Biographies


Frank H. Wu

Author, lawyer and educator.

Frank H. Wu, Dean at Wayne State University Law School. Frank H. Wu is the author of yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White and co-author of Race, Rights and Reparation: Law and the Japanese American Internment. His writing has appeared on a professional basis in such periodicals as the Washington Post, Detroit Free Press, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Chronicle of Higher Education, Legal Times and Asian Week.

In 2004, Frank H. Wu became the ninth Dean of Wayne State University law School in his hometown of Detroit. From 1995 to 2004, he served on the law faculty of Howard University, including two years as Clinic Director. He has been an adjunct professor at Columbia University, a visiting professor at the University of Michigan, and a teaching fellow at Stanford University.

Business Supplier Diversity

Moderator: David A. Rhem
Supplier/vendor diversity programs, why and how to create them, and how they benefit your organization.

Presenter: Mike Ramirez - Director of Inclusiveness and Corporate Diversity for Herman Miller, Inc. In this role, Ramirez will help develop creative, workable and meaningful strategies that allow Herman Miller to better reflect the broad diversity of the global markets it serves. Ramirez also continues to oversee Herman Miller’s industry-leading Supplier Diversity Team.

Presenter: Debra Quade -
Supplier Diversity Specialist for Magna Donnelly, joined the company in 1998, helping to increase the company’s expenditures with minority-owned businesses sixfold over the past seven years. Debra, a recipient of a 2005 MMBDC Business Service Award, has twice been nominated as MMBDC Corporate Minority Business Advocate of the Year. She serves as the Program Committee Chair for the Grand Rapids MMBDC Regional Roundtable and leads a Project ONE module. Debra has been both a participant and a facilitator in the Summit on Racism business workshops.

Presenter: Valencia Cooper - currently serves as Assistant Regional Director for the Michigan Minority Business Development Council (MMBDC). Her responsibilities include assisting local corporations in developing Supplier Diversity programs; identifying certified Minority Business Enterprises; developing local networking activities and business forums; and supporting development for certified minority businesses.

Comfortable Communities for Diverse Populations

Moderator: Jeff Ebihara
Learn about the needs, current realities and models for fostering a positive environment for local and global diversity.

Presenter: Randy Thelen - serves as the President of Lakeshore Advantage, a private, non-profit economic development organization serving the Holland-Zeeland-Saugatuck region. The organization is dedicated to enhancing the local economy through aggressive business retention and attraction activities, hands-on service to growth-oriented entrepreneurs and growing the advanced manufacturing capabilities of the community.

Presenter: Sharon Netto - Graduate of Murdoch University in Western Australia with a Bachelors Degree in Asian Studies; post graduate diploma in Chinese Business Studies and Culture at Tongji University (Shanghai), Sharon served the Australian Trade Commission, running the Trade and Investment Office in Hangzhou. Joining Haworth in 1999 as Learning & Development Manager for Asia Pacific regional HR and Learning initiatives, in 2003, Sharon relocated to Holland, Michigan as Manager of Leadership Development, a global role at Haworth’s Corporate Headquarters.

Presenter: Sonya Hughes -
currently holds the position of Vice President of Diversity Initiatives and Programs with the Grand Rapids Area chamber of Commerce. Her responsibilities include the development and supervision of the Institute for Healing Racism, the Facing Racism program, the Institute Facilitator Training Program, Cultural Diversity Programs, the Diversity Training System and the Multiracial Association of Professionals (MAP).

Improving Minority Graduation Rates

Moderator: Diane Talo
Learn the problems students and systems experience, and models for improving minority graduation rates.

Presenter: Dr. Percy Bates -
Director of Programs for Educational Opportunity in the School of Education at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. A psychologist and special educator, he is a Professor of Education at Michigan, where he has been a faculty member since 1965. During his tenure at Michigan, he has served as an Assistant Dean, Chairperson of the Special Education Program, and Division Director for Curriculum, Teaching and Psychological Studies in the School of Education. He has also served as the Chair of the Higher Education Commission of the National Alliance of Black School Educators and has had a tour of duty as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Education in the Department of Education in Washington, DC. Percy recently served as an education monitor in Louisiana for a desegregation case with the U.S. District Court, he assisted the U.S. Department of Justice as a diversity expert, and also acted as a member of the Secretary of Education’s Title IX Commission on Opportunities in Athletics. Percy has worked with dozens of school districts assisting them with assessing educational programs as well as dealing with equity, gender, and desegregation issues that teachers and administrators encounter on a day-to-day basis.

Faith Community's Role in Healing Racial Divisions

Moderator: Reverend Andres Fierro
Share effective programs and models for eliminating racial barriers, promoting healing and fostering inclusion in our faith communities.

Presenter: Rev. David G. May, ACSW - pastor of Mt. Moriah Baptist Worship Center Church, and one of the three members of the leadership team of the Grand Rapids Area Center for Ecumenism (GRACE), having served as its Racial Justice Institute coordinator since 1997. He worked as a therapist for twenty years at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, a school social worker for Oakdale Christian School and in private practice. He is a graduate of the Chicago Baptist Institute, and he has currently completed class requirements at Andersonville Theological Seminary for his Doctorate in Biblical Studies. He is a graduate of Grand Valley State University where he received his bachelors of Social Work degree, and he received his Master of Social Work degree from Western Michigan University.

Presenter: Rev. David P. Baak - member of the Leadership Team of the Grand Rapids Area Center for Ecumenism (GRACE) after serving as its executive director (1983-2002); he assists in the programming of the Racial Justice Institute. He worked for ten years in pre-trial alternative programs in the criminal justice system in Flint, MI and Salt Lake City, UT after serving congregations in Flint and New York City. He is ordained in the Reformed Church in America and is a member of Central Reformed Church in Grand Rapids. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary in Grand Rapids and has studied at the University of Detroit and Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI.

Presenter: Bing Goei -  Former Executive Director of the Christian Reformed Church Synodical Committee on Race Relations in North America, Bing is now the President and CEO of Eastern Floral. Bing has been active for many years in community, business and religious initiatives to heal racism.

Ensuring Diverse Neighborhoods – A Regional Approach

Moderator: Dr. Fred L. Johnson III
Learn ways governmental units can work collaboratively to foster inclusion and cultural comfort in our region.

Presenter: Jay Peters - President of Development Strategies, Inc., a fundraising consulting and project management firm located in Holland, Michigan. In addition, Mr. Peters serves as Executive Director for the West Michigan Strategic Alliance. He and his staff are responsible for all administrative functions involved in the management of the West Michigan Strategic Alliance, including day-to-day coordination, communication and budget management around the Alliance’s Priorities for Regional Collaboration.

Presenter: Bruce Bos - Twenty years after joining the City of Holland, Bruce is still involved with CDBG funding as the coordinator of the City's CDBG Entitlement program. Bruce also administers a City-funded Community Social Services Assistance program, functions as the City's Census Coordinator, and works with the Ottawa Area Housing Coalition to plan and fund Continuum of Care homeless programs operated by area agencies. Bruce is a board member on the Michigan Community Development Directors Association and has served in that capacity since 1999.

Presenter: Ryan Cotton - Village Manger of Spring Lake, Michigan. Ryan started his career as an assistant manager in Lake Forest, Illinois and Upper Arlington, Ohio. He served as City Manager of Montpelier, Vermont and Grand Haven, Michigan. Prior to local government, Ryan worked in Washington D.C. for a Congressman and for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Ryan grew up in the culturally diverse community of Oberlin, Ohio. Ryan believes in building strong communities one neighborhood at a time. Ryan's religious affiliation is the American Society of Friends, which has been instrumental to his problem solving and conflict resolution approach.

Presenter: Lee Slaughter - Assistant City Manager for the City of Muskegon for close to 10-years. Prior to assuming this position, she worked in city management at the cities of Saginaw and Kalamazoo, respectively, as Management Assistant and Assistant to the City Manager. Lee holds a Masters of Development Administration (MDA) from Western Michigan University; and an under graduate degree in Political Science with a minor in Public Administration from the Cuttington University in Liberia, West Africa.

Eliminating Disparities in Health Care

Moderator: Eleanor Lopez
Presentation will include cultural competency concepts, definitions, generalizations vs. stereotypes, and how to solutions.

Presenter: Jacqueline Voigt, MSSA - is the Manager of the Cultural Competency Division, part of the University of Michigan Health System’s (UMHS) Program for Multicultural Health. She is also Chair of the Muslim Patient Care Committee at the University of Michigan Medical Center. Ms. Voigt received her Master of Science in Social Administration with a Health Concentration from Case Western Reserve University and is an Honors graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has conducted observations in Austria, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Sweden, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and has previously worked in the pediatric, obstetrics/gynecology, neonatal intensive care, and emergency departments at the former Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Cleveland. With her research and entrepreneurial background, Ms. Voigt shares with all staff, faculty and students how to assess, implement, and evaluate cultural competency in relation to health services provided.
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