Dr. Paul N. Courant, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan, spoke on “Crossing the Boundaries of Race in America: The Role of Affirmative Action.”
Sylvester Murray, professor of urban studies and director of the Urban Center’s Public Management Program at Cleveland State University in Ohio, will discuss “Racial Polarization: An Impediment to Economic Development.”
Retention: Preparing for a Diverse Workforce
Cascade Engineering Chairman and CEO Fred Keller and Cascade’s Human Resources Manager, Ron Jimmerson, share their internationally recognized business strategy that comprises financial returns, environmental performance and social impact. Cascade received the Ron Brown National Award for Corporate Leadership in 1998 and Goodwill Industries’ Large Employer of the Year Award in 2002.
Community Organizing for Racial Inclusion / Expanding Housing Opportunities
Part I: Reverend David May, Director of the Grand Rapids Racial Justice Institute and designer of the Summit on Racism model, will share how to organize, influence public policy, and engage media to build racially inclusive communities. Organizing a community response to racial injustice will also be discussed.
Part II: Michigan was identified in the 2000 Census as being the most racially segregated state in the nation. Lee Nelson Weber, former Director of the Fair Housing Center of Greater Grand Rapids for fifteen years, will present steps for increasing housing opportunities in our communities by affirmatively furthering fair housing for people of color, as well as families and persons with disabilities.
Ensuring High Academic Achievement of Minority Students
Rossi Ray-Taylor of Minority Achievement network will share the story behind this important project. The Minority Student Achievement Network is an unprecedented national coalition of multiracial school districts that have come together to study the disparity in achievement between white students and students of color through intensive research. The Network was established to discover, develop, and implement the means to ensure high academic achievement of minority students.
Framework for Promoting Unity without Uniformity
Father Stephen Dudek’s 2002 Doctor of Ministry thesis-project on Unity and Diversity in the Congregation resulted from twenty years of ministering in a culturally diverse Catholic faith community. Reverend Andres Fierro, after receiving his Masters of Theology from Western Seminary, spent fourteen years fostering an ethnically diverse, bilingual faith community in the Protestant tradition. Together they will share steps for building unity in faith communities without compromising the richness of culture and diversity.
Systemic Change: A Multifaceted Approach
Harry Dolan, Chief of the Grand Rapids Police Department, has spearheaded multiple steps in an effort to ensure a more inclusive governmental organization. Those include programs to increase the cultural awareness of his police force, improve staff diversity, and implement a traffic stop data collection project. Chief Dolan will share the motivation, steps, successes, pitfalls, and results of this work.
Diversity in the Workplace
Wayne Boatwright, Chief Diversity Officer at Saint Mary’s Mercy Medical Center and Battle Creek Health Systems, has implemented diversity training, increased the number of minority vendors, and improved the hiring and retention of diverse employees. His goal is to equip health care systems to successfully serve patients from all backgrounds, to encourage the growth of all employees, and to embrace and celebrate the communities’ diversity.