Diversity Summit Registration Opens

March 2, 2004
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HOLLAND — Regional business, religious and educational leaders advise that Friday, March 12, is the registration deadline for the fourth annual Ottawa Area Summit on Racism Saturday, which takes place on March 20.

The summit, part of a series of five such sessions, is sponsored by the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance.

The alliance’s executive director, Gail Harrison, said the summit will take place on the campus of Hope College and will feature speakers assessing affirmative action, the economic case for workplace diversity and West Michigan programs that have helped break down racial barriers.

The gathering’s keynote speakers will be Paul N. Courant, provost and executive vice president, University of Michigan, on “Crossing the Boundaries of Race in America,” and Sylvester Murray, director of Cleveland State University’s Public Management Program, on “Race Polarization: An Impediment to Economic Development.”

Conducting best practices workshops at the summit will be:

  • Fred Keller and Ron Jimmerson, CEO and human resources manager, respectively, for Cascade Engineering, on “Retention: Preparing for a Diverse Work Force.”

  • Rev. David May, director of the Grand Rapids Racial Institute and designer of the summit, on “Expanding Housing Opportunities.”

  • Rossi Ray Taylor, of the Majority Student Achievement Network, concerning the nationwide coalition of multiracial school districts and its study of achievement disparities.

  • Rev. Stephen Dudek, formerly of St. Francis de Sales Church, and Rev. Andres Fierro, pastor of Crossroad Chapel, on a “Framework for Promoting Unity Without Uniformity.”

  • Harry Dolan, Grand Rapids’ chief of police, concerning “Systemic Change: A Multifaceted Approach.”

  • Wayne Boatwright, chief diversity officer at Saint Mary’s Mercy Medical Center, concerning “Diversity in the Workplace.”

During the afternoon, summit participants will — using information from the workshops — design strategies for building more inclusive organizations in the Ottawa area.

The cost to attend the summit is $10 per person, or $20 if lunch is included.

One may register and pay online at www.ethnicdiversity.org or by mail to LEDA, at 287 Lincoln Ave., Holland, MI 49423.

More information about the summit is available by calling Harrison, (616) 846-9074, or by emailing LEDA@ethnicdiversity.org           

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