DEI Online Certification Program


The East Baton Rouge Parish Library has partnered with the America, My Oyster Association to provide a curated list of online courses on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Courses are completely free and 100% accessible online. Current and recently graduated high school and college students are encouraged to participate in this program. On completion, they will be provided with a DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) certificate. Courses:

To access these courses, go to and click on ‘Digital Library’ then A-Z List, and choose from the list. You can also click here to go directly to The first time you access it, you will click ‘create profile’ and set up a password for your account. From then on you will use your library card number and password to access it. Once your account has been set up you can search for the courses below:

  • Confronting Bias: Thriving Across Our Differences – Find greater meaning, well-being, and productivity by learning how to interact with others across differences. Continue your Thrive journey and discover how to create inclusive environments where everyone can thrive. In this course, Arianna Huffington and Verna Myers discuss the impact of our cultural lens on our daily relations and how to counter bias in our words and actions. Course Length: 40 Minutes
  • Unconscious Bias – We’re all biased. Our experiences shape who we are, and our race, ethnicity, gender, height, weight, sexual orientation, place of birth, and other factors impact the lens with which we view the world. Course Length: 24 Minutes
  • Communicating with Empathy – When you seek to understand the perspective of another person, you are practicing empathy. When empathetic communication is encouraged at work, individuals feel more comfortable speaking openly, they feel like they matter, and they feel safe. Course Length: 37 Minutes
  • Body Language for Leaders – Research shows that when your verbal and nonverbal signals are out of alignment, people are forced to choose between what they hear and what they see. And subconsciously, they’ll believe your body language. Course Length: 39 Minutes
  • Leading Inclusive Teams – High-performing teams are comprised of employees who feel empowered, valued, and accepted. By taking steps to establish an inclusive team dynamic, you can positively impact both your team’s morale and your bottom line. In this course, learn how to create a shared understanding of why inclusion is important for your team, as well as revamp your own leadership and communication practices to ensure that your diverse team continues to thrive. Course Length: 1 Hour

Gale Presents: Udemy Courses: To access these courses, go to and click on ‘Digital Library’ then A-Z List, and choose Gale Presents: Udemy from the list. You can also click here to go directly to Gale Presents: Udemy. The first time you access it, you will login with either a Microsoft or Gmail account, and use that same account when you return to access the courses again. Once your account has been set up you can search for the courses below:

  • A Diversity Deep-Dive, Leadership Insights and Lessons! – The Research and Evidence, on Diversity and Inclusion; Insights, Lessons, and Strategies, for Leaders and Managers. Course Length: 4 Hours
  • Unconscious Bias: Fuel Diversity and Become a Better You – Defeat unconscious bias and build diversity and inclusion into your life even if it seems impossible right now! Course Length: 2 Hours
  • Psychology of Diversity and Unconscious Bias – Understand Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination and How to Reduce Their Influence at Work and Your Community. Course Length: 2.5 Hours
  • Ally Up: Using allyship to advance diversity & inclusion – How to connect across difference and build a better, more equitable workplace and world — together. Course Length: 2 Hours
  • Leadership: Essentials for Career Development – Learn to manage and lead with diversity. Course Length: 2.5 Hours

Capital Area United Way Community Conversation Survey

Capital Area United Way’s (CAUW) Community Conversation survey is NOW LIVE! The survey can be accessed at or by scanning the QR code in the graphic.

The purpose of this survey is to hear from citizens in the Capital area about their hopes, dreams and aspirations for the community. CAUW wants to know how we can all work together and address the community’s challenges as we continue to fight for the health, education, income stability and basic needs of their 10-Parish service area.

Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, these conversations are unable to be held in person as done in the past; however, these conversations are still important in defining CAUW’s future goals and endeavors.

Your answers to the survey will direct CAUW’s funding priorities and assist them in developing new strategies – after all, where you want the dollars invested is where CAUW will turn its focus.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, this survey is more important than ever. Be a part of the conversation!



Business Person of the Month: Mary Ellen Slayter of Rep Cap

Mary Ellen Slayter, Rep Cap

301 N. Main St., Suite 2291, Baton Rouge, LA 70825

Phone: (225) 224-6708


Mary Ellen Slayter started her content marketing firm, Rep Cap, during a period of upheaval in her life.  She was going through a divorce, and on her daughter’s fifth birthday, she was laid off from her job.  Luckily, she had a friend who called her and asked her about her business.

“I said, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about, lady, I just laid off my job!’” Slayter told me in our interview.  “She said, ‘No, not that job.  You’ve been telling me for the last two years you wanted to start an agency that specialized in content for business.  They gave you severance right?  So tell me about your business.’”  That conversation helped Slayter realize that she was in a great position to make a new start, so she started Rep Cap.  She was hired by her first client three weeks after she started, another a few weeks after that, and around Mardi Gras season in 2014, she signed on job board company Monster as a client, at which point, she says, “I realized I had a business.”

Rep Cap is a content marketing firm that specializes in business-to-business, or B2B, marketing – a fairly lucrative market now, but when Rep Cap started in 2013, it was untapped.  Rep Cap was able to quickly make a lot of contacts, says Slayter: “when people found out what kind of work we do – when they find out that we already know their industry inside and out – they were just thrilled because they didn’t have to explain it to us.”  Even now, that specialization in B2B marketing, focusing on HR and technology, is Rep Cap’s main differentiator.

Technology differentiates Slayter’s business in more ways than one: Rep Cap has always been a remote-only company, with employees everywhere from here in Baton Rouge, to New York, to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  They use Basecamp to coordinate and communicate, a service called Calendly to set appointments, and one called Dialpad to automatically record and transcribe meetings (which made my job for this interview much easier, thanks Mary Ellen!).  She says the Internet “is where my company lives.  We’re very much positioned on the tech side of marketing, that leading edge.”

Having an online-first office makes it a little harder for Rep Cap to be a part of the team’s various local communities.  Slayter says they work around that limitation by encouraging team members “to do what they think is meaningful in their own communities.”  Slayter, for example, has been instrumental in the formation of MidCity Gras and its krewe here in Baton Rouge, which has been committed to dismantling racist Mardi Gras traditions and replacing them with fully integrated ones since its beginning.  Other team members around the country have done work in their communities too, because, as Slayter says, “entrepreneurs have an obligation to give back to their communities in that way, not as a form of marketing or advertising but because that’s the morally correct thing to do.”

As of this writing, March 2021, COVID-19 has been in the United States for a year.  As I asked Slayter how the pandemic had impacted her business, I expected that, given the online-first nature of Rep Cap, she hadn’t been hit quite so hard as, say, the restaurants in White Star Market had.  But what she said surprised me: “I would say last year was, by far, the most volatile year I’ve ever had.  When I look at monthly sales, my new business book included both the best and the worst months in the history of my business.”  Through that volatility, Rep Cap started diversifying its offerings a bit more.  They’ve been putting more focus into Managing Editor, a brand magazine, for example, as well as launched a podcast and organized an event titled Managing Editor Live in the fall for fundraising.  While the magazine was around before the pandemic, COVID has shown the importance of online community-building and teaching, so Slayter and her team have focused more on those things during the upheaval.

When I asked her what’s next for Rep Cap, she said, “While the agency is the core business, I would say the fastest growing parts, where we’re really investing our energy, is the community side of it – like, we’ve been doing online courses and we’re planning to roll out more; we’ve just released our second annual compensation survey for content marketers; and we’re doing another Managing Editor Live this fall.”  The core business is still going to be there, she says, but she’s excited to expand her agency’s reach to help more in the industry.

Mary Ellen Slayter had three main pieces of advice for the up-and-coming entrepreneur.  “One, have a one-page business plan that answers basic questions like, What am I selling? Who am I selling it to? How am I going to sell it? How will it be delivered?  Two, get close to the customer, find out what they actually need and where you can provide value.  And three, don’t rest until you get the customer.”  Those last two points are related, and Slayter says they’re the hardest ones.

Budding entrepreneurs, she says, “spend a lot of time in their head,” and they imagine what a customer wants – but a business shouldn’t be built around what an imaginary customer wants, but a real one.  She says, “I think people have dreamed about starting a business, and it’s a lot more comfortable sometimes to sit in that dream and never have it tested – because testing it can lead to rejection and failure.  And most people have a fear of failure.”  But failure is part of the job – as Slayter says, “I get told no every day.  Every day I go to work and I’m told, No, that’s not quite right, can we try this? And if you bristle at that, you fail – you have to embrace it, and build on it, collaborating with the client.  That’s what makes people feel attached to the brand.”

Interview by Case Duckworth

New Resource from NewsBank: Black Life in America

Black Life in America—a unique digital archive of news media—presents the broad sweep of African American history in ways no other online resource can match. By offering balanced coverage from diverse sources published across four centuries, this extraordinary product provides critical perspectives on the experiences of being Black in America.

From Black-owned newspapers to mainstream publications, this primary source collection offers an expansive window into centuries of African American history, culture and daily life—as well as the ways the dominant culture has portrayed and perceived people of African descent. Packed with information unavailable elsewhere, Black Life in America is sourced from more than 19,000 American and global news sources, including over 400 African American publications. Provides full-text searching as well as access to content by Topic, Event, and Eras in African American History. Updated daily.

Small Business Video Tutorials

If you’re a small business owner, you know the East Baton Rouge Parish Library is the place to go. (Did you not know that? Ooh, awkward! Now you do!) But did you know that we now have video tutorials you can use to refresh your memory after your one-on-one consultation with one of our small business staff? The first two – a general overview of our digital platforms, and an in-depth look at Gale Business: Plan Builder – are available now!

These are great resources to help you keep momentum on developing your small business.