A sociologist with a PhD focused in Equity Studies and 20+ years of experience in the field of diversity and inclusion, Leeno does his best to combine his education, research and expertise as a facilitator and consultant to help organizations engage inclusion in a way that drives positive, pragmatic and sustainable change. He is an official member of the Forbes Human Resources Council, and an internationally recognized speaker and consultant in the areas of emotional intelligence, communication and performance. He’s widely published, and his newest book, “The Old Black Lesbian Elephant in the Room: Why Diversity Does and Does Not Work in Organizations,” will be out later this year.
But that’s really just the surface layer of his credentials and his work in the field. Like so many other peoples of color who immigrated as infants, his experience really is more that of a 2nd generation immigrant of color. He carries no “foreign” accent, no great understanding of the “homeland” (beyond family stories) and perhaps most importantly, as a 50-year-old man, he still experiences the occasional interaction that tells him some people will never truly see him as belonging in this country. In this sense, again, his biography is very much a standard immigrant story, but it’s a story accented by subtle oddities and everyday critical awakenings. These are the strands of his diverse tapestry. His maleness, brownness, heterosexuality, his memories of an impoverished childhood buoyed by unconditional love. These unique strands are what drove him to study social justice and equity, and they are what inform both his personal humanity and his lifelong passion and dedication to helping others engage inclusion.