Berkeley College Alumnus and HR Professional Encourages Organizations to 'Do the Hard Work" to Further DEI Initiatives

Monday, March 27, 2023
Contact: Kelly Depsee
Senior Director, Communications and External Relations

Berkeley Barrett 

Photo Caption: Maurice Barrett, a Berkeley College alumnus with more than 16 years of experience as a human resources professional, presents “Eliminating Unconscious Bias in the Workplace” on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, at Berkeley College in Woodland Park, NJ. 

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Maurice Barrett, a Berkeley College alumnus with more than 16 years of experience as a human resources professional, encouraged organizations to “do the hard work” to advance diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) initiatives, during a lecture on Tuesday, March 21, 2023. More than 50 faculty, staff, students, alumni, and members of the community at-large attended “Eliminating Unconscious Bias in the Workplace” at Berkeley College in Woodland Park, NJ, and through the livestream.

View the Program: Visit to watch the program in its entirety.

Barrett, whose career spans international human relations, DEI and accessibility recruiting, and more, said the COVID-19 pandemic was the precursor for change. 

“In 2020 we went through a health pandemic, but we also went through a moral and a social pandemic,” Barrett said. “There is no longer a disconnect between society and our professional progression. That means having meaningful, thoughtful conversations, transparent conversations, uncomfortable conversations.” 

Barrett discussed the roots of unconscious and implicit bias, and what can be done to reverse these concepts through education and accountability. 

“As an organization, we have to make the pledge from top to bottom that we are willing to hold ourselves accountable,” he said. “Breaking down the precursors – undoing that harm – is very important.” 

Barrett encouraged organizations to invest time and budget in management and emotional intelligence training. “Managing a human being is complex because human beings are complex,” he said. 

Barrett also spoke about the importance of having constant and transparent conversations with employees, and of following up requests for feedback with action. 

“We have to be willing to hear some of these nasty truths. If we’re not asking the right questions we are hiding from them,” he said. “This is hard work – but just because it is hard doesn’t make it impossible. It starts with making that initial pledge.” 

“We were so pleased to welcome Maurice back to Berkeley College to share his expertise in this important area with our campus community as well as the external community,” said Michael Iris, Assistant Vice President, Alumni Relations and Career Services. “We are extremely proud of his accomplishments as a Berkeley College alumnus.” 

Barrett has served as a Senior Consultant with the National Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion since 2010. He was named Berkeley College Alumnus of the Year in 2021. 

The event was co-sponsored by the Berkeley College Office of Alumni Relations and the Berkeley College Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee.

Berkeley Barrett 

Photo Caption (L to R): Michael Iris, Associate Vice President, Alumni Relations and Career Services, Berkeley College, and Maurice Barrett, Berkeley College alumnus, during “Eliminating Unconscious Bias in the Workplace” on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, at Berkeley College in Woodland Park, NJ. 

About Berkeley College

Berkeley College, founded in 1931, is a career-focused institution accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education that offers students Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs in more than 20 career fields. The College also offers Continuing Education programs to enhance career credentials.

Berkeley College has campuses in New York City and in Newark, Woodbridge, and Woodland Park, NJ, with more than 3,600 students enrolled. In addition, Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans, for 10 consecutive years. U.S. News & World Report named Berkeley College (NJ) one of the Best Regional Colleges in the North in its 2023 edition of the Best Colleges Survey. Berkeley College (NJ) was recognized among the Best Colleges in the region for social mobility for three consecutive years. The website address is