Events / Navigating Power and Bias in the Academy: Techniques to Increase Equity and Belonging

Navigating Power and Bias in the Academy: Techniques to Increase Equity and Belonging

March 14, 2022
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Navigating Power and Bias in the Academy: Techniques to Increase Equity and Belonging

Vijay Pendakur, Ph.D.Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer and Global HR Leader


March 14, 2022

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm


Abstract: Academic settings are exciting sites of innovation, hard work, and discovery. They are also a crossroads for extraordinarily diverse group members to interact across differences. If left unchecked, issues of power and bias can create unwelcoming environments where some team members feel excluded or marginalized. This keynote presentation will offer audience members new language and framing to contextualize the problem and opportunity in academic environments and research labs. The bulk of the keynote will focus on practical skills and actions that can address power imbalances and biases to create environments where everyone can flourish. Audience members will leave this keynote with a handful of manageable actions that they can commit to to advance equity and belonging in their places of work and learning.


Bio: Dr. Vijay Pendakur serves as the inaugural Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer at Zynga, Inc, where he offers diversity strategy and coordination for their global operations, spanning 3 continents. In addition to leading the diversity function, Vijay also leads university relations, corporate social responsibility, and learning & development at Zynga. Prior to this appointment, he led campus-wide crisis management and diversity efforts at Cornell University as the Robert W. and Elizabeth Staley Dean of Students and Presidential Advisor on Diversity and Equity. Before Cornell, Vijay served in leadership roles at universities across the country, with a consistent focus on student success and equity design strategy. As a scholar-practitioner, he has an extensive publishing record, including editing a book, and his research areas span leadership pedagogy, student success strategy, and higher education administration. From 2018-2020, Vijay served on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Working Group on Diversity, which advised the Director of the NIH on inclusion and equity strategy in the field of biomedical research. Dr. Pendakur serves on the institute teaching faculty of the USC Race and Equity Center and as a faculty member for the “High Impact Practices Institute” through the American Association of Colleges and Universities. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history and East Asian studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, a master’s degree in U.S. history from the University of California, San Diego, and a doctorate in education from DePaul University.


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See here for more information: CSSM-Pendakur_03.14.22