Sharoni Denise Little

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Dr. Sharoni Denise Little, CEO, The Strategist Company, LLC, is a global strategist and expert in workplace inclusion and equity, bias mitigation, educational equity, and executive leadership and strategy, who advises organizations, executives, educators, and community leaders globally, to devise holistic, evidence-based strategies and solutions. Corporately, Dr. Little served as the inaugural Head, Global Inclusion at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), a leading global entertainment, and sports company, where she developed and instituted a strategic and sustainable organizational framework to embed vital inclusive business systems and practices throughout the organization. 

Prior to joining CAA, Dr. Little, an Emeritus Professor, served as the Vice Dean and Senior Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer at the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business. Throughout her long tenure, she developed, implemented, and evaluated disparate curricula across multi-modalities, including virtual, synchronous, asynchronous, in-person, and experiential pedagogical frameworks, developed and/or co-developed several courses, and established core pedagogical frameworks used throughout academia. In addition to the Marshall School of Business, Dr. Little taught graduate and executive courses in the USC, Rossier School of Education, USC, Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, and the USC Sol Price School of Planning.

A noted author, Dr. Little has presented and published her research on workplace inclusion and equity, bias mitigation, educational equity and access, culturally informed-responsive pedagogy and curricula, and strategic leadership. In her study, “The Ph.D. as a Contested Intellectual Site: A Critical Race Analysis of the Factors that Influence the Persistence and Retention of Academically Successful Black Doctoral Students,” she examined personal and institutional factors impacting student engagement, motivation, persistence, academic success, and institutional culture. Other publications include book chapters, “Ain’t She A First Lady?” Michelle Obama, Black Women’s Narratives, and the Rhetoric of Identification,” in Michelle Obama and the FLOTUS Effect: Platform, Presence, and Agency (2020), and “’Don’t Lean—Jump In’: The Fierce Urgency to Confront, Dismantle, and (Re)Write the Historical Narrative of Black Boys in Educational Institutions,” in The Guide for White Women Who Teach Black Boys (2018), and she is completing her forthcoming book, The Perpetual Surveillance of Black Men (2024). She has been featured in various media outlets, including her two TEDx talks, Storytime: Confronting and Disrupting Marginalizing Narratives (2020), and The Gift of Corrective Lenses (2016), the Financial Times, The Sports Business Journal, Inclusion Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, Marketplace, the Los Angeles Times, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News, and PBS.

An educational and social advocate, Dr. Little serves as a Board Trustee at Compton Community College and was selected as an Inaugural Trustee Fellow for strategic thought-leaders developed in partnership with the California Community Colleges and the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program.  She is the Vice Chair of the California Community Colleges’ Women’s Committee, is a member of the California Community Colleges, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility statewide steering committee, and is Parliamentarian for the National Association of Community College Trustees, Black Caucus. Dr. Little also serves a Senior Advisor for the City of Compton, Compton Pledge Guaranteed Income program, the Compton, My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, and the Aspen Institute’s Forum for Community Solutions, Fresh Tracks leadership development program for urban, rural, and tribal communities. 

Dr. Little earned her Ph.D. from Indiana University in Rhetoric, Cultural Studies, and Law, an Ed.D. from the University of Southern California, and her Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in Organizational Communication from Cal State Los Angeles.