Topics that will be covered.
Panelist - Dr. Sheri King
After many years of service in three careers, on May 31, 2023, Sheri King, Ph.D. retired from her most recent position in higher education, where Dr. King served as the inaugural Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX. Her path to this role was atypical. After a brief career teaching elementary school in New York City and Los Angeles, California, followed by a lengthy career in a variety of positions at a Fortune 500 company in Atlanta, GA, she decided to follow her passion to work with young adults. In 2007 she transitioned to a career in higher education.
Dr. King worked on two campuses in Georgia before she relocated to San Antonio and served as the Director of Student Life at St. Mary’s University. In that role, she was responsible for undergraduate orientation programs and student involvement initiatives, including leadership development, student organizations, fraternity and sorority life, and student programming. In addition, she was the department chair for 28 freshman seminar courses and served on many campus-wide committees. Dr. King was committed to infusing diversity, equity, and inclusion into all her responsibilities.
Panelist - Angeles Valenciano
Angeles Valenciano serves as chief executive officer of the Texas Diversity Council. Previously, she was the chief executive officer of the National Diversity Council (NDC), becoming the first female CEO of this major nonprofit. In this role, she continued to advance the NDC’s mission of fostering diversity and inclusion in the workplace. She also focused on strengthening partnerships with businesses, academia and the community at large. Ms. Valenciano is a seasoned strategist with more than 20 years of experience in human resources, primarily focused on diversity, organizational change, and development. She was previously president of the Healthcare Diversity Council and executive vice president of the NDC. In the latter role, she oversaw the growth of several national markets, including California, Colorado and Arizona. In addition, she also served as vice president of business development for the Texas Diversity Council (TXDC), one of the NDC state councils. Ms. Valenciano was the TXDC’s first executive director with responsibility over operations and policy implementation as adopted by the Board of Directors. She directed the agendas of the regional diversity council’s advisory boards in Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston. Under her leadership, the annual Women in Leadership Symposium was created and is now a national and global event held in more than twelve states and several countries including England, Mexico, Canada and most recently United Arab Emirates.
Panelist - Dr. Eric Castillo
Dr. Eric Castillo (he/him/él) is a second-generation Xicano from Yanaguana/San Antonio, Tejas, a social justice practitioner and scholar helping to produce a just, compassionate, and liberated world. He serves as Associate Vice Chancellor of Art, Culture, and Community Impact for the Alamo Community Colleges District and our local communities.
Committed to the lifelong practice of solidarity and peacemaking, he co-leads and co-creates opportunities where people can collectively flourish and work towards positive and sustainable social change. His community organizing background focuses on immigration, education equity, and racial justice. Through his office and the Peace Center, he co-facilitates racial healing circles, truth, racial healing, and transformation programs, along with various community-based projects such as the First Peoples Project and the Westside Black History Project.
Dr. Castillo received his Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of New Mexico. He was an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship recipient and Israel-Palestine Studies Faculty Fellowship recipient. He currently holds a Racial Healing Practitioner Fellowship with the National Compadres Network, funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. His most recent publication, “Justice in Action: Decolonial and Anti-Racist Work Inside/Outside the Master’s House,” appears in the book Deconstructing Constructs of Whiteness in Higher Education: Narratives of Resistance from the Academy, published in 2022. His forthcoming article, “Myth and Monument in Old Town Albuquerque: SouthwestPietà and the War of Presiding Histories' ' will be published (2024) in Regeneración: A Xicanacimiento Studies Journal.
Moderator - Veronica G. Pacheco
Since September 27, 2021 Veronica has served as the Sr. Specialist – Diversity, Equality & Inclusion (DEI) at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). With over 20 years of Human Resources experience, including the last seven focused on DEI projects and initiatives, Veronica ensures that SwRI policies and procedures continue to reflect their high standards of diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is responsible for advising HR, the Executive team and SwRI Advisory Groups on DEI topics, trends and initiatives. She continues to enhance the cultural and social climate of ongoing solutions that promote greater DEI awareness. She coordinates SwRI’s DEI efforts in the creation of employee resource groups, coordination of outreach initiatives and development of celebrations of employee diversity while leveraging data, training, and other fact-based information.
Veronica holds a B.A. in Psychology from Texas A&M University, College Station and an M.A. in Industrial/Organization Psychology from St. Mary’s University, San Antonio. She is a member of Society for Human Resource Management and a member of San Antonio Human Resource Management Association. Born and raised here in San Antonio, Veronica is passionate about her work in the evolving DEI space and looks for opportunities to grow and share her experiences with others.
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