The Blue Ridge Institute Board of Directors made the hard decision to postpone the 2020 Blue Ridge Institute amid the global pandemic of COVID-19. It is our intent to gather together at Fontana Village Resort July 25-30, 2021. In early June, we will share information about opportunities to come together virtually during our original 2020 conference week. Be well and stay tuned for more information about how we will connect virtually this summer and beyond. #BRIStrong

Natalie Burke: We’ll jump right into a powerful and critically important conversation with Natalie Burke, “equity evangelist”. Natalie is a nationally-known speaker, master facilitator, and public health leader who will challenge us to be bold in our work for equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in our organizations, our communities, and our nation. She will help us understand the value of being courageous in this arena and help us learn a common language for equity-focused work. She will introduce key concepts related to equity including the roles of privilege and oppression; the importance of an equity lens in leadership; how to make a personal commitment to equity while embracing the associated discomfort; and the importance of intent vs. impact.

We will dig deeper into this work with a second part to this morning’s session on Tuesday that will be an interactive workshop that focuses on EDI conflict and allyship. Natalie will provide guidance regarding allyship, “anti-ist” behaviors, and considerations for action with reflective practice and a practice-based activity.


The 2020 Virtual BRI sponsorship opportunities have been announced and this year we offer many more choices to support our special activities and events. Hurry and get your first choice and secure your sponsorship soon! Click here for the 2020 Virtual Conference Sponsorship Guide.