July 19, 2022

Opportunities Abound for Expanding DEI Workplace Strategies

A business is only as good as its culture, and understand the values of diversity and overcoming unconscious biases is imperative to creating a more supportive, engaging and inclusive working environment.

“Businesses are made up of diverse customers, suppliers and employees, and representation matters,” said Adriane Miller, executive director of the National Conference for Community & Justice of Greater Dayton. “We need to be respectful of the global needs of our community, and our new workforce comes with a deeper knowledge of the world. They are seeking employment opportunities where they are seen and heard.”

A recent study by the Racial Equity Institute confirmed that training is an important step in the journey of antiracism and influences individuals’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviors.

“Regional leadership is stepping up in a deliberate and purposeful way to address equity and diversity in the workplace,” said Michael Parks, CFRE, president of The Dayton Foundation. “We’re 100% committed to participating in meaningful trainings and discussions to lift the topic of equity, one of our core operational values.”

While many companies are increasing DEI in their practices, others often don’t know where to begin. Fortunately, several area organizations are taking the lead on providing cost-effective trainings and other resources.

» Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board of Montgomery County (mcadamhs.org) in partnership with Groundwater Institute, provides training on equity and diversity topics that play a large role in the mental health of the broader community. They also provide sessions on “redlining,” trauma-focused approach, mental health first aid, diversity and inclusion series and more. Most programs are free.

» The National Conference for Community & Justice of Greater Dayton (nccjgreaterdayton.org) offers educational workshops, training programs and consultation services, as well as youth leadership development and community advocacy. Programs are co-sponsored by ADAMHS.

» Sinclair Community College’s Diversity Office (sinclair.edu/diversity) provides a robust diversity webpage with an events calendar, downloadable resources, webinars and e-books. The free Visiting Scholars series features national speakers, including Pulitzer Prize-winning authors, athletes and motivational speakers, who share their perspectives on a wide range of topics.

The Diversity Office, in collaboration with Sinclair’s Workforce Development Department, also offers a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Workshop Series for a fee.

“Employees bring their whole selves to work and expect to be heard. If leaders do not understand the diverse viewpoints of employees, they ultimately will fail,” said Michael Carter, senior advisor to the president and chief diversity officer for Sinclair Community College.

Additionally, the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (mvrpc.org), which houses the Institute for Livable and Equitable Communities, launched the Regional Equity Initiative focused on advancing equity on many fronts, including environmental justice, digital connectivity and more. MVRPC’s website hosts a Regional Equity Calendar listing events and programs focused on advancing equity and empowering changemakers.

While the topic of equity is a multifaceted and multilayered one, MCADAMHS and other partners are committed to moving efforts forward. “Many area companies have adopted diversity policies or training requirements, which can lead to a path of trying to ‘fix’ people or simply hiring more diverse staff without intentionally changing workplace culture to be welcoming to others,” said Helen Jones-Kelley, executive director of MCADAMHS. “Basic Groundwater training allows for deeper understanding and stronger connections. Only then can we make strides toward achieving a more diverse and inclusive workplace.”

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File date: 11.1.22


Mike Parks

“We can help you help others in the Dayton Region and beyond.”
– Michael M. Parks, president

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