Fortify: (v) To strengthen the leadership, well-being, and sustainability of nonprofit leaders and organizations.

watering can watering a green sprout in the ground

The Nonprofit Institute at the University of San Diego, RISE San Diego and Fieldstone Leadership Network San Diego have joined together to create FORTIFY: The Racial Equity Series. This collection of webinars aims to provide nonprofit leaders with a foundational understanding, tools and resources necessary to lead in the areas of race relations and equity while strengthening the leadership, well-being and sustainability of nonprofit leaders and organizations committed to the work of equity and social justice. 

FORTIFY: The Racial Equity Series was curated in response to requests from nonprofit leaders for assistance in supporting their work in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion and in recognition of the tremendous difficulty under which nonprofit professionals are working to sustain organizations, manage teams and serve clients in equitable and just ways.

FORTIFY: The Racial Equity Series is a six-week program which will feature one webinar each week – on Tuesdays from 12 to 1:15 pm.  The program will begin on September 15, 2020 and run through October 20, 2020 and be hosted on Zoom.  You may join all six or choose specific sessions in which to participate.

Course Fees:
$25 – Each Session
$150 – Full Series/Six Sessions
*We offer group discounts. Please email to learn more and receive your group discount code.

A certificate in Foundations of Racial Equity will be offered to participants who register and attend the six-part series, read supplemental material and complete a course survey.

Proceeds from FORTIFY: The Racial Equity Series will support the work of this partnership to promote racial equity education and advocacy in the San Diego region. Donations are welcomed.

Series Offerings

Register for all six-weeks or register for individual sessions below.

Register for Whole Six-Week Series

September 15, 2020 - Creating a Common Language for the Conversation

Dr. Zachary Green

This webinar helps us to forge a common language for our conversations on racial equity. Beginning with an exploration of what we mean by race and equity, the presentation shifts to consider definitions and different perspectives on concepts such as white fragility, privilege, systemic racism, and anti-racism. The aim of the session is to help listeners learn and feel better equipped to enter conversations on race.

Register for this 9/15 Session 

September 22, 2020 - Being Ally, Accomplice, Accompanist, Advocate, and Anti-Racist

Dr. Roxanne Kymaani
Where do I stand in actions to reduce systemic racism? There are varying views on what is meant by allyship as well as what is truly required of us to be anti-racist. This webinar explores current trends in the terminology and breaks down some of the differing perspectives to help us know our place in the movement for racial equity.

Register for this 9/22 Session

September 29, 2020 - Beginning Where You are As Who You Are

Dr. Zachary Green
Shame about one’s ignorance on matters of race has been identified as one of the key factors that leads to an epidemic of silence as violence when it comes to the movement for Black Lives. Another variable is the very real challenge of the social costs of confronting friends and family who profess racist ideas and may even engage in racist behaviors. This webinar helps us begin to forge a pathway towards greater voice on the lifelong journey of racial equity. Let’s begin where you are.

Register for this 9/29 Session

October 6, 2020 - Getting Ready for Racial Inquiry: Deeper Dimension of Racial Equity Dialogue                    

Dr. Zachary Green
What happens when we remain curious about racial equity? Far too often on conversations on race are little more than well-rehearsed chosen narratives that are seldom subject to much examination. An approach to dialogue known as Racial Inquiry invites us to ask questions of one another on race. It begins by acknowledging the socio-historical realities of systemic racism. Racial Inquiry thereby reduces defensive reactions and moves us closer to responsive discourse that engages our common humanity to ask, What now? What’s next?

Register for this 10/6 Session

October 13, 2020 - Learning the Adaptive Racial Conversation Hierarchy Approach

Dr. Rodric Smith
When it comes to conversations on race, we often face situations and circumstances that thwart our best intentions. According to the Adaptive Racial Conversation Hierarchy (ARCH) approach to racial equity dialogue, we hit a vicious triangle that limits our voice and locks us into familiar performative patterns that do little to advance the conversation. The ARCH Model helps us enter an adaptive cycle that engages our learning on race and propels us to a virtuous triangle with potential to transform the conversation and our own behaviors related to racial equity.

Register for this 10/13 Session

October 20, 2020 - Living into Racial Equity: Intention and Action 

Dr. Zachary Green
Now what? Racial equity is achieved when we begin an ongoing examination of our own beliefs and behaviors. It continues when we exercise authority in the places and spaces where we have the power and influence to transform norms and policies. This webinar helps us to take an unflinching look at where we can most leverage change, assess our readiness to do so, and create accountable intention for action on racial equity. If not you, who? If not now, when?

Register for this 10/20 Session

Previous FORTIFY series recordings can be found on our Youtube page. 

Meet Your Instructors

Zachary Green headshot instructor Zachary Green, Ph.D.

Director, Leadership Development, Nonprofit Institute, USD
Faculty Director, RISE San Diego Urban Leadership Fellows Program

Dr. Zachary Green  is a professor of practice in Leadership Studies and the Director of Leadership Development at the Nonprofit Institute, University of San Diego. He is also lead faculty for the RISE Urban Leadership Fellows. A clinical psychologist by training, Zachary teaches courses on human development, organizational behavior, coaching, human development, dialogue, negotiations, mindfulness, and love. As a practitioner, Zachary’s clients include multinational corporations, government agencies, NGO’s, universities, religious institutions, and nonprofits entities. He has coached top leaders at the World Bank for the better part of two decades. Zachary has nearly three decades of experience working issues related to human relations, including and beyond diversity, equity and inclusion. He was a senior associate for the National Multicultural Institute in Washington, DC. Through this organization he guided a global training project to implement an anti-discrimination at the International Monetary Fund as well as served on the dialogue development team for the President’s Commission on Race during the Clinton Administration. His other area of professional focus is in group relations conferences that promote principles of adaptive leadership and the study of unconscious organizational processes, especially those related to race and identity.  Zachary has directed nearly 20 such conferences in the United States and internationally, including one titled On the Matter of Black Lives.  His work gives focus to issues of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in organizations as well as processes needed to transform personal behaviors. His article on “Racial Inquiry” serves as one basis for this training series and has been adapted for use in DEI workshops nationally. Zachary earned his doctorate at Boston University and completed advanced training at Harvard Medical School.

Roxanne J. Kymaani instructor headshot Roxanne J. Kymaani, Ph.D.

Faculty Coach and Leadership Consultant, RISE San Diego
Owner and Life Transformation Strategist, Kymaani Catalyst Consulting

Roxanne J. Kymaani, Ph.D. is a Life Transformation Strategist and Owner of Kymaani Catalyst Consulting, a self-owned ​coaching ​and consulting business dedicated to helping individuals, communities, and organizations to create a more just and equitable society. Roxanne offers inclusive practice frameworks that bridge communities across racial, economic, religious, and cultural divides. She engages her clients in diversity, equity, and inclusion work using an identity construction lens that allows people to connect to who they are and how they show up in the world as a way to understand the external systems in their community that create the internal realities that many people experience daily.

Roxanne’s passion is to support others on constructing their authentic self and create understanding on who they are "being" as a way of developing a new relationship with themselves that offers a fresh dialogue for how to view and experience the world.

Roxanne serves as a Faculty Coach and Leadership Development Consultant with RISE San Diego, a non-profit focused on elevating and advancing urban leadership with a social justice lens.  Roxanne is an adjunct professor at National University and Goucher College. She received a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Leadership Studies with an emphasis in Human Development from University of San Diego and is a certified Life/Executive Coach through Accomplishment Coaching. Additionally, Roxanne is a board member for the Tariq Khamisa Foundation ( and serves as the Chair for the Board Development Committee and Programs Committee.
Roxanne’s specialties include dialogue, liminality, identity construction, diversity, equity and inclusion, community development, group dynamics, leadership development,  and cultural competency.

For more information, please visit

Rodric Smith instructor headshot Lt. Col. Rodric Smith, Ph.D.

RISE Scholar, RISE San Diego Urban Leadership Fellows Program
Assistant Professor, Leadership, United States Air Force Academy

Lieutenant Colonel Rod Smith, PhD is an assistant professor at the United States Air Force Academy.  He combines practice and theory to design, teach, and assess leadership development courses, seminars, and interventions for students and faculty in order to develop inclusive and innovative leaders of character to deal with future efforts.  More specifically, he incorporates love in his leadership interventions to shift perspectives on gender, race, and other social identities.  He has served in a number of operator, trainer, tester, strategic planner, executive, and academic positions during his 22 years in the Air Force.  He and his wife, Michelle, are proud parents of Olivia and Levi.