Metro DC Chapter ATD Instructional Design CoP - Let’s Talk: Designing Diversity and Inclusion Training

  • 26 Mar 2019
  • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • George Mason University Arlington Campus, Founders Hall, 3351 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA. (Room 207)
  • 5


Registration is closed

Have you been receiving requests to design diversity and inclusion trainings? Diversity and inclusion has different meanings for different people, which makes this request all the more challenging. Consider that as instructional designers we hold a dual role when receiving these types of requests. On the one hand, we have the obvious request: design an implicit bias training or maybe cultural competency training? Perhaps the topic is emotional intelligence? On the other hand, we know these trainings alone cannot move the needle—we also need to ensure our training content and delivery is inclusive and that these diversity and inclusion learning objectives align against strategic objectives and include a change management strategy.

To tackle this challenge, come explore this topic with expert panelists: Marlo Thomas Watson, Marcella Peralta Simon, and Julia Morelli. The panel discussion will be facilitated by the co-director of the instructional design CoP Natasha Roberts, CPLP.

Come ready with your questions!


Marcella Peralta Simon has designed and delivered training in the area of diversity and cross-cultural communications for over 30 years. Marcella started her career with non profits working with migrant farm workers and Native Americans. She later became a Foreign Service Officer, serving in Costa Rica and Panama. Marcella has designed and presented classroom and online cross cultural training programs for Meridian House, The Peace Corps, USAID, APCO Worldwide, Bank of America, The US Marine Corps, Montgomery County, Foreign Service Institute, The World Bank, and many others. She has also taught Cross Cultural and International Management, International Marketing, Managing a Diverse Workforce, Global Leadership, and Cross Cultural Communication at the George Washington University, American University, University of Maryland University College, and two universities in Western Australia. Marcella is a long time member of ATD and served on the local chapter board twice as Director of Marketing. Marcella received a BA in Psychology from Antioch College, MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management, and M.Ed in Instructional Design from George Mason University. She is of Latino and Jewish heritage and her husband is Malaysian of Indian origin. She has lived and worked in five countries outside the United States.

Marlo Thomas Watson is the President/Chief Engagement Officer of The Marlo Company, Inc., a human resource consulting firm specializing in talent and community development. She received her MS in Public Administration from Central Michigan University and a Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management from Keller Graduate School of Management. Marlo has more than 20 years of people & community development experience. Previously, Marlo served as a Community Relations Manager where she won the state Program of Excellence. As a Program Director for the YMCA, she connected hundreds of inner-city youth with positive mentors in the business community which resulted in higher college attendance and graduation rate. Marlo was the Executive Director for North Georgia Communities in Schools, where she increased community, political, business, and legislature engagement with the local school district to reduce a 50% dropout rate. As the Director of Adult and Workforce Education, Marlo provided leadership at the local and state level to increase the literacy and education functioning of teens and adults in Vermont, which resulted in increased G.E.D. attainment and employability skills. Marlo is very passionate about community engagement as is reflected in her service. Her volunteer service includes: President Elect International True Colors Association, Director of Membership for Mid-Atlantic Facilitator’s Network, C-100 Board of Directors, Community Policy and Management (At-Risk Youth) Services Board Appointee. Marlo is a graduate of Leadership Prince William c/o ’15 and was awarded (one of five) Prince William County’s most influential women for 2016. Marlo is the wife of Steven and mother of Justyce Watson. Marlo’s philosophy is that it will always take a village to raise successful children and create safe and vibrant communities. Therefore, Marlo makes it her business to give of herself to improve the lives of all people within her community.

Julia Morelli’s career has focused on diversity and inclusion for over twenty-five years. She is a trainer, workplace coach, mediator, facilitator, manager, and consultant. Her practice includes conflict engagement, multicultural issues, stress management, organizational development, communication, and the use of technology. She is the President of the George Mason University Instructional Foundation and works in collaboration with Mason’s Organizational Development, Learning, and Coaching team. The university’s core values include the promotion of well-being, and cultivating an inclusive and respectful climate. She is grateful for the opportunity to support, produce, and collaborate on projects that foster a positive work environment.

Please note: Programs begin at 6:00 with informal networking and refreshments until around 6:20 when the evening's formal program begins. Programs end at 8:00. We provide light snacks and bottled water. Attendees are encouraged to bring light meals with them, such as sandwiches, wraps or salads. There are several limited service eating establishments within a few blocks of Founders Hall that offer such fare.

If you register and are no longer able to attend, please send an email to

Venue: George Mason University Arlington Campus, Founders Hall, 3351 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA. (Room 207)

Utilizing both online and in-class platforms, George Mason University Executive and Professional Education (EPE) offers a breadth and depth of courses in Leadership, Project Management, Human Resources and beyond to support talent development professionals in growing their skills and knowledge, advancing their careers and providing avenues for exploring new skillsets and technology. As a collaborator with the Metro DC ATD chapter, EPE extends several opportunities to chapter members to advance their careers and industry knowledge.

ATD Members enjoy 10 % discount on Mason EPE Open Enrollment Offerings

Choose from several courses within a breadth and depth of topic areas to enhance your professional development.

To obtain the member only ATD Discount Code, contact the Metro DC ATD Office at admin@dcatd.orgbefore you register for Mason Executive and Professional Education courses.

*(Exceptions to course discounts: Paralegal, Certified Financial Planner, ed2go online training, and others as indicated by GMU Executive and Professional Education.)

Directions to Founders Hall:

From Washington, DC:

Cross over the Roosevelt Bridge; follow signs to the George Washington Parkway. Once on the parkway, exit at Spout Run (left exit). Cross over Route 29 (Lee Highway). Spout Run is now Kirkwood Road. Cross over Washington Boulevard. Founders Hall is on the right, at North Fairfax Drive.

From I-66 heading east:

Exit I-66 at Glebe Road/Fairfax Drive (exit 71). The exit ramp turns into Fairfax Drive. After traveling one mile on North Fairfax Drive, you will see the FDIC building on the left. Founders Hall is past the FDIC building.

*Note: All eastbound lanes of I-66 inside the Beltway are restricted to HOV-2 from 6:30 am to 9:00 am and all westbound lanes of I-66 inside the Beltway are restricted to HOV-2 from 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm.

From I-66 heading west:

Exit I-66 at Glebe Road (exit 71). Turn left onto Washington Boulevard. Stay on Washington Boulevard until you pass the Giant Supermarket; then turn right onto Kirkwood Road. Founders Hall is on the right, at North Fairfax Drive.

*Note: All eastbound lanes of I-66 inside the Beltway are restricted to HOV-2 from 6:30 am to 9:00 am and all westbound lanes of I-66 inside the Beltway are restricted to HOV-2 from 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm.

From I-395:

Exit I-395 at Glebe Road North. Continue on Glebe Road, passing Ballston Common Mall on the right. Cross over Wilson Boulevard, then turn right onto Fairfax Drive. After one mile you will see the FDIC building on the left. Founders Hall is past the FDIC building.

From Fairfax and Points West, via Route 50:

Go east on Route 50 (Arlington Blvd.). Exit at Glebe Road, and turn left on Glebe. Turn right on Fairfax Drive. The Arlington Campus is one mile down on North Fairfax Drive, past the FDIC building, on the left.

Please note: Paid visitor garage parking is available onsite at Founders Hall as is limited street parking outside the building. We do not provide validation for attendees who park in the visitor garage.

By Metro:

Take the Orange Line to the Virginia Square/GMU station. The Arlington Campus is approximately 2 blocks Take the escalator to the street level, and turn to face Fairfax Drive. Across the street and to the right, you will see the FDIC building. Cross the street and continue past the FDIC building. Founders Hall is on the left.