The EFL Academy Embarks on a Milestone Journey with Inaugural Launch in Kuwait

By Mikena Richards

As many of our readers know, this past November EGAL launched our Equity Fluent Leadership (EFL) Academy in partnership with Berkeley ExecEd right here on our beloved Berkeley campus. We had been planning and building this program for a long time, and were beyond excited — and nervous!–-to finally launch. We are thrilled to share that the EFL Academy has now surpassed reach outside of the United States, and that we’ve launched our first-ever global EFL Academy. The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) and Berkeley ExecEd partnered with us to launch the Equity Fluent Leadership Academy in Kuwait at the beginning of this month. KFAS is home to several executive educational opportunities with university partners across the world.

For unfamiliar readers, the EFL Academy is an equity and inclusion educational opportunity designed for business leaders who aspire to further equity and inclusion in their organizations and drive impactful change. The EFL Academy is facilitated with a learner’s approach and teaches participants everything from building an Equity Fluent Leadership mindset to developing conscious, inclusive leadership strategies. Participants also learn how to design their own leadership origin story and build their personal brand while doing so. During the multi-day intensive, participants learn what it means to be an Equity Fluent Leader, why it matters, and key EFL strategies and tools to ignite and accelerate change within their organizations. While the EFL Academy is based on a research-driven approach, it is designed and delivered with a deep practitioner approach, full of active classroom discussions and activities, and participant self-reflection to empower participants to hone their equitable leadership. The participants even formed consulting groups during the program and developed various EFL project concepts to advance equity across the country of Kuwait.

EGAL’s founder and Executive Director, Dr. Kellie McElhaney, was the principal guide of the global EFL Academy program in Kuwait and led participants through the process of learning and applying strategies to advance belonging, empathy, and psychological safety in their organizations and teams. Just as the EFL Academy was structured in Berkeley, Dr. McElhaney used her decades of experience to teach participants how to develop an EFL mindset and toolbox, communicate and use language that advances inclusion, and strategies for having courageous conversations related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The same goal exists and now stretches from Berkeley to Kuwait: for participants to walk away with knowledge, strategies, and tools that equip them to drive change for positive impact within their organizations and the broader community. As Margaret Mead once said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Our group of Equity Fluent Leaders is now connected from the U.S. to the Gulf region!

The EFL Academy is for all organizational leaders and managers who see themselves as current or potential change-makers and visionaries. This is not an HR-specific course; this is for anyone who recognizes themselves as a leader and seeks to create positive change in their organizations and businesses. The success of the EFL Academy is forged through highly interactive lectures with knowledgeable faculty and pragmatic exercises and discussions. By facilitating an engaging learning environment, learners walk away with experiential knowledge as a lasting token of their journey toward becoming an Equity Fluent leader.

Equity Fluent leaders are trailblazers who tirelessly advocate change to promote a more inclusive and equitable world. They courageously and empathetically communicate inclusivity and are committed to nurturing an environment that supports and welcomes all perspectives.

The Equity Fluent Leadership (EFL) Academy was created to provide leaders with what they need to become equity-fluent and cultivate a more inclusive culture — at work and beyond. Our next in-person program will occur on our beautiful UC Berkeley campus in late summer 2024, from August 22 to the 23rd. The EFL Academy will take place over two eight-hour days jam-packed with immersive, engaging, and highly interactive learning experiences. This is an incredible opportunity for equity-minded business professionals to meet like-minded leaders and an opportunity to take one’s understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion in business to a more sophisticated, advanced level. For more information about global or custom EFL Academy programs, contact What’s stopping you from being an Equity Fluent Leader?



Center for Equity, Gender & Leadership (EGAL)

At the heart of UC Berkeley's Business School, the Center for Equity, Gender, and Leadership educates equity-fluent leaders to ignite and accelerate change.