Fighting Words is a diversity, equity, and inclusion consulting company that places a special emphasis on racial justice. Our name was inspired by the 1942 Supreme Court decision in Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire which established the doctrine of fighting words. According to the court's decision, fighting words are forms of communication that could be deemed inflammatory and are not necessarily protected by the First Amendment.
We drew inspiration from this dispute because we believe that fighting for what we believe in is not only our right but our duty, and we will continue to use oral and written communication as our tools in the fight for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
These values are the foundation of who we are, what we do, and how we do our work:
To increase diversity, promote equity, foster inclusion, and cultivate a culture of belonging.
Shareem is our lead DEI consultant. She currently serves as the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Elevance Health. In this role, she has responsibilities for building, embedding, and integrating DEI into talent and HR systems, while driving efforts to develop and execute a strategy to attract, engage, develop, and retain a diverse workforce.
Shareem is a graduate of Howard University and earned her MSA in Human Resources from Central Michigan University. She is a Certified Cultural Diversity & Inclusion Professional and serves on several boards including the Director of Workforce Development and Diversity for the Society of Human Resources-Dulles, VA Chapter, and the Human Resources Advisory Committee for Fairfax County, Virginia Public Schools.
Kofi is an award-winning racial justice activist and two-time award-winning author. He previously served two terms as the president of the Fairfax County, Virginia National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which was awarded the NAACP’s Thalheimer Award for being the best branch in the country under his administration. He is now dedicated to training and consulting leaders interested in doing the challenging but meaningful racial justice work.
His memoir Bull in a China Shop: Evolution of a Racial Justice Activist won the 2022 Bookfest first place award in the category of Government Corruption and politics. Kofi is a decorated war veteran who served honorablyin Iraq and Afghanistan. He also had a distinguished career as an intelligence analyst in the federal government.