Step Up Session May

Disrupting Biases in Interviews

Join us for a deep dive in the interviewing process. Participants will learn to recognize their inner biases and their impact on the assessment of candidates based on biases in the interviews. You will also obtain tools to check biases pre, during and post the interview. The session is ideal for hiring managers and supervisors and HR professionals.

Tuesday May 2

8:30 AM -10:30 AM 

Madison College Community Room

Button Register Here

Thanks to our May Sponsor

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Step Up for Equity: Diversity Champions Panelists

Patrick Yates 


Patrick Yates is a 23 year employee with TDS Telecom, and as of February 1st 2016 the Manager of Diversity and Inclusion within the Human Resources department.  Prior to accepting this new role, Mr. Yates was part of the Network Services department within TDS where his career has spanned multiple roles.  These positions include; Senior Administrator of Field Deployment, Manager of Outside Plant Implementation, Manager Project Implementation – American Recovery & Reinvestment Act for grants received via the federal government, and most recently Manager Project Implementation for base business projects at TDS.  A partnership between TDS and Justified Anger has afforded Patrick to also be the Director of Operations for the “Our Madison Plan”.  Because of this unique relationship, Mr. Yates efforts will be focused on addressing racial disparities within the Madison area with an emphasis on implementation.

Kari Temkin


Kari Temkin is the Badger Volunteers Coordinator at the Morgridge Center for Public Service. In this role, Kari supports the operations, quality and growth of the Badger Volunteers program, which supports 800 student volunteers per semester. She also serves as the President of the Madison chapter of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN). YNPN-Madison connects and empowers young nonprofit professionals to advance and shape the Madison area nonprofit sector. Kari believes that her contributions to both the Morgidge Center for Public Service and YNPN doesn’t feel like work, but rather a tangible and continual way to put her values into action.


Beverly Hutcherson 

Meet the Step-Up Panelists


Colleen Clark-Bernhardt

Ms. Clark-Bernhardt is the Equity and Criminal Justice Council Coordinator for Dane County, Wisconsin. In this role, she serves as a catalyst for innovation in criminal justice reform and equity throughout county operations. She serves as a member on: Dane County Criminal Justice Council, Racial Justice Improvement Project, Racial Disparities Sub-Committee, Pretrial Reform Sub-Committee, and the Dane County Community Restorative Court Advisory Board. Ms. Clark-Bernhardt is also the co-leader of the Racial Equity and Social Justice Team (RESJ) within Dane County. Additionally, she serves as Dane County’s representative to the Government Alliance on Racial Equity (GARE).

Dane County has been developing strategies to improve racial equity in county policy since 2008. Ms. Clark-Bernhardt has been integral to policy research as well as strategic partnerships and engagement. She is an innovative collaborator who knows how to build synergy toward a just and equitable county.


Tania A. Ibarra

Tania is a dynamic bilingual (English and Spanish) leader with expertise in Accounting and Financial Analysis, Assurance Services, Consulting Services, Business Processes Reviews, Lean Six Sigma Project Management, Organizational Development, and Strategic Planning. Through her career Tania has participated and played different roles in many diversity and inclusion initiatives at the various companies and organizations she has served. Particularly, Tania has played a key role in founding and developing the Latino Professional Association of Greater Madison. Tania believes that each person has talents, gifts, knowledge, skills, abilities to contribute to their organizations and communities. An organization’s and community’s ability to provide opportunities and an environment for those contributions to take place; ensures the organization and community is as successful as it can be. Tania believes that it is in the best interest of the community and organizations as a whole to ensure all people have the fair opportunities to contribute, succeed and be gainfully employed.


Ja’Mel Ware was born and raised in Detroit, MI. He moved to Madison WI in 2006 to pursue a Bachelors degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. 
After many years in professional settings, he began to understand his passions for entrepreneurship, entertainment, and diversity. In 2015 he founded Intellectual Ratchet (IR) an entertainment company that seeks to diversify cities through urban experiences. 
With the support of his friends and team IR continues to grow its “socialution” connecting people with spaces and opportunities to discover the allure of their cities. 
In his spare time, he likes to binge watch Netflix shows, workout, sleep, build models and eat at locally owned restaurants.   


Step Up named one of 35 Social Innovations in Madison Magazine’s M List!

M List

The cat’s out of the bag! We are excited to announce that Step Up: Equity Matters has been named one of 35 Social Innovations in this year’s M List from Madison Magazine! To top it off, team member Sara Alvarado graces the cover of the print magazine.

Check out our write-up and all of the award winners!

M List Sara M List Haywood M List Amy M List Tania

What is social innovation? 

According to Stanford University’s Social Innovation Review, social innovation is a “novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable or just than existing solutions” and benefits primarily society as a whole rather than private individuals.

It includes these elements:

  • Increasing employment, productivity and economic growth
  • Justice, fairness, environmental preservation, improved health, arts and culture and better education

A social innovation:

  • Can be a product, production process or technology (much like innovation in general), but it can also be a principle, an idea, a piece of legislation, a social movement, an intervention or some combination of them.
  • Recognizes the fundamental role of cross-sector dynamics: exchanging ideas and values, shifting roles and relationships and blending public, philanthropic and private resources. Innovation blossoms where the sectors converge.
  • Can’t be understood, let alone solved, without involving the nonprofit, public and private sectors.

Step Up: Equity Matters featured in The Madison Times

“Local Businesses Learn to ‘Step Up,’ Prioritize Diversity & Inclusion”

MadTimes Step Up

July 31, 2015

By L. Malik Anderson

Local organization ‘Step Up: Equity Matters’ aims to create safe spaces for the community to learn how to talk about race. Sara Alvarado, co-creator of Step Up, explained that oftentimes workplaces forget to bring people of color into the conversation of lack of inclusivity in those environments. Alvarado, alongside co-creators Amy Kesling (Sustain Dane), Haywood Simmons (Motivational Expert, Phitness Plus), and Tania Ibarra (Latino Professional Association of Greater Madison) make up their core planning team…

Read the full article in The Madison Times!

Coffee & Conversations Outcomes

Last week, the Step Up community gathered to practice having tough conversations about diversity in the workplace. There are many barriers to interrupting stereotypes, including being able to identify when assumptions are being made and feeling confident enough to say something to someone with whom you have a professional (or personal) relationship. Sometimes we think we don’t “know enough” to say something.

But silence can be even more hurtful for everyone in the long run. Here are a few tips our participants came up with last week:

Continue reading Coffee & Conversations Outcomes

Step Up Team Members on WORT

Gregg Potter, Project Kinect, and positive individual and social change

June 29, 2015

Gregg Potter, founder of Project Kinect, produces a program to illustrate the organization, Kinect, and a hope for positive social change and community engagement. He has invited Sara Alvarado from the Alvarado Group, Amy Kesling from Sustain Dane, and Tariq Saqqaf, from the Mayor’s Office to have an in-depth discussion on, ‘What positive social change looks like on an individual level?’ These change agents discuss different definitions of positive social change and how each of them identify as an agent of change. The goal of this open dialogue is to build capacity to agents of change in Madison in the diverse life roles we play.

In a city like Madison, we must celebrate our social change and always remember how individually, we all make a difference.

Listen to the full conversation on WORT 89.9FM

Meet the Panelists from Session 2: Company Culture

In the Company Culture session, we explored what company culture is: how it’s formed, what it means, and how we can take steps to make it more inclusive. Three panelists joined us to share their experiences in this work – read on for some gems of advice from each:

Continue reading Meet the Panelists from Session 2: Company Culture