Welcoming Environment® Champions Program

Welcoming Environment Champions Program

Go Beyond Theory to DEI Action in the Welcoming Environment® Champions Program

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) principles remain essential to fostering a welcoming environment for all members and staff. The Welcoming Environment Champions Program is a transformative initiative designed to empower leaders and professionals to sustain DEI in their organizations. 

During the interactive series of three, 90-minute virtual sessions, participants will engage in a dynamic learning experience, combining expert-led education with facilitated peer discussions, creating a space for candid conversations and shared insights. Participants will also review pre- and post-session materials to expand their learning experience.

This comprehensive program goes beyond theory, offering practical, actionable strategies to navigate the challenges and maximize the benefits of DEI work. With a focus on building a culture of inclusivity, participants will gain the tools to address pushback on DEI initiatives and harness the full potential of a diverse, welcoming environment in the workplace. 

Registration Rates

Member Early  $449
Nonmember Early  $599
Member Standard  $549
Nonmember Standard  $649

The early rate expires on June 18, 2024. 


Register Now

CAE Credits
This program is approved for (4.5) CAE hours toward the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE's) Certified Association Executive (CAE) certification.

WE Champions 1




Where have we been and where are we now?

What tools, skills, and resources do we need to advance and champion DEI today?
What is needed to sustain this work moving forward?

July 9, 2024
2–3:30 p.m. CT

August 6, 2024
2–3:30 p.m. CT

September 17, 2024
2–3:30 p.m. CT




  1. Enhanced Understanding of DEI Concepts: Participants will develop a deeper understanding of DEI principles, including their significance and application in various organizational contexts.

  2. Skill Development in DEI Management: Through interactive sessions and practical exercises, participants will hone their skills in effectively managing DEI initiatives, from strategy development to implementation and evaluation.

  3. Ability to Address Resistance and Challenges: Participants will gain strategies for navigating resistance and overcoming challenges commonly encountered in DEI work, empowering them to drive sustainable change within their organizations.

  4. Expanded Network and Collaboration Opportunities: By engaging with peers and industry experts, participants will expand their professional networks, fostering opportunities for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and support in their DEI endeavors.

  5. Increased Confidence as DEI Champions: Through knowledge acquisition, skill development, and peer support, participants will leave the program with increased confidence in their ability to champion DEI within their organizations and communities.



Early bird rate ends on June 18! 




Cie Armstead

For more than 30 years, Cie has served as a leader in association management and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Two core values she has sought to exemplify throughout her career are serving others and seeking the positive in every situation. Currently, Cie is the DEI Director with the American College of Surgeons. She is also the founder of Owlservations, LLC, a career service firm dedicated to equipping and empowering professionals of color to excel in their careers. Previously, Cie served as the inaugural Diversity & Inclusion Director for the American College of Healthcare Executives, and for 24 years in various roles with the American Bar Association. Cie is a frequent presenter, writer, and consultant on DEI and association management topics. She has held numerous leadership positions with American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and Association Forum of Chicagoland. Cie earned an undergraduate Journalism degree from Northwestern University, a Master’s in Public Administration from Roosevelt University, and a Doctorate in Business Administration from Northcentral University.