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2000 Summit Leadership Forum


About over 150 leaders from the community were invited on December 08, 2000 at Hope College's DeWitt Auditorium.

The leaders from seven sectors throughout the Lakeshore communities came together to learn about the concerns identified at two town meetings on race relations, to help create a vision of what a prejudice-free Ottawa area would look like, and strategize ways in which leaders can help eliminate racism in the community.

Opening remarks were provided by Dr. James E. Bultman, President of Hope College.

A report was provided regarding the town meetings. Video clips displayed specific insights gained from these meetings.

A keynote address was provided by Rachelle Hood-Phillps. Ms. Hood-Phillips heads Advantica's Diversity Affairs Department, which strives to prepare the workforce to value and manage cultural diversity. She's credited with helping transform Denny's. The transformation was featured in the CBS 60 Minutes investigative report, "Turning Denny's Around" Last year, she participated as a panelist in the nationally televised PBS special, Racial Legacies and Learning: Why Is It So Difficult to Talk About Race? These days she spends a great deal of her time advising Fortune 500 companies on how to implement effective diversity intervention within their organization.

Leaders then split into breakout workshops to discuss and determine what their roles should be in the effort to dismantle the barriers to a racially inclusive community.

Closing remarks were provided by Gail Harrison, Executive Director of the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance, and D. Wsley Poythress, Assistant Dean of Multicultural Life at Hope College.