Discovering the Power Within:  Learning to Use Coaching Competencies for Social Change Damian Goldvarg & Kimberly Freeman

Professional coaches are poised to be great social-change agents. During our training to become certified, we learn the coaching competencies of powerful questions and active listening. Moreover, these powerful questioning and active listening skills can guide challenging conversations regarding race and racism. In How To Be An Antiracist, scholar Ibram X. Kendi defines an antiracist as one who is supporting an antiracist policy through their actions or by expressing an antiracist idea. Saying you are not racist is not enough. Instead, to effect social change, coaches and clients must engage in antiracist thinking and actions. Participants in this session will begin this journey by learning to uncover hidden biases through powerful questioning and active listening. Coaching competencies like these are needed to address the assumptions and hidden biases around race and racism that we all carry.

Dr. Damian Goldvarg has thirty years of experience in executive assessment and coaching and leadership development, working with individuals and organizations in over sixty countries. He is a Master Certified Coach (MCC) and received his Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from Alliant University in California. He is also a Professional Certified Speaker (CSP) and an Accredited Coach Supervisor (ESIA), and facilitates certifications on Professional Coaching, Mentor Coaching, and Coaching Supervision (ESQA). He was the 2013-2014 International Coaching Federation Global President and received the 2018 ICF Circle of Distinction Award and 2019 EMCC Supervision Award.


Kimberly Freeman is a leader who brings to the table a unique portfolio of professional skills, community relationships, and big ideas drawn from her interests at the intersection of business, government, and higher education policies affecting California’s most vulnerable communities. As the associate dean and chief diversity officer for the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, her vision for USC Dornsife is to achieve representational diversity, and inclusive excellence for faculty, students, and staff, by leveraging social connectedness and the wisdom of multiple perspectives. Her career has inspired a journey of self-discovery, and now as a certified professional coach, she coaches clients who are on their respective journeys to becoming executives and social change agents.