Kern Dance Alliance and Cultivating Better Tomorrows are joining efforts to provide inviting and informative sessions to help create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive Kern County. KDA and CBT will explore the evolution of our social and cultural humanity with the intent to learn together. These impactful sessions support authentic growth for individuals and companies. Cultivating Better Tomorrows is known for their safe, interactive, and judgement-free learning spaces. We invite all members of the community to join us as we move into a more inclusive future.

Moving Forward has been graciously funded by Chevron. 


KDA and Cultivating Better Tomorrows invites you to join the conversation!

The Moving Forward series is for everyone!  While led by creatives, Moving Forward is intent on providing support and growth for all.  

  • Participants must RSVP for each session.  Click the RSVP button to register for all six sessions,  just one or a few!
  • A max of 20 participants will be allotted per session.  
  • Each session is expected to last 2 hours.
  • Participation is FREE.
  • All RSVPs will receive a link via email to the Zoom session 1-2 hours prior to the start of each session. 


January 22- MOVING FORWARD: The Power of Shared Language

Activity: Develop shared understandings.

Goal: Improve communication without coded language.

Many times, people use coded language to avoid talking about uncomfortable subjects. This barrier makes communication difficult. We will create shared understandings through knowledge of communities. Let’s be honest about where our organization is on the journey to commit to change. 

January 29- MOVING FORWARD: Listening with Purpose, Compassion, and Empathy

Activity: Listen to the experiences of those not in leadership roles.

Goal: Value all voices and believe them.

If you are excluding staff members that aren’t in leadership positions from discussions, you are missing the perspective of the inner workings of the organization. Trust that your team will voice concerns because they want to see the organization succeed. Seek out honest opinions, which requires the creation of a work culture where people feel they can state concerns without fear.

February 5- MOVING FORWARD: Racial Equity: From Heroes Then to Action Now 

Activity: Learn the history of your industry/institution.

Goal: To make future changes you must know the past.

If you as a leader acknowledge only the positive aspects of your organization and industry, your organization will be caught off guard when history repeats itself. The history of an institution includes past policies, procedures, practices, and lived experiences. Ask and learn. Even if you weren’t there when past crises happened, know that history shapes the present-day culture.

February 12- MOVING FORWARD: Intentionality

Activity: Make diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) intentional.

Goal: Don’t expect acceptance, demand inclusion.

Traditional structures are not diverse, equitable, or inclusive. Building an organization rooted in DEI is intentional and continuous work that includes infusing it into every aspect of the organization. Build DEI goals to make your company accountable and commit to constant evaluation.

February 19- MOVING FORWARD: More than Words

Activity: Acknowledge failures instead of sharing “proof through programming.”

Goal: Instead of highlighting what you’ve done, acknowledge that you have work to do.

Organizations are using current programs and external messages to prove that they have already committed to change. These statements say that diversity challenges have already been addressed instead of recognizing that programs have faults. This is hurtful to marginalized communities that recognize that impactful change has not occurred. Current programming needs to be fully evaluated through a DEI lens to make conscious improvements.

February 26- MOVING FORWARD: Community Circles 


Community Circles provide a safe space for all members of the community to listen and express emotions without fear of judgement. Under the guidance of trained facilitators, participants can begin to understand the perspectives of others and develop deeper connections. Circles lift up what unites us rather than what divides us while discovering, respecting, and honoring the unique experiences of each person.


Cultivating Better Tomorrows is a Woman and Minority owned Business with a passion for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the performing arts community. With over 20 years of experience, our team has combined their wealth of knowledge to produce authentic and innovative programming for educators, students, and professionals. Our creative learning model provides a welcoming place for self-reflection and knowledge building, and has been impactful for a variety of organizations. 


Erica Lynette Edwards is an accomplished consultant and public speaker who champions change to advance social justice. With diversity, equity, and inclusion as the core foundation of her work, she transforms visions into reality. After a rewarding 15-year career as a ballerina at The Joffrey Ballet and five years as the Director of Community Engagement, she founded Cultivating Better Tomorrows. Through this consulting company Erica reshapes the dynamics of performing arts communities to produce environments where all can thrive. Highly skilled in delivering consistent success and effective change, she is passionate about facilitating results driven conversations and workshops focused on reflection and knowledge building. Her visionary leadership has earned her many honors and opportunities, including speaking on national panels, giving a TEDx talk, and being selected as a member of Crain’s Chicago Business “40 Under 40.” By developing shared understandings, Erica inspires communities to make the world a more just place.

Mauro Villanueva is a dance educator and director of Joffrey Texas. Through his 16 years of experience as a professional dancer and 8 years in dance education, Mauro realized that more could be done to improve the daily experience that students have in their studios. In support of his colleague Erica Lynette Edwards, Mauro has committed to organizing and developing client relationships for Cultivating Better Tomorrows.


Kenny Borchard is an alumni of Idyllwild Arts Academy and the University of Arizona. As an educator, Mr. Borchard has taught on the faculty of Broadway Dance Center’s Children and Teen Program and is the Director of Joffrey Texas. Kenny is fully committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and leads the technical aspects of Cultivating Better Tomorrows.

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