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Past Events › SILS

August 2018

Latino Leadership & Local Economy

August 30, 2018 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Latino leadership has shaped the history of Dallas and continues to move our city forward. From business to politics to art, the talents of Latino leaders have brought progress and growth to every sector of our economy and beautifully enriched our culture.


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September 2018

Beyond Education: Preparing Youth for a Disruptive Economy

September 26, 2018 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

The September installment of our Social Innovation Luncheon Series will spotlight a bold, new perspective for education, centered on giving youth decision-making control in their own educational journey and supporting their passions, rather than directing them.


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February 2019

Where is the opportunity in Opportunity Zones?

February 27, 2019 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

The February installment of our Social Innovation Series Luncheon will explore the purpose of Opportunity Zones, who stands to gain the most through their use, and how they might affect North Texas communities.


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March 2019

Federal Support for Transformative Impact

March 27, 2019 @ 11:30 am

The March installment of our Social Innovation Series Luncheon will explore how the federal government works to engage and support organization across the nation and how those organizations can gain access to government funding and resources.


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February 2020

How can we advance true inclusion and equity in the Workplace?

February 26 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

2020 marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the United States. Only 10 short decades ago, women were finally acknowledged as individuals whose voices were worth hearing and respecting in elections. But as we celebrate this moment of progress, we must also explore the work that remains to be done.

The first luncheon in our 2020 Social Innovation Luncheon Series, “How can we advance true inclusion and equity in the Workplace?,” will feature speaker Liji Thomas. Utilizing her experience leading diversity and inclusion practices for some of the largest corporations in the world, Thomas will explore the current disconnects between investment vs. outcome in D&I as well as spotlight how we might look at inclusion systemically. She will share her personal story coupled with insight into how best-in-class institutions can approach diversity and inclusion for long-term sustainable success. “Inclusion is the leadership conversation of the 21st century, and companies will either move beyond playing an optics game or become irrelevant in an increasingly complex, volatile, and diverse world,” says Thomas.

This first lunch in the 2020 SILS series will lay a fundamental groundwork for our conversation through the year! Do not miss this candid look at how far we have come in inclusion and how far we still have to go towards achieving true institutional equity with Liji Thomas!

Wednesday, February 26, 2020
11:30am – 1:00pm

Liji Thomas is the Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Southern California Edison (SCE), the largest subsidiary of Edison International, a Fortune 250 company at the forefront of driving the clean energy future for the state of California. Prior to joining SCE, she helped build an award-winning diversity and inclusion strategy for Southwest Airlines and served as a consultant to several Fortune 500 companies. Liji has 20+ years of experience across business strategy, audit, compliance, risk management, and HR/diversity and inclusion functions. She has also worked internationally overseeing cross-functional corporate compliance and risk management in the mortgage banking industry and lobbied on Capitol Hill for an increase in low-income housing for women and children. Liji is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and holds Master’s degrees in Finance, Accounting, and Information Technology Management and Consulting in addition to CPA, CIA, CRMA, and SHRM-CP designations. She is a former Jesuit Volunteer and a graduate of the Leadership Dallas Class of 2017. In her spare time, she is involved in Kanarys, a Dallas-based technology startup and contributes to various civic and charitable causes.


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March 2020

Wealth & Wages: The Value of Women in the Workplace

March 24 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm


“Wealth & Wages: The Value of Women in the Workplace”
Luncheon proceeds donated to support Café Momentum during COVID-19

At Noon on Tuesday, March 24, we will be gathering via Zoom to hear speaker Lacy Durham explore the power and potential of women and marginalized groups in the workplace.

Diving deep into the dynamics surrounding how women are compensated for their work and how pay schemes have systematically neglected their talents, Lacy will illustrate why rethinking women’s compensation and promotion is so necessary. Additionally, in light of the COVID-19 crisis impacting our entire economic infrastructure, Lacy will consider what this new normal means for professional women and why now is the time to bring greater intentionality to our own organizations.

Ticket purchases for this luncheon are supporting lives. With the closure of all restaurants due to COVID-19, proceeds from the lunch will go to Café Momentum to assist the team during this time of lost revenue.  For those who still want to sign up, be a part of our webinar and help bring relief to Café Momentum, there is still time!  For all who register, we will send a Zoom link to your email at least 24 hours before the event begins. We look forward to being with you remotely on Tuesday!

The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the United States. During our 2020 Social Innovation Luncheon Series, we celebrate the progress that our communities have made toward equity, while we also call attention to the work that remains undone. Our first three luncheons of the series are specifically focused on systematic barriers in the workplace that have detrimentally affected the success and prosperity of women for generations.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020
12:00pm – 1:00pm
Lacy Durham, Senior Manager for Deloitte Tax LLP



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May 2020

Breaking Barriers: Women in Corporate Leadership

May 27 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


“Breaking Barriers: Women in Corporate Leadership”

At noon on Wednesday, May 27, we will gather to hear Lori Ryerkerk explore the drivers that helped her navigate her way through ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, and Hess Corporation, the barriers she broke down along the way, and her belief in the power of diverse teams to reach the most effective and creative solutions.

When chemical engineer and global executive Lori J. Ryerkerk stepped into the position of chief executive officer of Celanese Corporation in May 2019, she brought with her over 30 years of experience in the energy industry, an impressive record of creating value at large international corporations, and first-hand experience of thriving as a minority in the workplace.

As one of 33 women CEOs in the Fortune 500, Ryerkerk’ s appointment came at a time when women leading the highest-earning companies was at a record high. Still, and despite considerable gains having been made in the last two years, women head only 6.6% of the companies on Fortune’s List. In fact, there are more male CEOs named John than there are women CEOs leading Fortune 500 companies.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020
12:00pm – 1:00pm
Lori J. Ryerkerk, Chief Executive Officer, President of Celanese Corporation



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