SALISBURY, N.C. – Rowan-Cabarrus Community College will host its fourth installment of “A New Way Forward with G.U.I.D.E. (Growth, Understanding, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity),” a virtual higher education diversity and inclusion conference, on November 17, 2023. The event is free and open to the public.

“A New Way Forward with G.U.I.D.E.” aims to advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (D.E.I.) issues in higher education, K-12, communities, and the workplace. The daylong conference will feature notable experts speaking on topics such as ageism in the workplace, transgender identity, equity and inclusion, dealing with implicit biases, inclusive leadership, and more.

“Our focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion has never been more important,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. “The College has a long-standing commitment to creating a culture of inclusivity and a campus filled with students, faculty and staff who reflect the communities we serve. This event provides a space for participants to celebrate achievements, be inspired by best practices, and learn how to manage change.”

This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Jane Elliott, an internationally known teacher, lecturer, and diversity trainer. Recipient of the National Mental Health Association Award for Excellence in Education, her work exposes prejudice and bigotry as an irrational class system based upon arbitrary factors.

A lunch panel discussion, “Breaking Barriers and Leading Change: Perspectives from Women Presidents in Higher Education,” will be hosted by Nekita Eubanks and Zhivi Williams of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and will feature Dr. Carol Spalding of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Dr. Karrie G. Dixon of Elizabeth City State University, Dr. Traci Mancini of Carteret Community College, Dr. Pamela G. Senegal of Piedmont Community College, and Melissa Singler of Roberson Community College.

The conference also will include a variety of breakout sessions with experts on topics related to diversity, equity, and equity:

  • Jacquie Abram, Jacquie Abram Speaking & Consulting, LLC
  • Dione Adkins, Salisbury Rotary Club
  • Karen Alexander, Mayor of Salisbury
  • Judge Aretha Blake, District Court Judge, N.C. 26th Judicial District
  • Jaime Brown, City of Concord
  • Pastor Duane Butler, World Worship Church
  • Jay Darden, Escaping Time
  • Larry Davis, Retired Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Employee
  • Jeanne Dixon, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Board of Trustees and Foundation Board of Directors
  • Dr. Karrie G. Dixon, Elizabeth City State University
  • Yvonne Dixon, Novant Health
  • Alice Dolbow, LatinxEd
  • Dr. Jane Elliott, Keynote Speaker
  • Cristina España, Office of Public Engagement and Inclusion
  • Cindy Fink, Salisbury Rotary Club
  • Hunter Fisher, Salisbury Rotary Club
  • Jaki Shelton Green, Ninth Poet Laureate of North Carolina
  • Amy Hathcock, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
  • Jonathan Hoffman, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
  • Dr. Timogi Jackson, Create & Facilitate, LLC
  • Keisha Jones, Director of Equity, NC Student Success Center and Associate Vice President, Student Affairs and DEI Chief, Davidson-Davie Community College
  • Leah Kyairo, With Respect, LLC
  • Anne Little, City of Salisbury
  • Barbara Mallett, Mayor of East Spencer
  • Steve Maynor, Davidson-Davie Community College
  • Jairo (Hi-rrow) McMican, Achieving the Dream
  • Mirella Cisneros Perez, LatinxEd
  • Calista Phair, Calista Phair Talent Fairy Godmother
  • P.J. Ricks, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Foundation Board
  • Dr. Paula Roberson, Hudson County Community College
  • Dr. Pamela G. Senegal, Piedmont Community College
  • Melissa Singler, Robeson Community College
  • Dr. Carol Spalding, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
  • Kenneth Stern, Bard Center for the Study of Hate
  • Dr. Greg Wiggan, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Mary Williams-Stover, NC Council for Women & Youth Involvement

“This event has become an annual opportunity for educators and others to learn how we can work to be more inclusive in our professional and personal lives,” Spalding said. “We invite all who are interested to take part in this important conference which I believe will contribute to greater understanding, awareness and action.”

The G.U.I.D.E. event will be held via Zoom from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on November 17, 2023. For more information and to register, please visit The registration deadline is November 17. If you require accommodations to participate in this free event, please email by November 6.

For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit or call 704-216-RCCC (7222).