Diversity Executive Leadership Academy – Diversity Certification

Thank you for visiting. DTUI has a new website specifically designed to provide information about diversity certification. Check out the Diversity Executive Leadership Academy (DELA) site.


Please go to the new home of the Diversity Executive Leadership Academy (DELA). Click on the above image.

Questions & Answers

Questions & Answers


How to Register


Our Mission

DELA provides professionals worldwide with the competencies and tools to achieve cultural diversity and inclusion goals in organizations. They learn to support organizations in adapting to the ever-changing, fast paced environment due to technological innovation and demographic shifts.

Our Vision

Changing demographics in schools, the workplace, military, and communities demand skills needed to navigate cultural differences and leadership that can harness cultural diversity in the service of productive relationships. Thriving, competitive organizations need people with the competence to skillfully navigate, manage, and lead initiatives that promote engagement, retention, and a learning culture. The Diversity Executive Leadership Academy (DELA) aims to empower professionals and develop next generation organizational leaders to create inclusive environments for people of different cultures. Inclusion competence and expertise are critical for solving problems in modern organizations and societies.

The Challenge

The Diversity Training Controversy: There are two major challenges in promoting inclusion: (a) Diversity training stigma and (b) Ambivalence, which leads to resistance. Diversity training is all too often limited in focus. Training that aims to raise awareness and increase sensitivity are most common. The best practice is insufficient alone for individual and organizational change. This is one reason diversity training is poorly understood and attacked.

Alexandra Kalev, a sociologist at the University of Arizona, led a research study of diversity training outcomes based on 31 years of data from 830 mid-size to large organizations in the United States. The findings suggest that diversity training utilized by most of the organizations studied resulted in a decrease in the number of women, black, Asians, and Latinos in management rather than increasing their leadership presence. Billy Vaughn, Ph.D. CDP noted the flaws in the study, such as expecting a single course to lead to a change in an organization’s culture of exclusion.

Diversity and inclusion work is controversial. That is one reason that diversity training and equal opportunity programs have been attacked. Many view any effort to increase understanding about different cultural groups and implement equality policies as institutionalizing unfairness. These views circumvent the diversity efforts through various types of resistance. The diversity leader must learn to effectively manage resistance while onboarding the most resistant members of the organization.

Ambivalence: Inclusive competence is a result of personal efforts and training that develops the competence to successfully navigate cultural differences. Each of us is more or less inclusive depending on how much personal work we have done. The more inclusion among people in an organization, the more inclusive it is as a whole. DELA describes Inclusive Competence as developing along a set of stages: Conventional, Defensive, Ambivalent, Egalitarian, & Inclusive. Research indicates that most of us are in the Ambivalent stage.

A person is in the Ambivalent stage when she or he espouses open and tolerant views of different groups without the necessary knowledge and skills to behave accordingly. An example is someone who says women and men are equal, but women should be excluded from military service because they are not physically equipped for the occupation. One result of the prevalence of Ambivalence is that most of us think everyone else needs diversity training, but not ourselves. The  Implicit Bias Test and unconscious bias training are popular because they highlight our hidden biases contrary to what we believe about our attitudes and behaviors.

Diversity initiatives, including diversity training, tend to intimidate white males. Research by Dover et al. (2016) indicates that even white males who view themselves as liberal tend to hold unconscious biases towards diversity initiatives because they are against policies that give one group an "unfair" advantage over others. On the other hand, too many trainers assume that white males need to get over their sense of unfairness and that the training needs to be mandatory to help them deal with their "privilege". This set of assumptions leads to poor outcomes and wasted resources.

High impact cultural diversity training requires balancing different cultural perspectives to find the common ground needed to get everyone to make the shift towards fully embracing inclusion. DELA relies on a cultural competence training framework to this end.

The DELA Response

Most of the available diversity best practices do not address the full range of inclusion competence needed to fully create an organization in which everyone feels included. As a result, organizations suffer from inclusion competence gaps and the leadership needed to address them. The DELA training framework focuses on developing the "whole inclusion leader" to address the range of challenges needed to effectively promote change. A Conference Board committee made of diversity executives and professionals developed a list of competency areas for the field.  The DELA curriculum is based on those competency areas and what the leadership has learned about professional needs from the hundreds of participants that have matriculated from the certification programs.

Credentials, Educational Model, & Training Formats

Each diversity certification program is different. Let’s start with the credentials. What’s the difference between the CDP, CCDP, CDT, and CDE? That is a good question. The short answer is the institution the credentials are awarded by and the focus of the training. The Cultural Diversity & Inclusion Professional (CDP) tends to generally focus on developing managing diversity while the Cultural Diversity & Inclusion Trainer (CDT) emphasizes training and facilitation skills. DELA makes a further distinction by offering the CDP, CDT, and CDE.

The Cultural Diversity & Inclusion Executive (CDE) represents the most comprehensive training, and it is ideal for the individual directly reporting to the leader of an organization. Some CDE credentialing organizations require successfully passing a test. DELA credentials are based on the DTUI cultural competence development model, which encompasses awareness, attitude, knowledge, and skills. Guess which one of these professional development components requires passing a test? Often, training geared toward passing one test limits expertise rather than developing it. Cultural diversity experts need a range of skills to successfully manage the complexity of cultural differences in modern organizations. If you have completed an objective assessment with results indicating that you have mastered all four of the competency areas, then this may serve as the "test" to earn certification. 

The CDP is especially relevant to those with a cultural diversity role positioned in the human resource, training, or compliance department. While much of what is learned applies to the CDE role, the individual typically doesn’t have the authority to fully realize what they learn in the training. They understand the full range of an organization’s diversity and inclusion needs, which makes them a valuable asset. One CDP graduate shared that he received his current position because the diversity officer appreciated his credentials and experience applying what he had learned. Yet, the diversity officer is not certified. Completing the required CDP courses along with others is part of the CDE training.

The CDT is for the individual who wants to stand out as a cultural diversity trainer, which is unique from other types of training due to the resistance and volatile topics. Participants learn how to create high-impact learning environments, keep participants engaged even when they go deep into cultural diversity discussions, and courageously and successfully facilitate “hot diversity topics.” Completing the required CDP and CDT courses along with others is part of the CDE training.

Which training is ideal for your? This is not easy to decide without asking questions. Let us answer all of your questions as we have done for countless others. We want you to find the best program and training that suits your needs. We do not hard sell you as our services speak for themselves along with our record of success. Sometimes it turns out that a person is more interested in the credentials to boost confidence or offer credibility. We tend to recommend other programs to meet that individual’s needs because our adult learning training model aims to do much more. If you are serious about getting to the next level and want to receive education and credentials that have helped others succeed, we want you to give us an opportunity to support your progress.

  • Classroom
  • Online
  • Video/CD
  • Blended(Classroom & Online)

The Curriculum

Diversity leadership professionals are best positioned to help organizations meet modern challenges. Unfortunately too many are ill-equipped to take full advantage of their position due to both institutional barriers and limited, if any, professional training. First, the importance of diversity leadership and the value of diversity leadership competence need to be recognized.

Providing the executive with the expertise needed to earn a seat at the leadership table increases recognition, adds value, and promises to drive bottom line results. The Diversity Executive Leadership Academy (DELA) is designed and developed to provide that expertise.

diversity executive leadership academy

The DELA provides the competencies needed to achieve high impact organizational inclusion results for the professional with a leadership role in diversity. Our focus on cultivating organizational leadership and development skills makes the academy unique. Professionals can earn Cultural Diversity & Inclusion Professional (CDP), Cultural Diversity & Inclusion Trainer (CDT), or Cultural Diversity & Inclusion Executive (CDE) credentials. The CDE includes CDP, CDT, and a few additional courses.

What Does the CDE Training Include?

The CDE requires the completion of a total of six courses. The full list of courses includes:

  • High Impact Diversity & Inclusion Leadership: (DELA 100)*
  • Diversity Training Design & Development: (DELA 200)**
  • Cultural Diversity Initiative Strategic Plannning & Project Management: (DELA 300)**
  • Cultural Diversity Training & Facilitation Skills (CDT): (DELA 400)*
  • Strategic Diversity Best Practices Implementation (DELA 500)**
  • Organizational Inclusion Assessment (DELA 600)
  • Equal Opportunity & Compliance (DELA 700)**

* Participant may elect to receive the CDP and/or CDT credentials before completion of the full CDE program. The CDP credentials require completing DELA 100 and a second course. The options for the second course are either DELA 200 or DELA 300 at this time. It requires requesting the designation after completing the necessary coursework as described above.

** Starting September 1, 2017, DELA 700 will be offered as an elective course.

The courses below will be added in the fall of 2017 and the spring of 2018:

  • Federal EEO & Compliance for Diversity Professionals (DELA TBA)
  • Creating an Inclusive Organizational Culture (DELA TBA)
  • High Impact D&I Recruitment & Retention: Beyond Best Practices (DELA TBA)
  • Diversity Management (DELA TBA)
  • Executive Cultural Competence Coaching (DELA TBA)
  • High Impact Engagement & Inclusion (DELA TBA)

Inclusion & Cultural Diversity Courses (General)

DELA offers these courses to meet organizations' inclusion training needs. Contact us for more information.

Cultural Diversity Training

  • Ambivalent Inclusion: Why Well-Intentioned People Say & Do Insensitive Things & What to Do About It
  • Cultural Competence for Recognizing, Surviving & Avoiding Cultural Collisions: Unconscious Bias Training
  • They Just Don’t Get It!: Managing & Working in a Cross Generation Workplace
  • That’s Not What She Meant: Gender Differences, Teamwork, Productivity
  • Things Have Really Changed!: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Without Boundaries in the Workplacemay.2014.cdp.DC.group
  • Are Your Employees Engaged, Or Just Going Through the Motions?
  • Show a Little Respect for Me!: Conflict Resolution/Mediation Skills
  • Because I’m the Boss!: Mandatory Abuse Training
  • Beyond Staying Out of the Headlines: EEO, Compliance, and Cultural EQ
  • Is There a Place for Me?: EEO & Reasonable Accommodation

Managing Workplace Diversity

  • Ready, Set, Go!: Managing Diverse Teams
  • How Can I Be Expected to Learn Everything There is to Know About Diversity?: Inclusive Diversity Management
  • Platinum Rule Diversity Management: Managing Diversity
  • Are You an Ally?: Inclusive LGBT Diversity Management
  • Diversity Executive Leadership Certification (Level 1)
  • Diversity Executive Leadership Certification (Level 2)

Training/Instructional Design

  • Training Design & Development: Tailor-Made Training
  • Training-of-Trainers

Inclusion Competence Training Solutions

  • Inclusion Competence: Awareness (e.g., Is it Something That I Said - Participants learn why diversity benefits them and the organization.
  • Inclusion Competence: Attitude (e.g., I’m Not Prejudice. Some of My Best Friends Are . . . - Participants learn how values and beliefs create barriers for inclusion)
  • Inclusion Competence: Knowledge (e.g., Please Forgive Me, If This Doesn’t Come Out Right - Participants learn about cultural differences in values and beliefs as they relate to productivity, teamwork, work expectations, compensation, performance, etc.).
  • Inclusion Competence: Skills (e.g., Please Forgive Me, If This Doesn’t Come Out Right - Participants learn about cultural differences in values and beliefs as they relate to productivity, teamwork, work expectations, compensation, performance, etc.)
  • Organizational Inclusion: Promoting Workplace Collegiality & Civility
  • Executive Inclusion Competence Coaching


  • Managing Workplace Diversity
  • Diversity Professional Leadership: CDP Level 1 (DELA 100)
  • Diversity Training Design & Development: CDT Level 1 (DELA 200)
  • Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Planning: CDP Level 2 (DELA 300)
  • Diversity & Inclusion Project Management (DELA 500)
  • Organizational Inclusion Assessment (DELA 600)


  • What is cultural competence?

Offered in Partnership with SunShine Learning

  • Ouch! That Stereotype Hurts
  • Ouch! Your Silence Hurts
  • Inclusion Insights: Stereotypes, Lazy Brains, & Unintentional Intolerance
  • The Uh-Oh Syndrome: From Tolerance to Inclusion
  • SMILE! Customer Service
  • Gateways to Inclusion
  • Anyone Can Be An Ally

 Faculty & Admin

  • Billy Vaughn, Ph.D. CDP (San Francisco/DC, Director)
  • Carla Grantham (DC, Training & Facilitation)
  • Gerald Harris, MA (San Francisco, Strategic Planning)
  • Angela Davis CDP (Durham, NC, Training & Facilitation)
  • Rich Russo CDP (San Francisco, LGBT Training & Facilitation)
  • William Makell (Virginia, Organizational Consulting & Sexual Assault Training)
  • We have more than 50 active Certified Diversity Professional program graduates included in our trainer pool and available for projects (Located across the United States).


What is the Cultural Diversity & Inclusion Executive Certification (CDE) credential?

The CDE is designed and developed for individuals serving in diversity leadership roles within an organization. The individual typically reports directly to the head of the organization, such as the CEO or president. The graduate's range of potential influence within the organization is considerable compared to a diversity manager or someone with diversity and inclusion (D&I) expertise reporting to a middle manager, such as the human resource manager.

What is the Difference Between the CDE and the CDP?

The Cultural Diversity & Inclusion Professional (CDP) program is designed for those who are either consultants or in-house professionals with D&I responsibilities, but less potential influence than the CDE. A diversity manager, multicultural resource specialist, human resource manager, or EEO/compliance advisor would likely find the CDP most suitable.

What is the Difference Between the CDP and (CDT)?

The Cultural Diversity & Inclusion Trainer (CDT) program was constructed for those who are interested in diversity training competence. Whereas the CDP emphasizes designing and developing diversity initiatives that may or may not include educational programming, the CDT was created for professionals that will primarily serve in a training and facilitation role. The CDT program includes a training design and development course (DELA 200) as well as a facilitation skills course (DELA 400). The program focuses on designing high-impact training and facilitating emotionally-charged topics.

Who Can Benefit from the CDE Training?

Diversity management and leadership is filled with landmines. Far too many professionals are being placed in D&I management positions with little, if any, training or credentials. The result is that most of those on the front lines of D&I in organizations are ill-equipped to take the lead or manage cultural collisions. The DELA's certification programs are designed to provide professionals with necessary competency, confidence, and increased credibility.

Given the complexity of the work, anyone in a D&I leadership role can benefit from the training. Examples of the titles most closely aligned with the credentials include Vice President of Diversity and Chief Diversity Officer. The title is less important than the role and responsibilities. A Vice President of Human Resources will benefit from the training if a considerable amount of her or his responsibilities including leading the diversity efforts.

Are Examinations Required?

"Exams" are built into the training to enhance learning rather than test what you have learned. Quizzes are built into the online courses. The classroom course is based on adult learning and guided learning principles. Participants are presented with assessment forms, critical thinking exercises, and group work to increase learning of the course content.

You can choose to "test out" of DELA 300, DELA 500, or DELA 600, which means that you may take an exam instead of the course. This option is best suited for autodidacts, familiar with the DTUI framework, and comfortable with examinations.

How Does the Diversity Executive Leadership Academy’s Training Compare with Alternative Programs?

Diversity professionals seldom have the level of necessary influence in organizations to effect change even when well trained and prepared. This reality means that most in-house diversity resource professionals need to earn and request the necessary authority.  The DELA's credential programs are designed to provide diversity professionals with the competence and approach to the work that makes them outstanding. We train them in areas such as onboarding the leadership, designing and developing high-impact diversity initiatives, and capturing the hearts and minds of even those most resistant to D&I.

Alternative credentialing programs exist. This provides you with choices. Why choose our program? First and foremost, the CDP credentialing program enjoys a time-tested and laudable reputation (see Selecting a Diversity Professional Credentialing Program). The CDE is the next generation of diversity leadership competencies based on both what we have learned from participants since our CDP was first offered in 1998 and expert understanding of the changing needs of the profession.

We go beyond providing a smorgasbord of diversity best practices. Considerable evidence shows that much more than best practices is required to effect change, which is necessary to increase inclusion. In other words, most alternative programs focus mostly on the “D” in D&I instead of the “I.” The DELA's programs provide leadership, high-impact D&I initiative design, development, and implementation savvy.

How Much Time Will It Take to Complete the Program?

The CDP and CDT are currently offered in-person through 4 days of classroom training. The CDT is not currently available online due to the focus on developing facilitation skills. Please note that some classroom format courses may also require completion of 1 - 2 hours of online work prior to class.

Students are asked to complete each online course within 10 weeks. The online CDP program typically takes three to six months to complete. The CDE program can take six months to one year to complete. Timing often depends on classroom course schedule, travel flexibility, and individual time management practices in completing the online program components.

How Much Does the Certification Program Cost?

Qualify for a Scholarship? Click on this link DOM - DELA Scholarship Program to learn more.

diversity executive leadership academy











Pricing for Blended Course Format Program

      60+ Days 31-59 Days < 30 Days
DELA 100 Classroom $997.50 $1,397.50 $1,745.00
DELA 200 Online $995.00 $1,295.00 $1,495.00
DELA 300 Classroom $997.50 $1,397.50 $1,745.00
DELA 400 Classroom $1,995.00 $2,795.00 $3,490.00
DELA 500 Online $995.00 $1,295.00 $1,495.00
DELA 600 Online $995.00 $1,295.00 $1,495.00
    PACKAGE $6,975.00 $9,475.00 $11,465.00

The earlier you register before the start date, the cheaper registration cost.

Pricing for Online Course Format

You may opt to take all courses online. The DELA 400 course is replaced by one of the electives mentioned above.

      60+ Days 31-59 Days < 30 Days
DELA 100 Online $995.00 $1,295.00 $1,495.00
DELA 200 Online $995.00 $1,295.00 $1,495.00
DELA 300 Online $995.00 $1,295.00 $1,495.00
DELA TBD Online $995.00 $1,295.00 $1,495.00
DELA 500 Online $995.00 $1,295.00 $1,495.00
DELA 600 Online $995.00 $1,295.00 $1,495.00
    PACKAGE $5,970.00 $7,70.00 $8.970.00

Is DELA Accredited?

The Diversity Executive Leadership Academy is a freestanding corporate university dedicated to training cultural competence, human resource management, collegiality, and civility. Have you heard of Toyota University? Well, Toyota is one of several Fortune 500 companies that has set up an in-house resource to offer the courses most suitable for enterprise purposes and to save on tuition costs. DELA similarly serves as a corporate university with cultural diversity expertise education as its focus. Our clients are external, rather than intern to our organization. It is the university wing of DTUI.com.

Contact us for more information.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Phone Number (required)
[phone* phone-844 mask:(999)999-9999]


Your Message


%d bloggers like this: