SHRM INCLUSION Concludes with a Call to Action for Employees and Employers Across the Globe

SHRM Calls for 1 million Civil Conversations in the Workplace in 2024

November 2, 2023

SAVANNAH, Ga - The SHRM INCLUSION 2023 Conference has concluded following three days of programming and the announcement that the next SHRM INCLUSION Conference will be held in Denver, Colorado, November 5 - 7, 2024. 

Breaking all-time attendance records once again during SHRM's 75th anniversary year, the Savannah Convention Center welcomed more than 2,000 human resource professionals, executives, and IE&D leaders. 


On Monday, SHRM President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor Jr. kicked off the event with a few remarks before introducing his co-presenter, Eric Smith, Ph.D., associate professor of rhetoric at York College of Pennsylvania and co-founder of Free Black Thought. 


Taylor gave a review of IE&D efforts over the past 30 years, noting a tipping point in 2020 after the murder of George Floyd. “We’ve made some progress, but we have to question how much. For those who thought we had gotten there, this was proof we hadn’t…’s time for an IE&D reset,” shared Taylor. “We’re going to get a little uncomfortable over the next few days - but that’s when the growth happens.” 


On Tuesday, SHRM CHRO Jim Link joined Marissa Andrada, Board Director, Krispy Kreme; Gloria Goins, Chief DE&I Officer, Cisco; and Melonie Parker, VP & Chief Diversity Officer, Google for a conversation on turning divisiveness into inclusiveness, focusing on civility. 


The conversation explored how a focus on diversity is not enough – true inclusion, civility and respect is the crux of a successful company culture. 


The basis of creating inclusive culture starts with your values. When you lean back on your purpose and values, you’re able to manage incivility,” said Andrada, who served as Chipotle’s CHRO during COVID-19. 


We’ve allowed bringing your authentic self to work as an excuse to be disrespectful, rude, or even violent. Comfort is the enemy of your destiny,” shared Goins, who began her remarks by giving a physical description of herself for those who may be visually impaired.  


At the end of Tuesday’s session, Jim Link introduced a call-to-action for employees and employers across the globe: join SHRM in committing to 1 million civil conversations at work in 2024. He shared, “we are witnessing neighboring states in catastrophic conflict, the results of which are already reverberating in communities around the world. While we hope for swift resolution and peaceful outcomes, we must lead with compassion and empathy, and engage in thoughtful and respectful dialogue to ensure that we set the stage for difficult conversations and decisions yet to come.”


The event concluded with a main stage session featuring Rich Tafel, pastor and CEO of Public Squared and Emily M. Dickens, SHRM chief of staff and head of public affairs. As a proclaimed “bridge builder,” Tafel explained his dedication and work towards building a more inclusive work by connecting those with opposing world views – and how HR professionals can use this practice in the workplace. 


On the edge of an election year for both the United States and India – the world’s two biggest democracies Dickens and Tafel emphasized the need for civility, empathy, and understanding in the world, but especially in the workplace as HR professionals are managing five generations with different world views. 


“Things can change for the better when people get involved - we can’t become helpless,” said Tafel. “Your complexity is your greatest strength. Embrace your complexity and you’ll be able to translate to people in your own workforce who have different world views.”   


In between main stage sessions, both in person and virtual attendees had over 50 sessions of programming to choose from on topics ranging from cognitive diversity to discrimination and unconscious bias. The INCLUSION Marketplace featured a packed exhibition hall with vendors from industries including family/fertility benefits, HR technology, employee engagement, and more.  


Upcoming SHRM Conference:  

The next SHRM conference, Linkage’s Women in Leadership Institute, will be held in Orlando from November 13 – 16, 2023. Visit for more information. To request press credentials, please contact: 


About SHRM 
SHRM creates better workplaces where employers and employees thrive together. As the voice of all things work, workers and the workplace, SHRM is the foremost expert, convener and thought leader on issues impacting today's evolving workplaces. With nearly 325,000 members in 165 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 235 million workers and families globally. Learn more at 



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