WHAT PEOPLE SAY

Dr. SunAh M Laybourn

"MJ's passion for and expertise in DEI is palpable. DEI principles and practices can be overwhelming, but she is able to break it down into easy to understand and practical steps that are relevant to the specific audience's needs."

Dr. SunAh M Laybourn

Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Memphis

Host of WYXR 91.7 FM Let’s Grab Coffee with SunAh

BJ Word

"When I think of diversity, equity, inclusion, fairness, and justice, I immediately think of Dr. Mary McConner! Not only does she possess the knowledge and skillset to educate and lead others on matters of equality, she also has a passion to see every person treated with dignity and respect."

BJ Word

Owner, BJ Word LLC

President Emeritus Thomas J. Haas

"I have had the pleasure of knowing Dr. McConner for over 15 years. She was dedicated to equity and inclusion as an undergraduate student at GVSU, and she is still very much a dedicated advocate for DEI today enabling others to succeed. Dr. McConner's commitment to equity and inclusive excellence comes through in her research, work and presentations. She is a leader and life-long learner.  She is not afraid of broadening her horizons in order to positively impact those around her."

President Emeritus Thomas J. Haas

Grand Valley State University

"Dr. Mary McConner is a proud advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). It doesn’t matter if you’re in the academic space or a community leader leading a grassroots organization. Dr. McConner approaches DEI in a way that breeds confidence, collaboration, and results. From my first meeting with Dr. McConner, she has been committed to bringing everyone to the table to produce equitable solutions and outcomes. I am proud to call her a friend, and I look forward to seeing her transform organizations from the inside out."

Jeremy Calhoun

Founder and President, STS Enterprise Corporation

Tabitha Glenn

“Mary has inspired me with knowledge and perspective. She has taught me that diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging doesn't just happen on its own – nor does it happen with the best of intentions. It must be authentic, purposeful, and align with your organizational values. More importantly, the journey of how an organization accomplishes their DEIB goals is as critical as accomplishing the goal itself.” 

Tabitha Glenn

President, Junior League of Memphis (2020-2022)

Jasmine Brooks Morentin

"Mary is an authentic champion for advancing conversations on diversity, equity and inclusion. She made no hesitation raising her hand to facilitate an educational session on Allyship at a 2021 DE&I event hosted by the Junior League of Memphis, a non-profit organization of which we are both members. Mary will be an asset to any business owner, c-suite executive or team leader seeking to bring about real change within their organization."

 

Jasmine Brooks Morentin

2021 APEX Committee Chair, Junior League of Memphis

Cory Major

"I had the great fortune of being involved in a search process that brought Dr. Mary McConner to one of my former institutions. Her even during the interview process, commitment to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion was undeniable. After working with her, I came to know that she is a true leader and who is well-versed on contemporary issues in the DEI space. One of the things I appreciate most about her is her ability balancing of the human side with the systems/data side of DEI work. She understands that the numbers represent people. She knows that systems are made up of people. Ultimately, she knows it is people who are at the center of the work, which is critical for any change process, and DEI in particular. Her people-oriented approach to the work fuels her ability to build cultural competency in others and in organizations. She is high-energy, positive, and thoughtful. But above all, she is authentic. As cliché as it may sound, Mary not only talks the talk, she walks the difficult path that is DEI. Even in an environment in which DEI-related issues, like Critical Race Theory, have become a politically weaponized, she remains committed to building inclusive, just environments in which everyone can thrive. If you are serious about creating such an environment, you need look no further than Dr. Mary McConner!"

Cory Major

Vice President for Student Affairs

Southwest Tennessee Community College

Karen Barnett

"Dr. Mary McConner demonstrates an awareness of the importance of valuing the contributions of all organizational members. She recognizes that every person and job contributes to the well-being of the organization and is passionate about successfully designing and implementing organizational wide initiatives to advance diversity recruitment and retention strategies. She is deeply knowledgeable around core competencies of actualizing diversity, equity and inclusion and is highly regarded by faculty, staff, students and University communities, as well as organizations for her vision and leadership to ensure justice, diversity, equity and inclusion is integrated across all aspects of the organization.

Dr. McConner provides expertise and vision to embrace and support diversity in all forms. She is knowledgeable in collaboration and change management in both theory and practical application related to organizational and cultural transformation and has a proven track record of understanding and appreciating diversity leadership while advancing equality.  She has the ability to communicate and interact with people from varying experiences and walks of life."

Karen Barnett

Higher Education Expert & Retired Dean of Students

Emily Wilkins

"Dr. Mary McConner, of Inclusive Excellence Consulting, is both an inspiring scholar and a fierce champion for diversity, equity, and inclusion work. In our years interacting professionally, I observed her desire and determination to improve organizational culture through equity-minded efforts. Recently, Dr. McConner participated in an event I hosted as a guest speaker, and our community organization benefited from her charge to be intentional and authentic as we center equity in our initiatives. Her work educates and enriches organizations and communities alike."

Dr. Emily Wilkins

Professional Development Coordinator,

 Junior League of Dayton

Amber Martin

"Dr. Mary McConner has proven her dedication in her professional career by understanding and evolving challenges that have impacted different organizational cultures, including The Society for Diversity. Every year we host DEI webinars, and we make sure that we vet experienced facilitators to educate other DEI professionals regarding Diversity, Equity & Inclusion topics. As for Dr. McConner, she held a webinar on Allyship, and based on the survey results; we welcome Dr. McConner is back to host a workshop for us.

Thank you for servant leadership, collaboration, and commitment." 

Amber Martin

Director of Membership

The Society for Diversity