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Our next Women’s Giving Circle gathering will focus on ways to use a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion lens during grantmaking to improve outcomes, opportunities and build a better future for women and girls in our region together.

Avoiding Bias in Grantmaking: 
A virtual, Chicago-style Dinner Discussion! 
Tuesday, January 26
7- 8:30 p.m. (EST) via Zoom



This Zoom event is free and open to anyone who lives, works,
plays or worships in Greater Waterbury and the Litchfield Hills.

Human beings are predisposed to bias. Many of these biases are unconscious which means that they are often at work when we least expect it. The challenge is that when our preconceived opinions show up, they have the ability to influence our decision making and impact our relationships with colleagues and various stakeholders. 

This session will provide an opportunity to define and examine our biases and how they might impact our grant making and day-to-day interaction.

Let’s eat, drink and talk about what brings us together. Plan to bring a tasty beverage or food item to the virtual gathering!

The idea for dinner dialogues began in Chicago in the 1990s. One night while Human Relations Foundation director Clarence Wood was at dinner with his colleagues, the conversation turned to experiences surrounding racism and equity. Wood got an idea. “Why don’t we have these conversations in “regular platforms?” These courageous conversations took place in homes, community centers, restaurants and places of worship across the city.  




Joelle A. Murchison
Founder & Principal, ExecMommyGroup (EMG)

Joelle A. Murchison combines her passion and expertise in education, equity & inclusion and communications in her work as the Founder & Principal of ExecMommyGroup LLC (EMG), an inclusion, leadership and coaching consulting practice.

A career diversity and inclusion champion, Murchison, a graduate of Brown University, Harvard Graduate School of Education and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications, also currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Connecticut School of Business.

A native of Queens, and raised in Long Island, NY, Joelle takes her professional and leadership queues from her mother, a trailblazer in her own right, who was the first African American woman manager in the Social Security Administration in the 1970s. Joelle began her career in higher education followed by a stint in the non-profit sector; then transitioning to corporate America – first with United Technologies and then as the inaugural Chief Diversity Officer at Travelers Insurance. Murchison subsequently returned to higher education in 2016 as the inaugural Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Connecticut before launching EMG.

A recipient of numerous awards, Joelle serves as the chair of the board of RE-Center – Race and Equity in Education (formerly The Discovery Center) and is a director/trustee on the boards of the Amistad Center for Art and Culture (Hartford, CT) and College Possible, a national nonprofit focused on college access. Most recently, Joelle was elected to serve as a trustee of the Corporation of Brown University, the university’s decision making body.

Joelle is the mother of four children between the ages of 5 and 17 who are the wind beneath her wings. At her core, she is passionate about encouraging and inspiring all people to reach their highest potential and about creating space for open dialogue to enhance inclusion and understanding.