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Why Focus on Racial Equity?

Welcome!  I am Maileen Hamto, Ed.D. (University of Colorado Denver), a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) leader with more than 20 years of experience in strategic communications and DEI program management, strategic planning and implementation. I have worked in various sectors, including healthcare, higher education, philanthropy, nonprofits, government, and technology.

In my experience designing and deploying DEI-focused and multicultural programs and products in U.S.-based institutions, one certainty has stood out:

About - Intersectionality(1).png

It is difficult to make lasting and meaningful organizational changes through DEI management without explicitly addressing the impacts of race and racism in the workplace.


Income and wealth racial disparities persist because racial inequities are perpetuated through workplace programs and policies. Moreover, organizational cultures impact the ways that the institution engages external stakeholders, affecting outreach, communications, services and programs to racially diverse populations.

Centering Equity. My academic and career trajectories have inspired me to seek out opportunities where I can help create a world that values and honors diversity, equity, and inclusion. I embody cultural humility and respect for multiple voices, especially voices from marginalized and underrepresented backgrounds.

Cultural Background. I identify as Pinay, Filipina-American a foreign-born woman of color who is bicultural and bilingual in English and Tagalog. I grew up in Manila. I am on a lifelong journey of decolonization, fully understanding the importance of constant self-reflection in unlearning Whiteness and embodying the principles of equity and justice in my everyday leadership practice. My experiences as an immigrant woman of color underscored awareness about the intersectionality of marginalized identities -- such as gender, race, ethnicity national origin, language, among others -- to inform effective interventions to mitigate biases in decision-making. 

DEI Leadership Approach. As a seasoned leader in the field, I understand the weight of bringing forth a cohesive and lasting DEI strategy focused on driving organizational change. My research and work experiences in DEI leadership demonstrate that cultural change requires courage and dedication to face uncomfortable truths. Thoughtfulness and intentionality are critical.

Education and Credentials. My educational background and professional training, and experience in DEI have allowed me access to strategic planning, evaluation, and assessment tools to execute and measure the relevance and effectiveness of DEI programs. In addition, I have developed and facilitated workshops and learning opportunities for staff and leaders to apply equitable practices to their everyday work.

2023 | Doctor of Education, University of Colorado Denver, School of Education and Human Development

Concentration: Urban and Diverse Communities

Research Focus: Understanding How Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leaders
Advance Racial Equity in the Workplace

2020 | Diversity Leadership Certification, Cornell University

2018 | Certified Diversity Professional, Society for Diversity

2017 | Master's in Healthcare Management, Oregon Health & Science University

2003 | Master's in Business Administration, University of Portland

1998 | Bachelor's in Journalism, University of Houston

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