Director of Development and Community Relations, Elena Nicklasson, will present on the topic of JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion) at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) conference. This special session in the Conference takes place on March 20 at 10:45 am.

Elena Nicklasson

Elena Nicklasson, M.A.

Today, educational institutions must take on the complicated task of implementing JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion) principles in their organization and creating learning opportunities for their community. Success through synergy is when university departments are strategic and purposeful about leveraging resources to meet the emergent needs of society, the educational institution they serve, and their respective constituents. Extending alumni programming and planning across and beyond the institution fosters innovation and establishes long-term community engagement. This case study highlights how the Alumni Relations Office, in collaboration with Development and the Office of DEI, successfully produced a series of virtual conferences and community events focused on JEDI learning, resulting in measurable alumni engagement and giving. The session participants will learn how the CASE strategic framework helped three university departments to collaborate on the JEDI goals, how to leverage the virtual environment while creating community, and what to keep in mind when university units collaborate on JEDI. The participants will learn about the opportunities and challenges of reframing a strategic leadership alliance to establish the notion that alumni are the long-term stakeholders of the university.

About CASE

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is the global nonprofit association dedicated to educational advancement professionals—in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing, and advancement services—who share the goal of championing education to transform lives and society.

To fulfill their missions and to meet both individual and societal needs, colleges, universities and independent schools rely on and therefore must foster the goodwill, active involvement, informed advocacy and enduring support of alumni, donors, prospective students, parents, government officials, community leaders, corporate executives, foundation officers, and other external constituencies.

CASE helps its members build stronger relationships with all of these constituencies in a number of ways.

About Presenter

Elena Ilina Nicklasson, MA, is an international practitioner with a career in the social justice movement. She has produced dozens of conferences, educational events, media projects, and international dialogues on peace and social justice. Elena has served as Director of Development at Fielding Graduate University since 2017. She is Vice President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Santa Barbara-Ventura Chapter. Elena holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Beloit College and a master’s degree in organizational development and change from Fielding Graduate University. She is a doctoral student in the School of Leadership Studies at Fielding. Her research focuses on ecopreneurs and paradoxes of sustainability. Elena presented her research at the Social and Ecological Justice Practice Scholarship Symposium at Fielding and SUSTEX2021: Sustainable Solutions in Challenging Times at the Texas A&M University-Central Texas.

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