E.P.I.C. Education Series

Event Details:
When: April 14, 2021 12:00 pm – October 27, 2021 2:00 pm
Location: Virtual Workshop Series via Zoom

Cost To Attend:
Nonmembers – $1,800
VBSR Members – $1,440

Registration is open

Event hosted by: VBSR


SOLD OUT – The 2nd cohort of our E.P.I.C. Education Series is full.

To express your interest in the next offering of the E.P.I.C. Series, email carrac@vbsr.org


EPIC Education Series

Following the success of the E.P.I.C. Education Series in 2020, VBSR and Abundant Sun are pleased to announce the launch of the second cohort of our E.P.I.C. Education Series! E.P.I.C. is short for Ethical Performance Improvement Campaign, which we have designed to help organizations improve their overall ethical performance in order to hit their strategic goals around business growth.


The E.P.I.C. Education Series is an 8-part series of 2-hour interactive virtual roundtable workshops spanning from April 2021 through October 2021, that will address some of the most pressing issues of our time around ethics, leadership, and governance. Hosted by VBSR, and facilitated by Abundant Sun’s VT-based and international team of associates, participating companies will have the unique opportunity to delve into anti-racism, business resiliency, and climate crisis in one comprehensive learning experience. We believe in learning by doing, so after each 2-hour roundtable workshop, you will have a chance to engage in some action learning, applying concepts to your own business or organization and bringing that experience back to the next session to share with peer participants. Learn more about Abundant Sun.


“NRG Systems engaged in the E.P.I.C. Series because we saw a unique opportunity to further our education about important and timely DEI issues, and to bring new insights to our company, especially the leadership team. We have not been disappointed. The monthly sessions are substantive and compelling. It is especially great to share our learning with other thoughtful people who are asking the same questions we are. This can be a thorny topic but the E.P.I.C. workshop series is giving us greater confidence to understand the language of JEDI, and to communicate it to others so that we may affect change for the better.”

–  NRG’s E.P.I.C. Team


For this second company cohort of our E.P.I.C. Education Series, participation will be limited to 20 companies and organizations. Registration is 1 per-company (not per-person). Our aim is to help each participating company develop the vision, strategy, and infrastructure they’ll need to effect positive transformations on the individual and organizational levels.

Participation in this workshop series is ideal for companies who are serious about making a significant organizational commitment to addressing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI), are seeking in-depth and ongoing learning and support from a DEI expert, and who would appreciate the experience of being part of a learning cohort of like-minded socially responsible companies engaging in this journey together.

Company registration includes up to three registrations for each workshop, and we ask that at least one person from each participating company plans to attend all 8 workshops and serves as the point of contact for their company or organization (the other two slots per workshop can be filled by the same staff members or different staff members each workshop). This is a great opportunity for senior leadership and/or board members to work in collaboration with other staff members who may be serving on diversity, equity and inclusion or culture committees within their organization.

In addition to attending the 8 virtual workshops in this series, participating companies through their designated point-of-contact will have the opportunity to connect one-on-one with the Abundant Sun team as needed outside of the workshops and will receive two 1-hour private consulting sessions for their company with Abundant Sun, to discuss their company’s specific situation, issues, and strategy.


“We’ve been getting a lot out of our time with the E.P.I.C. cohort so far in the series. Having multiple people take part in the sessions has enabled more of our team to engage in this JEDI work and sparked conversations and follow up after each session.

In addition to the wisdom and leadership from the Abundant Sun team, what has really proven valuable for us have been the connections we’ve fostered and conversations in breakout groups among participants from other Vermont organizations.

The E.P.I.C. series has given us additional space and support to think deeply about our organizational structure, leadership and our approach to our internal and external JEDI work and how incorporating JEDI principles is critical for all facets of our business.”

–  The Alchemist’s EPIC Team


The E.P.I.C. Education Series workshop schedule is as follows:

(All workshops will take place virtually via Zoom)


Module 1 – Introductory Roundtable

Wednesday, April 14, 2021; 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm ET

Getting to know one another, your organizations, your challenges, and your goals


Module 2 – Equality & Equity

Wednesday, May 5, 2021; 11:00 am – 1:00 pm ET

Marrying the legal, moral and business cases for valuing diversity, and creating inclusive, high-performing cultures


Module 3 – Race Against the Machine

Wednesday, May 26, 2021; 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm ET

Providing an education in US history and civics to help you improve your organization’s racial equity performance


Module 4 – Visionary Leadership

Wednesday, June 16, 2021; 11:00 am – 1:00 pm ET

Looking to a better future by disrupting old patterns and carving out new ways of thinking and responding to today’s challenges


Module 5 – Great Governance

Wednesday, July 14, 2021; 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm ET

Identifying governance models that are fit for our 21st-century purpose and challenges, which ensure accountability and a healthier level of trust and transparency.


Module 6 – Employee Engagement & Client Service

Wednesday, September 15, 2021; 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm ET

Mapping out a strategic approach to your organizational cultural transformation, rooted in a shared responsibility across a variety of your stakeholder groups.


Module 7 – Data Analytics & Building Strategy

Wednesday, October 6, 2021; 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm ET

Realizing the importance of applying management science to all areas of your business performance management, including area of diversity, equity and inclusion.


Module 8 – Grand Finale

Wednesday, October 27, 2021; 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET

Reporting back key learning achieved with the E.P.I.C. Education Series, and sharing your strategies for growth.


Registration Fee:

VBSR Member Company/Organization Registration: $1,440

Includes three staff registrations to each of the eight series workshops, as well as two 1-hour private consulting sessions with Abundant Sun to discuss your company-specific situation, issues, and strategy. We ask that at least one person from each participating company plans to attend all 8 workshops and serves as the point of contact for their company or organization.

Non-Member Company/Organization Registration: $1,800

Includes three staff registrations to each of the eight series workshops, as well as two 1-hour private consulting sessions with Abundant Sun to discuss your company-specific situation, issues, and strategy. We ask that at least one person from each participating company plans to attend all 8 workshops and serves as the point of contact for their company or organization.


Click here to register for the E.P.I.C. Education Series


Inaugural EPIC Series Cohort











Meet Abundant Sun:


Jude Smith RacheleDr. Jude Smith Rachele

Co-founder & CEO, Abundant Sun

Jude is a highly charismatic, dynamic, and insightful consultant and presenter. Originally from the USA, she has lived and worked internationally across the UK, Europe and the Americas, and currently resides in Vermont, USA.
Jude has worked in the area of diversity, unconscious bias, inclusive leadership and cultural competence for the past 25 years. She has designed numerous programs to help professionals display inclusive behaviors and to understand and respond respectfully to various cultural traditions, behaviors and values.

Her work also emphasizes the responsibility that professionals must understand differences in order that they don’t discriminate and that they treat people fairly or sensitively. The objective is to get the best out of people by understanding them as individuals, within the context of their different visible and non-visible identities.

Jude has been an Adjunct Professor at Marlboro College, Vermont, where she designed an MBA course in Data Analytics, Decision-making and Performance Management. Previously she has also been an Adjunct Professor in Cross-Cultural Psychology, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey, and Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey.Abundant Sun

Working globally, Jude introduces best practice from the private and public sectors of many territories ensuring clients receive leading-edge learning solutions. Jude holds a BA in Psychology and a PhD in Business. She is the author of many articles, and of the book “Dismantling Diversity Management: Introducing an Ethical Performance Improvement Campaign.” Jude was also a regular commentator on Vermont Public Radio delivering several powerful and insightful commentaries on contemporary issues.


Caro Lee


Caro Lee

Senior Associate, Abundant Sun

Caro is an experienced, imaginative and resourceful diversity and inclusion consultant with an established track record of effecting change. With over fifteen years in the sector, she has experience working within a range of organizations offering training, thought leadership, and practical skills in managing equalities, diversity and inclusion issues.Abundant SunAs the former Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion for Herbert Smith Freehills, she created the Firm’s EDI strategy, working with a range of in-house and external practitioners to design, develop and implement it effectively.

Caro is a great communicator, working well with and engaging staff at all levels within an organization. She offers experience of collaborative working on presentations, articles and essays on EDI, enabling organizations to showcase their commitment and expertise both internally, and within their industry sectors and wider afield. She is also a qualified psychotherapist (MSc Counseling and Psychotherapy) specializing in diversity and inclusion issues.


Rose Gowdey


Rose Gowdey

Senior Associate, Abundant Sun

Rose Gowdey facilitates organizational movement and transformation with a strengths-based approach. Her consulting work emphasizes building organizational culture through participatory processes – strategic planning, team-building, leadership development, training and coaching. She has worked with agencies and departments throughout Vermont state government, and with non-profits and business regionally and nationally. She has directed diverse organizations in Vermont, Washington, D.C. and Iowa. Having worked intensively at the local and statewide level on behalf of the Vermont Opioid Coordination Council, Rosi is particularly knowledgeable about the needs of towns and counties in Vermont. She is passionate in helping leaders and managers as they navigate through turbulent times. Her masters degree is in Organizational Development from American University in Washington, DC.


Abundant Sun has an invaluable team of associates who also will be contributing to the E.P.I.C. Education Series.


If you have any questions, would like more information, or would like to pay for your company’s registration via invoice, please contact: carrac@vbsr.org.