Anna M. Yeakley, PhD, MSW is a trainer, facilitator and consultant who specializes in dialogue group facilitation, learning and engaging around differences in social identities and perspectives, inclusive teaching methods, and strategies for responding to conflict and difficult conversations.
Anna has over 22 years of intergroup dialogue facilitation, training, program administration, and research experience, and has helped to develop new intergroup dialogue programs at 11 college campuses across the country. Much of her passion comes from her personal experience growing up in a bi-cultural, bilingual, immigrant family, and being a student caught in the middle of the inter-ethnic tensions that took place during the LA Riots of 1992.
Anna was trained as an intergroup dialogue facilitator when she was a doctoral student at the University of Michigan and has been hooked ever since! She has since integrated intergroup dialogue into all areas of her work, from being a social work professor, to an intergroup dialogue program director, to supporting campuses and organizations as a consultant.
Anna is now breaking new ground and expanding her reach by offering online courses in intergroup dialogue and facilitation training, while continuing to deliver workshops and trainings across the country.
With more than 20 years experience in dialogic practice and diversity education, Anna Yeakley is a skilled facilitator, trainer, and presenter. She has worked with students, staff, and faculty to address classroom climate, conflict, and organizational inclusive practices. If you're looking for an expert in diversity and inclusion, I highly recommend Anna.Monita ThompsonCo-Director, The Program on Intergroup Relations, University of Michigan
Anna Yeakley is an expert facilitator and trainer for dialogue communication as well as diversity and inclusion workshops. She both utilizes and models dialogic frameworks that support participants while challenging them to learn and grow. She has over 20 years of experience training and facilitating students, faculty, and staff for capacity building in dialogue facilitation, addressing conflict, inclusive classrooms, and healing after critical DEI incidents. I highly recommend that you contact Anna to bring her to your campus today!Kelly E. Maxwell, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education Former Faculty Co-Director, The Program on Intergroup Relations, University of Michigan Chair, Board of Directors, Difficult Dialogues National Resource Center
With deep compassion and competence, Anna meets people where they are as she creates powerful learning environments for self-reflection, authentic engagement, and meaningful movement towards creating greater equity, inclusion, and social justice. I’ve been impressed with her ability to foster authentic dialogue, leave people feeling truly heard, and gently nudge participants to listen deeply to each other as she expertly navigates difficult dialogues and strong emotions. Whether you need a seasoned facilitator of Intergroup Dialogues on campus or want to train a cadre of internal facilitators to lead these sessions, I encourage you to partner with Dr. Anna Yeakley to achieve your goals.Dr. Kathy Obear
President, Center for Transformation and Change, LLC
Anna has done work with my institution (Whitman College), where as part of our work on a diversity, inclusion and equity strategic plan, we included the need for developing skills for dialogue and cultural transformation. Anna was a key educator and trainer among our core leadership team of faculty, staff, students and administrators. The work of intentionally listening across difference and taking into account the arc of social change was work that Anna led us through. Our campus has been shaped by that week of intensive training and careful listening and community building. I strongly recommend Anna as a consultant, trainer and thought partner for all those seeking to move their institutions and organizations more intentionally in the direction of inclusion, diversity, equity and social justice.Kazi Joshua
Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students Former Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion Whitman College
I owe much of my development as a Diversity and Inclusion focused professional to the work I have been fortunate to have done with Anna. In addition to being kind and thoughtful, she is an expert in helping any individual or group to better understand the impact of their own social identity and the importance of having dialogue about it with others. This, I believe, is the cornerstone to success in any D&I effort and Anna is one of the best in guiding individuals through this understanding.Gary Fraser
Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at NYU Stern School of Business
Anna’s IGR training gave me a whole new toolkit to facilitate productive engagement around two sides of an issue. I learned as much from her incredibly nuanced manner and skill as a facilitator as I did from her comprehensive knowledge. I also learned a lot about myself in the process, and have utilized all of the many takeaways with positive impact in my work.Edmond Hewlett
Professor, Associate Dean of Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion, Equity Advisor UCLA School of Dentistry
Anna is an extremely effective and experienced facilitator and trainer. She is insightful, discerning and provoking. Beyond these outstanding qualities, Anna possesses a warm, caring and humble spirit, allowing her to engage participants in powerful and productive dialogue with one another.Ellen Meader
Assistant Vice Provost for Equity, Inclusion and Academic Affairs, University of Michigan
Before Dr. Yeakley's workshops, I had never encountered a facilitator who possessed an even balance of intellectual prowess and humility. Due to her expert facilitative skills, I was invited on a journey to unveil how I carried harmful loyalties to systems of dominance and oppression. I am forever marked by the way she embodied justice and equity in her dialogue facilitation. Through her coaching and support, my organization was able to establish our dialogue program.David L. Humphrey Jr.
Diversity & Inclusion Officer and Diversity, Inclusion, Justice, & Equity (dije) Implementation Co-Lead, School of Education, University of Michigan Former Associate Dean of Student Affairs for Diversity and Inclusion, Pepperdine University
Thank you Anna for introducing me to a different kind of leadership. One that leads from a place of humility and expertise, but also understanding of the human condition, instead of leading from a place of title. This experience has forever changed me and the way I show up in a space and the way that I facilitate dialogues.
The best parts of the training were learning more skills around facilitation, like active listening and learning how to deal with potentially problematic responses from a group. Also relationship building with my colleagues was a huge unexpected benefit.Rebecca Campos
Director, Intercultural Affairs, Pepperdine University
I'm so grateful that I was invited to participate in IGD at my campus. It has equipped me to not only be open to different conversations and dialogue with students and colleagues, but how to facilitate these conversations in my work as a student affairs professional. It also created a small "family" within our IGD group. I love seeing other participants on campus and I feel so connected to the group with what we've shared with one another.Allison Green
Assistant Director of Student Activities, Pepperdine University
I really appreciated Anna's training sessions. Although she was leading us through topics that are often very difficult to talk about, she guided the discussion in a way that everyone felt safe to explore their identities and understanding of others. Although our group arrived at the conversation coming from very different perspectives, everyone felt that they benefited from the training.Steve Rouse
Faculty, Pepperdine University
Anna's leadership and guidance during the Intergroup Dialogue Training program was a tremendous growth opportunity for me. I learned various tactics for facilitating conversation around diversity, inclusion, and equity. Our ability to communicate, listen, empower, support, and empathize with one another - despite our differences - were enhanced through Anna's graceful leadership and I am blessed to have gained several friendships from this experience!Yeneba Smith
Industry Specialist, Pepperdine University Career Center
I worked with Anna and I saw how much she cared about her staff, students, and campus climate. She is a great dialogue facilitator because of her ability to empathize with others and work with others to resolve conflict! Anna helped resolve departmental conflict and led students from different political backgrounds to come together and work together. She is truly a trailblazer and a leader who leads from the heart! I would love to work with her again and highly encourage folks to utilize her services.Bo Hwang
Former Diversity Peer Leader Intern, UCLA Intergroup Relations Program
IGD was an enriching experience that broadened my perspective of the society in a very unique and intentional way. I found so much growth and meaning in the connections I made and the conversations we had within our group. It was definitely one of the most personally impactful activities I was involved with over the course of my college career.Joanna Pena
Student, Pepperdine University
Learning from Anna helped me understand myself and other cultures on a deeper level. I knew what is like to be a minority among minorities. I was the Filipino in a predominantly black and Hispanic neighborhood where I understood so many different cultures. However, it was not until Intergroup Dialogue where I was able to use my knowledge of other cultures and see how to resolve not only conflict, but to enhance the importance of creating dialogue over discussion. Now, I am able to facilitate meetings on my own in difficult situations. The program also gave me leverage to be hired at a top 50 company within Human Resources where I can expand upon my Diversity & Inclusion skills! I have to thank Anna for everything and creating a more prominent future for myself!Christian Abad
Student, Pepperdine University
Anna Yeakley Consulting uses the intergroup dialogue pedagogy and approach that was first developed at the University of Michigan 30 years ago. This model is an evidence-based, facilitated, and structured curriculum and process that follows a four-stage model:
• Stage 1: Setting the Stage for Intergroup Dialogue (building trust, communication skills)
• Stage 2: Social Identities, Socialization, Privilege and Oppression
• Stage 3: Hot Topics/Controversial Issues/Engaging with Conflict
• Stage 4: Taking Action & Becoming Allies
Intergroup Dialogues bring together participants of different social identities (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious identity, ability status, citizenship/immigration status, socio-economic background, etc.) to deepen their understanding, empathy and skills for engaging across different social identities and perspectives, deepen their awareness of structural inequalities, and develop their skills for bridging differences and taking collaborative action for greater social justice.