Exploring Mindful Consumerism in a Recent Educational Equity Webinar By University of Phoenix

Is there such a thing as mindful consumerism? A recent webinar held as part of the University of Phoenix Educational Equity Webinar Series explored the concept and how to help people remain more intentional about where they spend their money in order to align with their beliefs and priorities. Titled “Mindful Consumerism: Applying Anti-Oppression Awareness to Year-End Spending,” the webinar was hosted by Melia Dunn, founder and principal consultant at Melia Dunn Consulting. The webinar was meant to serve as “a conversation that will help us frame how to shop, give and donate at year-end, allowing us to put our dollars where our hearts are,” Dunn said.

Dunn is a specialist in equity, diversity and inclusion, and she guides companies through cultural assessment to recognize barriers to diversity and inclusion within an organization. She also leads workshops and training to provide teams with practices to facilitate authentic connection and conducts executive coaching to help leaders hone their effectiveness to build a multicultural, inclusive organization.

Advancing Equity at University of Phoenix

The Educational Equity Webinar series was launched to create a space for important conversations around equity and inclusion. The webinars are designed to foster cultural awareness and to act as a forum for thought leaders within diversity spaces. In addition to the talk on mindful consumerism, prior webinars have focused on future challenges for equality, diversity and inclusion, helping women climb the corporate ladder, code switching, LatinX leadership and leading inclusively in times of crisis.

The Office of Educational Equity at University of Phoenix, which sponsors the Educational Equity Webinar Series, promotes cultural understanding and thought leadership around issues of diversity and inclusion and builds connections with local and national organizations to advance cultural awareness and extend access to resources and education to populations underserved by traditional academia. The office is also dedicated to providing professional development for all students, alumni, faculty and staff and to creating a thriving community where all are welcomed.

The office works with the Diversity Leadership Alliance (DLA), a nationwide diversity education organization that offers learning and engagement opportunities to grow diversity, equity and inclusion measures. These efforts support the DLA’s mission to foster more inclusive workplaces, to provide professional development opportunities and strategies for increasing diversity in the workplace and to support underrepresented students as they transition from high school to college or work.

Why Where We Spend Our Money Matters When It Comes to Equity and Inclusion

It may seem at first glance that shopping habits have little to do with diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, but as the Mindful Consumerism webinar addressed, these spending habits can either work to reinforce existing racial and socioeconomic barriers or to contribute to actively dismantling them. Where we spend our money influences which companies and leaders benefit. When we give money to businesses owned by women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community and disabled persons, we are not only helping to ensure the success of those businesses and founders, but we are also making a statement: these are businesses and founders that we care about and want to support, and the market should support them, too.

Consumer spending has enormous influence over the decisions made by larger corporations and the direction of the economy as a whole. The ninth annual Conscious Consumer Spending Index found that people are increasingly choosing socially responsible spending. In fact, consumers are breaking records with socially responsible spending at an all-time high, 25 percent higher than the previous year. “It appears the pandemic has reenergized the pursuit of purpose,” said Heath Shackleford, founder of Good.Must.Grow. “Now we need to sustain the momentum and build upon it.” The Index found that 64 percent of Americans supported brands invested in doing good. What is more, 36 percent of Americans planned to increase the amount they spend on socially responsible goods and services in the coming year.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. The University offers a range of online degree options including associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs as well as professional certificates designed to align with the career goals of adult learners. The University of Phoenix College of Doctoral Studies offers doctoral degree programs in a number of high-growth career areas including healthcare, business and education. Students and researchers work with organizations to conduct studies that can be applied in the workplace in real time.

Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning and a Career Services for Life® commitment to active students and graduates help them more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit www.phoenix.edu.

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