Kelly is the lead facilitator and Principal of CoAct Consulting, in which she has trained more than 35,000 people in personal and professional development toward leading situationally, navigating difficult conversations, intercultural competency, diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. Kelly brings boundless energy and passion to her trainings and deep empathy and understanding to her coaching sessions. But she’s no pushover: Kelly’s dedication to creating informed leaders and culturally conscious communities drives her to hold people accountable and nudge them toward personal progress. As a passionate educator and leader, Kelly strives to reach every learner in the room. By making topics active and relevant to participants’ daily lives, she invites each person to share, contemplate, discuss, and become an integral part of the experience while feeling brave and supported.
Kelly has taught classes on race, class, and gender at St. Cloud State University, The University of St. Thomas and Northwestern University in addition to Navigating Difficult Conversations at the University of Minnesota. Kelly is currently Adjunct Faculty and collaborative designer of the Leading Equity and Inclusion Certificate in the Masters of Science in Learning and Organizational Change program at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
Kelly co-keynoted the Facilitating Racial Equity Conference in 2018 and is a National Advisory Board member for Equity in the Center, an initiative that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. In addition to being a Qualified Administrator for the Intercultural Development Inventory® (IDI), Kelly is a Certified Mediator, International Coaching Federation (ICF) Coach, and holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern University as well as a Master of Science in Social Responsibility from St. Cloud State University.
Kelly draws upon her classroom experiences to root her work in research and theory, but always circles back to how principles apply to individuals, urging them to practice skills that improve performance, foster growth, and nurture effective leaders. Kelly’s work creates stronger people, teams, and communities. When she partners with your organization, you’ll see how quickly her trainings transform your workplace into an environment that fosters and retains devoted employees.
Kourtney Cockrell is the Founding Director of Student Enrichment Services at Northwestern University, an office that works with students coming from first-generation, lower-income, and/or undocumented backgrounds. Kourtney has spent 20 years working with organizations to increase access and opportunity for marginalized students and young professionals across higher education and the nonprofit and private sectors.
Kourtney recently co-founded the FGLI Consortium, a national organization, providing leadership, expertise, and resources around the experience of first-generation and/or lower-income college students at highly selective universities and colleges. Kourtney is a faculty member in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University and has also provided consulting services with Johns Hopkins University and Washington University in St. Louis.
Prior to working with Student Enrichment Services, Kourtney worked with The Posse Foundation as the National Director of Career and Alumni Programs, served as an Admissions Officer with the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, and acted as National Diversity Recruiting Manager with McMaster-Carr.
Kourtney has expertise in college access, social justice education, organizational change, nonprofit management, and talent management. Kourtney earned her BA in African-American Studies and Sociology at the University of Michigan and her MS in Learning and Organizational Change from the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern.
Elizabeth Coco (Coco)
A transplant from Velletri, Italy, Elizabeth Coco (Coco) brings a global perspective to all aspects of her work. She is a skilled program developer and manager, facilitator, and grantmaker with nearly a decade of experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector. Most recently, Coco led strategy development and grantmaking in the sphere of racial and economic justice on behalf of The Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota. During her tenure at the Foundation, she was responsible for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) efforts and launched an AmeriCorps VISTA program, featuring a leadership and professional development program for its members. Coco is passionate about developing inclusive organizational cultures and building systems that center community voice in decision-making.
Coco currently serves as the Headwaters Foundation For Justice Board Co-Chair, a community foundation focused on resourcing community organizing in Minnesota. She also serves as Advisory Board Secretary for The Commercial Land Trust Initiative, an effort to preserve commercial space and create pathways for entrepreneurs to own real estate and build wealth. Coco currently consults with CoAct Consulting, The Northside funders Group, The Commercial Land Trust Initiative, and the McKnight Foundation.
Coco is fluent in English, Italian and conversational in Spanish. She is an Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) Qualified Administrator and recipient of the national PLACES Fellowship hosted by The Funders Network. Coco earned her BA from Gustavus Adolphus College in Religion and Women Studies.