University of Phoenix Hosted Educational Equity Webinar on Creating a Supportive Network while Understanding the Diversity within Indigenous Communities

Panel discussed unique challenges and tools for indigenous communities

PHOENIX--()--University of Phoenix held an August webinar in its Educational Equity Webinar Series, titled Creating a Supportive Network while Understanding the Diversity within Indigenous Communities. The event was part of a public series intended for educators, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practitioners, higher education leaders and administrators, employers, nonprofit organizations, and government affiliations, and University of Phoenix faculty, staff, students, and alumni across the globe.

The panel discussed the role educators play within their spheres of influence, examining a holistic approach (versus a linear Westernized approach) and how to better serve and support the complex identities within indigenous communities.

The University of Phoenix Tribal Strategic Alliance team found in face-to-face meetings over the last two years that tribal students face challenges in simultaneously managing the demands of work, school, and family, as well as a lack of confidence and community mentors who successfully completed college degrees.

Key insights on this research were shared by Patrick Horning, MAEd, MBA, National Tribal Strategic Alliance Executive at University of Phoenix, who leads the University’s efforts in supporting the unique challenges of its Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian tribal students.

“We are implementing systems backed by research and aimed at helping our indigenous student population to overcome barriers to education,” said Horning. “We wanted to share findings from our research and discuss how higher education institutions can be more aware and better support indigenous students to prepare and succeed with college classes and managing work-school-family life balance.”

The discussion was moderated by Brian Ishmael, MBA, U.S. Army Veteran, Vice President of Military and Veteran Affairs, Government Partnerships at University of Phoenix. In addition to Mr. Horning, panelists included:

  • Luhui Whitebear, Ph.D. (Coastal Chumash), Oregon State University
  • Turquoise Devereaux, Indigenous Community Collaborative
  • Roicia Banks, MSW, Chief Executive Officer of Social Roots

Learn more here about the series or the University of Phoenix Office of Educational Equity and future events.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, and Career Services for Life® help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit


Sharla Hooper
University of Phoenix

Social Media Profiles


Sharla Hooper
University of Phoenix