AWI Webinar: Addressing the Elephant in the Room: The Impact of Race in Investigations
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9/24/2020
When: Thursday, September 24, 2020
11:00 am PT, noon MT, 1:00 pm CT, 2:00 pm ET
Where: Online
Contact: 844-422-2294


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AWI Webinar: Addressing the Elephant in the Room: The Impact of Race in Investigations

This webinar is 1.5 hour long.

Session Description

Following the successful debut of this presentation at AWI’s 2019 Annual Conference, Alezah, Christina, and Zaneta will be re-presenting their talk on “Addressing the Elephant in the Room: The Impact of Race in Investigations.”

This presentation identifies common issues that arise during the course of an investigation related to the race, or perceived race, of the investigator. These three attorney investigators of color will use hypothetical scenarios and examples from their practice to discuss ways that an investigator’s race can be an asset and a challenge in investigations, how to respond to client requests for an investigator of color, tools and tips for interviewing across racial differences, and why investigators should be self-aware about bias and how their race and cultural competency can influence their investigations.

Learning Objectives

This presentation aims to:

  • Identify common challenges and advantages an investigator’s race can present in investigations;
  • Provide tips on how to respond to client requests for specific investigators based on race;
  • Provide tools for interviewing and building rapport across racial differences;
  • Discuss how to address uncomfortable tensions that might arise around race in investigations;
  • Discuss how an investigator’s race and cultural competency, or lack thereof, can affect report writing, credibility assessments, factual findings, and other aspects of an investigation; and
  • Highlight the importance of self-awareness and continued investment in cultural competency in successful investigations

Rates

Members & Sustaining Members: FREE
Non-Members: $50

Presenters

Christina (Tina) Ro-Connolly, AWI-CH

Christina (Tina) Ro-Connolly, AWI-CH

Christina (Tina) Ro-Connolly, AWI-CH has over a decade of labor and employment law experience. Tina joined the Law Offices of Amy Oppenheimer over two years ago after serving for 11 years at the Contra Costa County Counsel’s Office, advising departments on labor and employment matters, including the Office of the Sheriff, the Probation Department, and the Fire Protection District. In addition, Tina conducted sexual harassment prevention trainings and workplace investigation trainings. For the past two years, Tina has handled over 40 investigations involving allegations of discrimination and harassment, allegations of abusive conduct, sexual misconduct, retaliation, and workplace misconduct. She has handled investigations against high-level executives and elected officials and has experience in both the public and private sectors. Tina received her Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School, where she served on the Entertainment Law Review and was on the Dean’s List, and received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, San Diego. Tina is a member of the California State Bar and Contra Costa County Bar Association, a sustaining member of AWI, a graduate of the AWI’s Training Institute for Workplace Investigators, an AWI Certificate Holder (AWI-CH), and a frequent trainer and presenter on employment law matters.


Zaneta Seidel, AWI-CH

Zaneta Seidel, AWI-CH

Zaneta Seidel, AWI-CH has been conducting neutral workplace investigations with the Law Offices of Amy Oppenheimer for three years.  Zaneta has conducted over 60 investigations into allegations of discrimination, sexual assault, harassment, retaliation and workplace bullying, including 25 investigations involving allegations against high-level executives and elected officials. Zaneta is passionate about conflict resolution, particularly as it relates to racial tension. She speaks about the impact of race in workplace investigations and conducts Conflict Resolution training for work groups to provide guidance on how to resolve common workplace conflicts in a way that maintains positive workplace relationships. Zaneta earned her Bachelor’s degree from UCLA and her Juris Doctor from Columbia University School of Law.  She began her legal career as a litigation associate in Baker & McKenzie's New York office and returned home to the Bay Area where she practiced litigation with a boutique firm in San Francisco for five years before becoming a workplace investigator. Zaneta is a member of the California and New York state bars, a sustaining member of AWI, a graduate of the AWI’s Training Institute for Workplace Investigators, and an AWI Certificate Holder (AWI-CH). Zaneta has also received a certificate from T9 Mastered to conduct Title IX investigations.


Alezah Trigueros, AWI-CH

Alezah Trigueros, AWI-CH

Alezah Trigueros, AWI-CH has been conducting impartial workplace investigations with the Law Offices of Amy Oppenheimer since 2014. She received her Juris Doctor from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law and her Bachelor’s degree in history from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Alezah has conducted more than 150 workplace and Title IX investigations and assessments of issues including discrimination, harassment, assault, and bullying. More than 50 of these investigations have been for educational institutions, including sexual assault allegations in middle schools, high schools, and universities. She has also investigated allegations against high-level executives, elected officials, and high-profile individuals in the entertainment industry. Alezah is a sustaining member of the Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI), completed AWI’s Training Institute for Workplace Investigators in 2015, has served as junior faculty at two subsequent Institutes, is an AWI Certificate Holder (AWI-CH), and is Convener of the San Francisco Bay Area AWI Local Circle. Alezah has also received certificates from the Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA) and T9 Mastered to conduct Title IX investigations. Alezah is also Board Secretary for the Northern California Employment Round Table (NCERT) and has co-authored articles for the California Labor & Employment Law Review, AWI Journal, and Bloomberg Law.


Disclaimer: The contents of this webinar and the positions taken are those of the presenter only, may be time sensitive, and are not warranted, endorsed or otherwise recommended by AWI and are not intended to provide legal advice. 

If you must cancel your webinar registration and do so before Tuesday, September 22, your webinar registration fee will be refunded. To cancel your registration, email Julia Renner at juliar@awi.org. There will be no refunds for cancellations received after Tuesday, September 22.

 

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