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WIB-West Coast Chapters: Diversity & Inclusion Series – Allies and Advocates

June 23, 2021 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Have you ever thought about being an advocate or an ally? Have you benefited from allyship, and if so, how did that impact you? The WIB-Southern California, WIB-San Francisco Bay Area, and WIB-Seattle Chapters host a requisite discussion on how to be an ally and help advance each other.

Panelists Jim Rottman, Dereca Blackmon, and Tristan Higgins, and moderator Fariha Ahmed-Qadri will be our guides. Be a part of our discussion to learn how to stand up and what to say, because silence in the face of injustice is privilege.

Disclaimer: This event may be recorded. If so, there is a possibility your image and or voice may be a part of that recording. If you do not wish for your image to be included please turn off your camera.


Speaker Bios

Dereca BlackmonDereca Blackmon

For over 25 years, the Founder and CEO of Inclusion Design Group, Dereca Blackmon, has consulted with a wide variety of corporate, educational, nonprofit, and community-based groups to facilitate “uncommon conversations” on issues of race, gender, class, and social justice. She served for five years as the Assistant Vice Provost and Executive Director of the Diversity and Inclusion Office and First-Generation Office at Stanford University where she introduced groundbreaking work to over 30,000 students, faculty, staff, and alumni on authentic engagement and intergroup dialogue. Her experiential training models cut through “diversity fatigue” and allow participants to engage in deep, authentic, and meaningful dialogues.

Jim RottmanJim Rottman

Jim Rottman founded AccelPeople, to enable companies to build radically inclusive and innovative workplace cultures. Recognized on the Economist’s Global Diversity List as one of the top 50 global diversity and inclusion professionals, Jim actively works with CEOs and HR leaders to revitalize their diversity, equity, and inclusive practice and create a culture where everyone can thrive in high growth biotech, life-science, med-tech, and emerging technology organizations. Rather than follow traditional paths, Jim uses contemporary and innovative practices focused on the changing nature of work. Jim is about people before programs. Starting with engaging people at all levels and developing inclusive leaders and allies, Jim can design a targeted strategy and roadmap to deliver a culture where all know that they belong.

Innovation is Jim’s driving passion with over 20 years of experience in the corporate and nonprofit world as a senior executive, board member, and entrepreneur. Jim was the first Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion for Roche Pharma (45,000 employees in 120 countries), preceded by his role as People and Culture Director at Genentech. At American Express, he was promoted to VP HR and Workplace Innovation following his prior positions there in technology and M&A. Jim’s orientation for innovation began with EY’s San Francisco Entrepreneurial consulting team focused on helping early-stage VC-backed start-ups realize their growth ambitions. He continues to be anchored in an entrepreneurial spirit and mindset whether working with small, medium, or large companies.

Additional recognition and honors include an invitation by the White House and United Nations to provide insight and best practices on diversity, inclusion, and flexible workplaces, and he is a Founding member for Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Gender Parity Collaborative. Jim currently serves as the Board President for the Ceres Project, an NGO that prepares and delivers medically tailored meals to the most vulnerable in our society that are living with life-threatening health conditions.

Tristan HugginsTristan Higgins

Tristan E. H. Higgins is a highly trained and internationally recognized speaker on diversity and inclusion. She founded Metaclusive LLC to help organizations shift their focus to belonging. She is a Board Member of the Lawyers Club San Diego, a Co-Chair of its Membership Development Committee, a member of the San Diego County Bar Association Anti-Racism Committee, the lead for the California Lawyers Association Judicial Diversity Summit planning team, and a member of both the NAWJ and the IAWJ.

Tristan has a Bachelor of Arts in theater from the University of California, San Diego and went to California Western School of Law for her Juris Doctor. She began her career as a prosecutor for the San Diego City Attorney and went on to practice entertainment law for the Screen Actors Guild (SAG- AFTRA) in Los Angeles. After advising SAG-AFTRA in video game contract negotiations, she joined Sega of America in San Francisco, where she oversaw Sega’s legal needs for North America. She left Sega to join Sony Electronics in San Diego, where she helped establish the digital cinema business worldwide and advised the component sales divisions in Silicon Valley, Novi, Tel Aviv, and Tokyo on high tech licensing and sales.

Tristan lives with her wife, two kids, one dog, and three cats. In her pre-pandemic spare time, she served the community as a volunteer DJ for non-profit events and traveled the world as often as possible. Now, she is trying to make the world a better place from her home and hoping she doesn’t forget how to socialize.

Fariha Ahmed-QadriFariha Ahmed-Qadri, Moderator

Fariha is a scientist at Zymeworks BioPharma in the Seattle Area. She has been doing research for 25 years and is very passionate about her work. Because of her strong interest in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I), Fariha recently took on the task of chairing the newest committee in the WIB-Seattle chapter for DE&I. She graduated from the University of Nebraska and Columbia University with interests in science, but often taking classes related to social issues.



Pricing Information


  • Members: Free
  • Non-Members*: Free
  • Optional Donation: $10

*Gain access to our video library, mentorship opportunities, career center, and more by becoming a WIB member. Click here to learn more and join. Enter the code Becomeamemberandsave to save $10 off membership. This code is valid through July 31, 2021.


Note: Zoom meeting link will be sent along with confirmation email, after registration has been completed. We recommend using these browsers to register for WIB events: Chrome, Edge, or Firefox.


June 23, 2021
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm


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