceled, or even fired. This time of complexity and change calls for a new leadership competency in empathy and Diversity Intelligence (C). Knowing that, how do we begin depolarizing difficult conversations and get to win-win-win solutions in our personal, professional, and civic lives?

 SHRM Chief of Staff, Head of Public Affairs & Corporate Secretary, Emily M. Dickens, J.D. welcomes Rich Tafel to conclude INCLUSION with a conversation on his unique Cultural Translation (C) strategy for building bridges and creating change we can believe in.

All general sessions will be livestreaming at the Spotlight Stage in the INCLUSION Marketplace (Monday and Tuesday only) and the Oglethorpe Auditorium.

Advanced seating assistance is available for anyone with mobility issues, sensory sensitivity, pregnant women, etc. Please head to the Accessibility & Accommodations Advanced Seating waiting area outside the doors to the Main Stage by 9:15 AM to be seated at 9:20 AM. 

If a speaker has provided session materials, please see below or visit

All virtual sessions inherently run the risk of audio or visual issues due to factors out of our control. If any technical difficulties arise, we appreciate your patience and understanding as we work diligently to resolve it. All virtual sessions, unless marked as "LIVE ONLY" or "VIRTUAL LIVE ONLY", are recorded and will be available to view on demand until December 1, 2023.

Date(s) & Time(s): 
Wednesday, November 1, 2023 - 10:30am to 11:30am

Rich Tafel


Rich Tafel is a strategist whose passion is to build bridges between unlikely partners to create successful coalitions to solve the most significant challenges of our day. He works at the intersection of faith, business, and policy.

A minister by training, Rich is the pastor of the Church of the Holy City in Washington, DC, where his ecumenical ministry translates spirituality for a rising generation. He focuses on addressing toxic polarization by offering training to leaders in his Cultural Translator model. A graduate of Harvard Divinity School, he served as an Assistant Minster at Harvard’s Memorial Church. Today, he serves on the governing board of the National Council of Churches.

Rich is a pioneer in the social entrepreneur field, having provided strategy to over one hundred social ventures. He facilitated the nation’s first statewide social entrepreneur competition for Michigan. He strategically supported creating the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. He co-founded the Workplace Wellness Council of Mexico and SameSky Health, which connect patients with doctors in their language using a phone app. Today, he is the Director of Social Capital Advisers at Marcum LLP in Washington, DC, where he works with for-profit and nonprofit entities to build business models to create transformative change.

He has long sought to bridge the divide in the public policy sphere in America in Washington, DC, building successful right-left coalitions in the battle to treat AIDS and support same-sex marriage. He served as Adolescent Health Director for the State of MA.

He has led programs at Pepperdine School of Public Policy, Johns Hopkins University, and today serves as a Senior Fellow at George Washington University’s Center for Excellence in Leadership. He is the President of the board of directors of Citizen’s University, a national organization focused on educating the rising generation on civic engagement.


Emily M. Dickens, J.D.

Emily M.
Dickens, J.D.

Emily M. Dickens, J.D., serves as SHRM Chief of Staff, Head of Government Affairs & Corporate Secretary. She is the executive responsible for coordinating staff to implement the CEO's vision, serving as corporate secretary for the SHRM Board and subsidiary boards, as well as managing external partnerships and providing oversight for the Government Affairs division.

Dickens is an attorney with significant and progressive experience in government, higher education and the non-profit sector. She has served as a member of the leadership team at the University of North Carolina system, the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.  Her prior roles include general counsel, chief relationship officer, senior vice president, vice president for public policy and assistant vice president for federal relations.  Dickens has also worked at Duke University and Fayetteville State University in administrative and external affairs roles. 

Emily is actively engaged in board service. She formerly served on the  Fayetteville/Cumberland (NC)  Chamber  of  Commerce  (Secretary  of  the  Board),  the Cumberland County Workforce Development Board, the  North  Carolina  Partnership  for  Defense  Innovation Board, and the Educational Advancement Foundation. She is currently a member of the Advisory Council of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), the Advisory Board of the College of Arts and Sciences at North Carolina Central University, and chairs the International HBCU Task Force for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

She is a graduate of North Carolina Central University and North Carolina Central University School of Law. 

Emily is a member of the SHRM Speakers Bureau.

Exhibit Hall B
Session Type: 
General Session
Hide from On Demand: