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baltimore Buildings
baltimore Buildings
20NTC Session Proposal

Disrupting Unconscious Bias as We Grow Our Brand


How does unconscious bias affect the work we do and the brand we are building? How do these biases play out both in how we see ourselves and how others view us? How does bias influence our selection of photos we use for publications, how we choose to tell stories, and decisions about who should represent us on panels?

For this session, take a dive into unconscious bias, how to break it down and recognize how it affects our choices, and how to choose a different course so that our brands represents who we want to become.

Learning Outcomes

  • Take a deeper dive into our own biases and how they influence us
  • Think about how those biases affect our brand
  • Deconstruct our unconscious biases and disrupt those we no longer want representing us and our brand




Joe Shaffner

Senior Communications Specialist

International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)

I have 15 years of experience in communications, marketing, client relations, partnership development, business development, project & process management, and team leadership. I have a master’s degree in Public Relations & Corporate Communications from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

I currently work with the communications team at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). I am a returned Peace Corps Volunteer and former marketing manager of an international development consulting firm. I have broad experience working with agencies, corporations, nonprofits, small businesses, and individuals aiming to grow capacity and develop capabilities.

Minal Bopaiah

Principal Consultant

Brevity & Wit

Minal Bopaiah is a marketing, communications, and branding strategist with nearly 20 years of professional experience. Her areas of expertise include branding and identity, corporate marketing, and strategic communications, with a focus on diversity and inclusion.

As the Founder and Principal Consultant of Brevity & Wit, Minal is an expert in using psychological principles to create brand identities and communications that win both hearts and minds. Her work includes helping Cook Ross, a diversity and inclusion consulting firm, increase its website traffic by 1450%, its social media impressions by 120%, and its event revenue by 50% in less than a year. She also helped the company re-position its products and services so that they were more aligned with solving customer pain points and scaling diversity and inclusion initiatives. Previously, she developed an organization-wide framework and integrated communications plan for Population Services International (PSI), a global health NGO with $600 million in annual funding, so that they could share their research, data and evidence more effectively. Her clients include Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and EngenderHealth.

Minal’s previous nonprofit work includes being an educational content specialist for Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street and its international co-productions, and a press intern for Doctors Without Borders. Her for-profit experience includes being the Executive Editor of Subscription Insider, an online business publication for which she single-handedly generated $200,000 in annual revenues.

Minal’s thought leadership has been published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review and she has been a guest on several podcasts and radio shows, including The Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU/NPR.

Minal has a B.A. in English from Bowdoin College, a Master’s degree in clinical psychology from Fordham University, and was formally trained in organizational development and change leadership at Georgetown University. In 2016, she was selected as a Digital Production Fellow by Organizing for Action, the nonprofit advocacy group started by President Barack Obama. She is currently working on her first book with Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, President Emirita of Spelman College and Bennett College for Women and former Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art. She also serves on the Board of Lifestock International, a non-governmental organization dedicated to improving the lives of livestock holders around the world through increased food security and economic sustainability.

Sarah Boison

Director, Digital Strategy

Communities In Schools

As the digital director for Communities In Schools, Sarah believes in cultivating strong and highly-engaged communities around social issues and causes. She has an eye for enhancing the user experience through owned and shared media platforms, while increasing conversation around powerful and dynamic issues among key publics online.

Sarah has nearly ten years of experience working in the nonprofit sector and has worked at other organizations such as Independent Sector, Points of Light and America’s Promise Alliance. Sarah also managed other digital projects such as day-of social media for the Women’s March in 2017, social media for the United State of Women summit in 2018, online engagement for Justice Roundtable’s Vote for Justice event, and Eighteenx18’s We Vote Next Summit.

Sarah also worked on local campaigns in Washington, DC, serving as a digital strategist for DC Councilman Robert White in 2014 and 2016. In her free time, Sarah manages a personal blog called The City Girl Hustle, designed to encourage women of color to take their mental health and self-care more seriously.

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March 13, 2019


1:30pm – 2:45pm

CFRE Credits

NFR - 1.25

Collaborative Notes

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Session Evaluation

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