Human Resources and Nonprofits

Local First producing workshop on diversity

July 14, 2017
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Local First Measures What Matters workshop audience
A member of the audience speaks to the panel at a Measures What Matters workshop by Local First. Photo via

A company that specializes in diversity and inclusion solutions for the workplace will perform a skit at an upcoming small business workshop.

One World Diversity, a group of actors, writers and filmmakers based in Grand Rapids, will do a show at Local First’s next Measure What Matters Workshop, The Importance of Diversity in Small Business, 3-5 p.m. Wednesday, July 19, at Start Garden, 40 Pearl St. NW, Suite 200.

Co-owners of One World Diversity Sammy Publes, Shelly Urbane and Todd Lewis will highlight the challenges businesses face when building an inclusive team through humorous, thought-provoking scenes meant to inspire open dialogue in a safe space.

“We believe it’s important for all people, regardless of their background or experience, to have access to equitable career opportunities and a work environment where they feel safe and comfortable to express themselves,” Publes said.

“When people feel welcome at work, they are more likely to perform better and stay engaged, which improves the organization as a whole.”

Following the performance, participants may join a discussion on diversity and inclusion with Jorge Gonzalez, of Start Garden; Mindy Ysasi, of The Source; Beca Velazquez-Publes, of Urban Core Collective; and Jeremy Moore, of Equity Drinks.

“We believe it’s important for employers to offer a culture of belonging, which is a big part of why we are encouraging businesses to participate in Good for Grand Rapids and attend Measure What Matters Workshops,” said Elissa Hillary, Local First president.


Business owners, entrepreneurs, human resources professionals and anyone interested in equity and inclusion are encouraged to attend.

The cost for this workshop is $10 for Local First members and $15 for non-members. Attendees may register online.

Measure What Matters

The Importance of Diversity in Small Business workshop is the next installment in Local First’s 2017 Measure What Matters series, part of the Good for Grand Rapids initiative.

The initiative aims to equip Grand Rapids companies with tools and resources to create high-quality jobs, stronger communities and a healthier Great Lakes region.

Local First staff will be on hand to help participants take the Quick Impact Assessment. The assessment includes specific business metrics for improving diversity and inclusion.

Other upcoming Measure What Matters Workshops:

Sept. 20: Business Ownership Options at Atomic Object, 1034 Wealthy St. SE.

Oct. 11: Shifting to Local Supply Chains at Consumers Credit Union, 5575 28th St. SE.

Local First

Local First’s mission is to lead the development of an economy grounded in local ownership that meets the basic needs of people, builds local wealth and social capital, functions in harmony with the ecosystem and encourages joyful community.

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