"I cannot say enough about my experience collaborating with Cindu to provide meaningful DEI development for the team. Her thoughtful and intentional approach, coupled with her evident passion for the DEI hemisphere, was palpable throughout the workshop series. Specifically, Cindu met us where we are at, defined and provided a safe space to share and connect, involved herself with ongoing learning/reflection tools, and - most importantly - gave us actionable takeaways and a common language to keep this top-of-mind. This has been an incredible experience that has changed our organization in a tangible way and I can’t wait for the next opportunity to collaborate with Cindu and Shakti Training."
Ryan J. Watin, Director of People + Culture
XYPN Planning Network
“We wanted this year’s company offsite meeting to be a combination of fun, team-building activities and professional development. The Diversity & Inclusion training quickly turned into the focal point. Every single team member rated it as the best part of the day and we all are looking forward to the next session. I highly recommend Shakti Diversity and Equity Training for any organization that wants to energize their team, improve communication and collaboration, and take a big step toward creating an environment where every person knows their voice is valuable.”
Scott Christiansen, CEO
Root3 Marketing & Business Development
"Cindu is passionate about meeting companies and DEI leaders where they are and guiding them along their inclusion journey. Her workshop was engaging, educational, and thought-provoking and our team learned so much about becoming more intentionally inclusive. She set us on a path to continue this important conversation, and I'm grateful for her leadership and guidance. Cindu is thorough, professional, and a joy to work with, and any company that is serious about building a more inclusive culture should schedule a Shakti Diversity and Equity training."
Recruiting and DEI Program Manager
"Our company was looking to broaden it’s DEI foundational base and Shakti Training came highly recommended. Cindu’s engagement with us during the discovery phase and then during the training, solidified that this was the program that we not only wanted to be a part of, but wanted to share with our clients. The content is thought provoking and highly relatable, especially as presented by Cindu. Our team was fully engaged throughout and is still talking about the experience."
Rita Hernandez Figi
Chief Operating Officer
“Most of my executive experience has been within the corporate world and I have taken numerous classes on Diversity throughout the 80s and 90s and early 2000s. Cindu’s workshops are the best I have ever experienced because she helped me to see diversity from a new perspective and my thinking and way of being was re-framed as a result. Cindu helped me, from an empathetic point of view, see how people of different races, cultures, and sexual orientations experience, think, and feel about our world. In the past, I was taught what to say and what not to say so that as a manager/executive I wouldn't step in legal "hot water." I wasn't taught how to communicate and work with someone who is different from me. I highly recommend these programs.”
Karen L. Schmidt
Houston Community College Foundation
Not only does our law firm have a diverse work force but we serve clients coming from a variety of cultures around the world. Cindu did a great job reminding us that everyone we deal with experiences the world and people in multiple different ways. More importantly, her program went beyond that important first step and provided us with frameworks for how different people and different cultures perceive and deal with one another. As a result we now have a set of frameworks and tools by which we can better understand and be understood by others. I absolutely recommend her program to everyone wanting to take that next step.
Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP
"When we were beginning our DEI journey, we worked with a number of different recommended trainers. Immediately, Cindu singled herself out due to her experience, proactive council, and adaptability, particularly as we adjusted to all-virtual trainings in response to COVID-19. Our first DEI training session with Cindu was so well received by our staff that we immediately scheduled a follow up session for our management team and senior leaders. Cindu’s personal commitment and interweaving of her own story and DEI journey in her trainings really resonated with our staff. I’d highly recommend her as a trainer and facilitator regardless of where you are in your organizational DEI journey."
Tina Fasset Smith
Director of Innovation and Strategic Alignment
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
"One of the highlights of attending YWCA’s Economic Empowerment Summit was Cindu’s racial justice workshop. It was impactful, relevant and educational. She is an engaging presenter."
Vice President of Operations Walgreens
"The knowledge gained from Cindu's workshop served as an excellent foundation for further discussion throughout the school year. We often heard teachers referring back to the training in various meetings throughout the course of the school year, referencing things such as cultural differences in communication or reminding one another to be mindful of the impact poverty or another cultural factor might be having on a particular student. We highly recommend this training!"
Edgerton School District
"When we were looking for a speaker for our event – Cindu came highly recommended. She was engaging, approachable, and knowledgeable. I am glad we went with her, as she made me and the organization look good."
Northern Illinois Food Bank
“Cindu is an amazingly gifted, knowledgeable and compassionate trainer and facilitator. I have attended many diversity, equity and inclusion trainings but never have I taken away so many relevant and concrete tools that I could use to share with others. Not only did she give great tools but she also helped me feel inspired to facilitate my own conversations on DEI with my team. I hope to get a chance to bring her to my university for trainings with others!”
Assistant Director of Employee Engagement
University of Oregon
"Typically, I dread the response of staff members after a cultural competency training. In fact, we had never provided a Cultural Competency Training that our staff thought was “good”. However two years ago OMNI was lucky to have Cindu lead us in a training. The staff walked away stating that Cindu’s workshop was the best cultural competency training they have experienced. Her workshop was relevant and informative so we brought Cindu back this year, and our staff responded with the same positive feedback. They especially loved the discussion of color blindness/color consciousness and equity vs. equality.”
President of Omni Youth Services
“I want to personally thank you for facilitating such an engaging training. This is no easy task for a virtual/remote setting - your facilitation style paired with your openness and compassion really made for some rich discussion and reflection.”
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
“I found Cindu's Inclusive Leadership Academy series to be very beneficial for my personal and professional development as a leader. Over my career, I’ve attended numerous diversity workshops, many of which I walked away from disappointed. Cindu’s workshop was different in that it challenged me to think about differences in cultures and subcultures, unconscious bias and other diversity and inclusion challenges in the workplace. Diversity and inclusion is everyone’s work, and this training helped me renew my passion for this work."
Executive Director of Workforce & Professional Development Institute
College of Lake County
"I have been a DEI practitioner since 2007, and this has to be the first time I have been truly immersed in professional development that has had me reflect on my practice with so much depth and thoroughness. I commend you for the exceptional quality of the course content that doesn’t just pay lip-service to the anti-racist work for educators but challenges us to be authentic."
Dean of Pluralism and Multicultural Affairs
Lake Forest Academy
“It has been wonderful to participate in workshops led by Cindu Thomas-George then to observe the impact on participants. Cindu is not only an excellent presenter who is current in the latest researchers, but engages her audience through meaningful discussion and activities.”
Dr. Jerry Weber
President of Bellevue College
"This was an excellent workshop- I enjoyed it from start to finish. I came away feeling empowered to help institute change at my institution. This was my favorite session of the entire five day conference."
"Cindu is a passionate, thoughtful and engaging DEI leader and trainer. She is fully grounded in research, data and facts but brings her own experiences and stories to help humanize the content and discussion. Cindu recently facilitated a talk on “Color Blind to Color Conscious” as part of a series called Uncomfortable Conversations about Race for FEI Chicago with an audience that was predominately white, male and 55+. Cindu set the tone effectively from the very beginning creating a safe space for sharing and dialogue. She presented relatable content that helped the audience learn and reframe what we thought we knew about race. Cindu is a partner you can trust with the important work of having authentic and difficult conversations and building the equity and inclusion muscle needed within your organization."
Senior Director of Finance
“We did a workshop on the fundamental concepts and theories of diversity and inclusion, with 50 managers via Zoom. I had some doubts as to the effectiveness of learning this particular topic remotely, but Cindu leveraged the technology for powerful one-on-one conversations. Cindu used her personal experiences and facilitation skills to effectively illustrate concepts, and created a safe environment for sharing our own experiences. After the training, employees gave the management team at least 10 actionable inclusion ideas as a response to the workshop. We had planned to do just one of three workshops, but given feedback from participants, immediately added the second and third workshops.”
"Cindu intertwined her personal experience with extensive research to provide Hanover Park's Cultural Inclusion & Diversity Committee with an authentic and moving workshop. Cindu customized our session by incorporating our committee dynamics, Hanover Park's demographics, and our goals and priorities. If we were to do this training again, we would opt for a multi-day training."
Hanover Park Trustee and Board Liaison
"We were very pleased with Cindu’s workshop for our law firm, and we would highly recommend her program to other law firms and other organizations. Cindu approaches her topics in a highly organized and easy to understand manner and her style is both approachable and informative. For our firm, Cindu presented a two-part workshop on cultural differences in the workplace. Her topics resonated greatly with our group, and there was considerable enthusiasm and discussion. Overall, we believe it would be a great benefit for other businesses to have exposure to Cindu’s expertise and programs."
Claudia Stangle, Salim Hasan & Michelle Zimmermann
Shareholders of Leydig, Voit & Mayer's Diversity Committee
"Our organization recently participated in our first workshop with Shakti Diversity and Equity Training to bring DEI to the forefront of our organization. Cindu's workshop greatly exceeded our expectations. Her training session was by far the highlight of our staff retreat and was one of the most positive and impactful team building activities we could have chosen. Her expertise, experience, and passion was clear and provided a personal and engaging experience for our team. We look forward to continuing our journey with future Shakti workshops!"
Senior Program Director
Professional Education International
"Like many other institutions across the country, we renewed our efforts in diversity, equity, and inclusivity over the last 18 months and sought external expertise to guide us in these efforts. Cindu’s knowledge, experience, and expertise in this area, in addition to her being a faculty member at an academic institution, was a solid match for us. Cindu’s ability to lead a thoughtful and inclusive discussion in a virtual format was unmatched. The breakout rooms in Zoom allowed our team members to connect and discuss topics that many of us haven’t given much thought to as they relate to our positions in higher education. My only complaint was that we didn’t have more time! We are looking forward to collaborating with Cindu for future workshops."
Meryl Alappattu, DPT, PhD
Faculty of Physical Therapy
University of Florida
"Cindu came to my attention with the highest recommendations from multiple sources and I can now confirm what they already knew, Cindu is a very powerful, impactful, and transformational trainer and presenter. She was extremely professional and responsive from the first email inquiry to the final delivery of training. In tailoring the training specifically to Nicasa, Cindu took the time to understand our history, mission, vision, and values. Cindu provided us with an exceptional professional development experience that was highly praised by all those in attendance and has served to further develop the inclusion and anti-racism lens of Nicasa Board Members and Staff. We look forward to future engagements with Shakti Diversity and Equity Training."
Nicasa Behavioral Health Services
"Introducing Cindu to our team was a choice we would make a hundred times over. Her teachings are digestible for people at all different stages of their DEI journey, laying the foundation for delving deeper into diversity, equity, and inclusion-- not only at a company level but on an individual level as well. Cindu was a wonderful speaker, bringing a radiant energy into all of our sessions. Her ability to engage a large group in a conscientious, thought-provoking and vulnerable way was impressive, especially since we elected to do the trainings virtually. We would strongly recommend Cindu to anyone looking to create a more inclusive and aware company culture."
Profitable Ideas Exchange
"Cindu is an expert in diversity, equity and inclusion. I have attended several of her sessions and most latterly the one she ran for a the Equity Task Force of the Lake County Workforce Investment Board. The trainings were thoughtful, detailed and full of new perspectives. Everyone got a tremendous amount out of the training course. Cindu says we should "get comfortable being uncomfortable" and that was certainly achieved. I would highly recommend Cindu and her company for any type of DEI training or consultancy."
Andrew Warrington, PhD
"Cindu offered a wonderful workshop that offers a solid overview of the foundational topics in DEI, while also bringing to the table an extensive academic background rooted in specific subject matter. In a short time, Cindu was able to present a tailored session specific to our industry, and my team really enjoyed the breakouts and activities. I'm looking forward to working with Shakti again in the near future as we continue our DEI journey as an organization."
Vice President of Operations & Production
Three Point Media
"Shakti Diversity and Equity Training has been a key element of building an inclusive company culture. The training sessions received a great response, and our associates really valued the training content, as well as Cindu’s style, expertise and delivery. Even with the virtual format, the training sessions were well-planned, deliberate and impactful. On the planning end, Cindu was great to work with, accommodating last-minute requests and providing coaching sessions that gave us a roadmap to continue our DEI journey as an organization. We feel like we’ve gotten some great tools and advice to continue this important work."
Vice President of Human Resources
Kumon North America, Inc.