Bias Busting Lunch & Learn Series

Join us for a 4-part professional development lunch series focused on recognizing unconscious bias and providing tools to make conscious changes. Embrace. Engage. Empower.

We are going to explore how biases are created and reinforced by our environments and experiences, and can affect our perceptions, decisions, and interactions. We want to get to the heart of the issue, learn to understand why we make the choices we do and start to implement changes in our behavior, both personally and professionally.

Through these lunches, we are raising awareness, sparking conversations, and initiating action. The goal is to create more inviting workplaces that allow anyone, regardless of age, gender, gender identity, physical abilities, religion, body size or sexual orientation, to contribute and innovate without hesitation or fear.

In order to achieve this, we have partnered with some of the Midwest’s leading experts in diversity and inclusion to share their knowledge and experience with us beginning in May and ending in August, 2018.

This series is for all creatives, managers, owners, teachers and anyone who works with others. It is open to the public and all are welcome. Let Cathy Solarana know if you have any special requests a week before the lunch at

To provide space for effective dialogue and takeaways, each lunch is limited to 25 participants.

What will we cover in the Bias Busting Series?

Session 1  |  How do I recognize unconscious bias in myself? What can I do about it once I’ve recognized it?
This session introduces you to unintentional bias - where it comes from, how it impacts our lives, and what are some things we can do to be a part of the solution.
Joe Gerstandt
Tuesday, May 8, from 11:30 -– 12:30 pm at Big Mama’s Kitchen.

Session 2  |  What are the best hiring practices to increase diversity in my teams, firm, or company?
Organizational practices and processes are riddled with bias, not because organizations are evil and hateful, but because they are filled with naturally biased human beings. We can certainly make our peers more aware of the science of bias and encourage them to adopt some intentional practices toward mitigating bias, but our biggest lever for reducing bias is likely to be found in redesigning organizational practices and processes based on what we know about human bias. This session give you a framework and an opportunity to begin doing just that.
Joe Gerstandt

Tuesday, June 12, from 11:30 – 12:30 pm. Location TBD

Session 3  |  Understanding bias in networking relationships.
"No man is an island", especially in the workplace! Oftentimes, you may get work done by a team of people with whom you network and collaborate. But are you getting the best from each team member? Understanding one's own biases can be a way to unlock the potential of the team.
Martha (Mart) Sedky

Wednesday July 11, from 11:30 – 12:30 pm. Location TBD

Session 4  |  Recognizing bias in design and what to do about it.
Antionette Carroll
Tuesday, August 7, from 11:30 – 12:30 pm. Location TBD

Who are our Experts?

Joe Gerstandt |

Joe Gerstandt is a speaker, author and advisor bringing greater clarity, action, and impact to organizational diversity and inclusion efforts. He has worked with Fortune 100 corporations, small non-profits, and everything in between. He speaks at numerous conferences and summits. Joe is a featured contributor for the Workforce Diversity Network Expert Forum and his insights have been published in Diversity Best Practices, Diversity Executive, HR Executive, The Diversity Factor, The American Diversity Report, the Corporate Recruiting Leadership Journal, Associations Now, other print and on-line journals and he co-authored the book Social Gravity: Harnessing the Natural Laws of Relationships.

Martha (Mart) Sedky | OPPD

Martha L. Sedky is Vice President Human Capital (HC) at OPPD. She is responsible for OPPD’s Human Capital functions, including Labor and Compliance, Total Rewards, Organizational Development, Business Partnering, and Talent Acquisition. Sedky has more than 25 years of experience in the Human Resources field including several leadership positions. She is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management and the Corporate Executive Board CHRO Council. Sedky has previously held board positions with WELLCOM and the Institute for Career Advancement Needs (ICAN) and currently serves on the board of Grief’s Journey.

Antionette Carroll |

Antionette D. Carroll is the Founder and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab, a nonprofit social enterprise designing healthy and racially equitable communities for Black and Latinx populations. Throughout her career, Antionette has worked for social justice, human rights, and diversity and inclusion nonprofits – with her last position being head of communications for Diversity Awareness Partnership. Currently, Antionette is the Chair Emeritus of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force of AIGA: The Professional Association of Design. At the local level, she is also serving as President Emerita of AIGA St. Louis and co-founder of the Design + Diversity Conference and Podcast. She is a TED Fellow.

About AIGA Nebraska

AIGA advances design as a professional craft, strategic advantage and vital cultural force. As the largest community of design advocates, we bring together practitioners, enthusiasts, and patrons to amplify the voice of design and create the vision for a collective future. We define global standards and ethical practices, guide design education, enhance professional development, and make powerful tools and resources accessible to all.


If you have questions or need more information please contact Cathy Solarana at

When & Where
Tue, May 8, 2018 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM CDT
Big Mama's Kitchen & Catering
3223 North 45th Street
Omaha, NE 68104