Miami Presents: Race and the Workplace

Presented on: Thursday, November 12th at 6:00 PM EST

Organizational and Social Change

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Join us for a special presentation featuring Miami alumni who are global leaders in corporate diversity and inclusion as they discuss race in the workplace.  

Erica J. Bolden '02 is the Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Corporate Social Responsibility at Mercedes-Benz USA

LaDavia Drane '04 is Head of Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity for Amazon Web Services(AWS).

They will chat with Michelle Thomas '91, the Director of Student Organizations and Diversity within the Farmer School of Business at Miami.  

The conversation will focus around:

  • Best practices in corporate diversity, equity and inclusion
  • What has changed this year in response to the protests following George Floyd's death and the Black Lives Matter movement
  • Advice they have to offer other BIPOC students and alumni on how to navigate issues with race in their careers  

They welcome questions from the audience prior to and during the live presentation.  

ERICA J. BOLDEN '02 was presented with the 2020 Diversity Leadership in Action Award by Career Mastered Magazine, and recognized by Savoy Magazine in its 2019 list of Most Influential Women in Corporate America. At Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), she oversees internal and external relationships and designs strategies to attract, develop and advance the most talented individuals in support of Daimler's commitment to foster a diverse workforce and inclusive environment. Prior to joining MBUSA, Erica held a similar role at the law firm Perkins Coie and spent 10 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers where she most recently served as the National Diversity Programs Senior Manager. In addition to being a member of various DEI organizations and social justice coalitions, she serves on the Board of Directors for Georgia Diversity Council. Erica holds a B.A in Speech Communications and a B.A. in Spanish from Miami.

LaDAVIA DRANE '04, Esq. was among the first cohort of recipients for Miami's 18 of the Last 9 Award, presented annually to outstanding young alumni. At Amazon Web Services, she leads worldwide inclusion, equity and diversity operations. Prior to joining AWS, LaDavia had a practiced law and then went on to work on Capitol Hill serving as a Legislative Director, Congressional Black Caucus Executive Director, National Director of African American Outreach & Deputy Director Congressional affairs for a presidential campaign and most recently as the Chief of Staff for a U.S. Representative.  She holds a B.S. in Business from Miami and a JD from Cleveland State's Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.  Ladavia is a Miami Merger as her husband, Matthew Drane, was also in the class of 2004.

MICHELLE THOMAS '91 has been back to work at her alma mater for 14 years. She is responsible for outreach to diverse students for recruitment and for creating initiatives to help support, advise, and mentor underrepresented students in the Farmer School of Business. Prior to this, Michelle's career was spent in non-profit development work.  She holds a B.A. in English Professional Writing from Miami.   

The webinar is free to view, but registration is required.  Please contact J.J. Slager,, with questions.