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Creating Change Arts Trustee Anti-Racism Learning Cohort

Creating Chan

This 4-session virtual series, offered at no charge each fall and spring, is led by leading experts in diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-oppression. It is a space of learning, growth, and connection exclusively for trustees of New Jersey Arts organizations.

We strongly encourage participation from two trustees per organization. Ideally, at least one trustee from each organization will be an officer of the board.

Information and Registration for the fall 2024 Cohort will be coming soon.

Session Topics and Dates

Spring Session, 2024

Each 2-hour interactive session will take place online. Participants are required to attend all four sessions.

Thursday, March 14, 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Moral Leadership and Your Role as a Board Member

Led by Kerrian Suarez

Thursday, April 18, 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Language, History, and Bias: How did we get here and what are we up against?

Led by Dr. Durell Cooper with special guest Ashley Lipscomb

May 9, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

It’s Not Just Programming: The Importance of HR and Internal Policies

Led by Diane Parker

Thursday, June 20, 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Envisioning the Anti-Oppressive Future We Want

Led by Elizabeth Murphy


Dr. Durell Cooper

Dr. Durell Cooper is one of the nation’s leading cultural strategists and is the Founder and CEO of Cultural Innovation Group, a boutique consulting agency specializing in systems change and collaborative thought leadership. He is also the creator and host of the web series Flow and the podcast Fluency w/ Dr. Durell Cooper; an adjunct instructor at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, New York University, and The City College of New York. Durell completed the Impact Program for Arts Leaders (IPAL) at Stanford University in 2018. He is a member of the Diversity Scholars Network at the National Center for Institutional Diversity, University of Michigan. Durell earned a B.F.A from Southern Methodist University, and both an M.A & Doctorate of Education from New York University. At NYU SPS, he teaches courses in the Certificate in Arts Management at the Center for Applied Liberal Arts.

Elizabeth Murphy

Elizabeth Murphy is the founder and CEO of Rathu Consulting. She partners with philanthropic and charitable organizations as a strategist providing short and long-term strategic advising and planning for Boards and executive staff as they meet the challenges of leading their organizations during times of growth, crises, or turnaround. Elizabeth has also served as the executive director for the American Liver Foundation Mid-Atlantic Chapter and as a Creative Producer for professional theatre companies. She has produced over 125 theatrical productions throughout New York City, New Jersey, Belfast, Dublin, London, Edinburgh, and Australia. Elizabeth holds dual citizenship – Irish and American, and from 2008 to 2012 she lived and worked in Ireland. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Mary’s College/University of Notre Dame, and holds executive education certificates from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business—Executive Education Program for Nonprofit Leaders, and Rutgers University’s Leadership Coaching for Organizational Performance.

Diane L. Parker

Diane L. Parker is Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at PGIM FIxed Income. A media industry veteran with over two decades of experience, she is a proven leader in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategy and Human Resource Management. Diane has expertise in creating strategies and managing talent acquisition, retention, employee experience, and partnering with content creators with a primary focus on integrating DE&I goals to align with corporate mission and values. Previously,  Diane was the Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Dotdash Meredith, the number one magazine publisher in the U.S., and the Director of Staffing and Global DE&I at the Associated Press (AP), the largest nonprofit global news organization, for 20 years where she developed strategies and solutions for talent acquisition, learning and development, retention, succession planning, and the employee experience. Diane is the co-founder and executive director of the New Jersey Creative Arts Collaborative and a board member of the American Theatre Group and New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

Kerrian Suarez

Kerrien is president and chief executive officer of Equity in the Center, a field-wide initiative to influence social sector leaders to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to achieve race equity. In 2018, EiC published Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture, which details management and operational levers organizations utilize to center race equity and transform culture. A management consultant with 25 years of experience, Kerrien has led engagements to refine programs and scale impact for national nonprofits and philanthropies, as well as provided facilitation, coaching and strategic advising on operationalizing equity.  She is a graduate of Harvard College and London School of Economics, a member of the Washington Performing Arts board of directors and a devoted patron of the arts since childhood. Kerrien has supported local and national arts organizations, including International Association of Blacks in Dance, League of American Orchestras, American Alliance of Museums, Washington Performing Arts, The Washington Ballet, The Levine School of Music, the DC-Baltimore Musical Pathways Program, New York Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony. As contributing author, she wrote a foreword to the League of American Orchestra’s Catalyst Guide on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Artistic Planning. You can learn more about her work at



Registration Deadline: February 28

Steering Committee

Creating Change Steering Committee Chair:

Donna Walker-Kuhne, New Jersey Performing Arts Center

Steering Committee: 

Rachel Aponte, Center for Contemporary Arts

Dr. Antoinette Ellis-Williams, New Jersey City University 

Vince Hall, ArtPride New Jersey Foundation

Donia Salem Harhoor, The Outlet Dance Project

Deonté Griffin-Quick, Artist Communities Alliance

Chase Jackson, Ocean City Arts Center

Sharnita Johnson, Victoria Foundation

Marshall Jones, III, Rutgers University 

Eyesha Marable, New Jersey Performing Arts Center

John McEwen, New Jersey Theatre Alliance

Elizabeth Murphy, Gathering Ground

Erica Nagel, New Jersey Theatre Alliance 

Adam Perle, ArtPride New Jersey Foundation 

Michael Roberson Reid, Young Audiences of NJ and Eastern PA

Alysia Souder, The Institute of Music for Children

Sheldon Steele, Newark Symphony Hall

Daria M. Sullivan, New Jersey Theatre Alliance

Talia Young, Newark Symphony Hall