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Recording Available On Demand - APA-CMS Webinar - Engaging Diverse Communities (CM | 1.5)

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

Engaging Diverse Communities: Empowering communities through culturally competent engagement strategies.

Join APA-IL's Chicago Metro Section (APA-CMS) for an enlightening panel discussion that delves into the vital topic of conducting community engagement in a culturally competent manner. In today's diverse world, community engagement is an essential aspect of creating positive community change, but it must be approached with cultural sensitivity to truly make a meaningful impact. This panel discussion will bring together experts, practitioners, and advocates who have excelled in community engagement across various contexts and organization. They will share their insights, experiences, and best practices for fostering genuine connections and understanding within diverse communities. The discussion will explore strategies, challenges, and success stories related to culturally competent community engagement.

Course Details

Location: Thinkific OnDemand Platform

Cost: $5 students / $15 members / $20 non-members

Professional Development Credits: (CM | 1.5)


Cindy Cambray worked as a Senior Planner at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), where she worked to improve quality of life in northeastern Illinois by focusing on community collaboration, equitable engagement, and working with marginalized communities to implement their long-range goals. Cindy brings more than a decade of experience to community development and urban planning, having served Obama for America, Pilsen Alliance, Hispanic Housing Development Corporation, and Latino Policy Forum in previous roles.

A native of Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood, Cindy has brought a firsthand perspective, knowledge, and care to her work serving communities of color throughout her career. She is a founding member of Elevated Chicago’s Capital and Programs Working Group, and she also started an employee resource group for people of color at CMAP to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace and region. Cindy is a proud alum of the University of Illinois at Chicago, having earned a Master’s degree in urban planning and policy and a Bachelor’s degree in political science. She is a recent graduate of the Civic Leadership Academy at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. 

Jessica Bee is Vice President at Rudd Resources. She is a multi-faceted public relations professional with more than a decade of experience in nonprofit communications, experiential marketing, advocacy building and partnership development.  She leads cross-functional and multi-channel projects at the agency that include media relations, social strategy, paid advertising and event planning.  She also handles reputation management (crisis communications) assignments. Her leadership has led to the agency being recognized with a 2023 Gold Award from the American Marketing Association in Chicago. Before Rudd Resources, Jessica worked for LEAP Innovations, New Schools for Chicago, Teach for America, and the global PR firm Weber Shandwick and its subsidiary, The Axis Agency.

Norma Seledon is a Mexican immigrant who has been a Chicago resident for over 50 years. She has over 40 years of professional commitment to community and grassroots development around women’s and youth leadership issues, education attainment by underrepresented groups, domestic violence, sexual assault, substance abuse, cultural competence, racial equity, and environmental health. She is a former director of the community-based organization Mujeres Latinas en Acción. She has served on various non-profit and government advisory committees, including the Mayor’s Advisory Council on Women’s Affairs, Latino Affairs, the Governor’s Advisory on Violence Prevention, and co-directed Amigas Latinas, an affinity group for Latina Lesbians. She has a 35-year history of developing grassroots leadership development programs for women, youth, and Latino communities. She is employed by the Family and Community Engagement Office of Chicago Public Schools, sits on various non-profit boards (women’s issues, higher education), and consults around various areas, including organizational wellness, coalition building, facilitation, and board and staff development.  She has provided training on topics of leadership development, engagement, minority access to higher education, domestic violence prevention, anti-racism, homophobia, and cultural sensitivity, organizational conflict resolution. In 2016, she was inducted into Chicago’s LGBTQ Hall of Fame.  

Norma holds a BS in Psychology from Loyola University, an MA in Higher Ed Leadership from Northeastern University, and a Ph.D. in Community Psychology from National Louis University. Her community research interests center on asset-based personnel engagement, evaluation, women’s leadership development, grassroots organizational wellness, intergenerational organizing, and race relations. Since 2020, Norma has been active in Racial Equity training, serving over 30 organizations and several hundred participants. Most recently, Norma has served as a meeting facilitator and a bridge between city programs and grassroots organizers. 

Xavier Ramey is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Justice Informed, a globally-reaching, Chicago-based organizational design and social impact consulting firm that works with various institutions to evolve their cultural, operational, service, and community strategies. From small startups to Fortune 500s, small nonprofits serving refugees to associations representing dozens of CDFIs across America, and spanning the gambit of corporate and nonprofit institutions, Xavier and his firm have built the organizational designs; led equity-focused trainings; provided executive team advisory services; and mediated challenging legal, reputational, or financial hazards for clients seeking to be socially impactful institutions that integrate powerful inclusive workplaces with industry-leading services and products. Known for bringing his “invitation-based approach” to urgent social change issues, his clients have included Ingredion, Emerson, Taproot Foundation, Northwestern University, Chicago Foundation for Women, the Museum of Contemporary Art, BBIF Florida, and more. Aside from his work as an executive and lead consultant, Xavier is a global keynote speaker, an activist on matters of racial justice and policing, and a highly sought-after lecturer at top-ranked MBA and social impact university programs across the United States. A native of the west side of Chicago, he is a recognizable voice on the topics of community and economic development, policing and police violence, and connecting the everyday person to transformative social change.


Xavier served the University of Chicago as the inaugural Senior Assistant Director for Social Innovation and Philanthropy, as the leader of the multimillion-dollar workforce development community and philanthropic strategy for the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, as a Development Director at the Young Men’s Educational Network, and as a consultant for organizations across Africa. He is a founding member of The #LetUsBreathe Collective, a member of the Rotary Club for Social Equity and Impact, and a Board member of Young Chicago Authors and Chicago Center for Arts and Technology.

Jasmine Gunn (session moderator) is a City Planner for the Far South Region with the City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development. Her role includes working with community stakeholders to bring about design excellence projects that are equitable and sustainable development. In addition to working within neighborhoods, Jasmine is the lead DPD staff working with the Chicago Transit Authority on the $3.6 Billion Red Line Extension project and transit-supportive development plan activities. Jasmine holds a Professional Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) from Iowa State University and a Master's Degree in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Jasmine's areas of professional interest are community and economic development, equity, and social justice.


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