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Centers, Events, leadership, Newsroom

Highlights of the 2013 Multicultural Forum

mcf25The Multicultural Forum was held April 10-11, at the Minneapolis Convention Center with a spring snowstorm adding another dimension to the conference, especially for out-of-state visitors from warmer climes.

The Forum celebrated its 25th anniversary, culminating with a name change to The Forum on Workplace Inclusion.  This new moniker reflects societal changes and a refocusing of the Forum’s agenda. Inclusion leads to engagement, innovation, productivity, and employee retention.  Does your workplace value these variables?  If not, what is the cost of not including, valuing, and listening to “others”?   Considering business’ focus on financial outcomes—follow the money.  Organizations and businesses are recognizing the economic benefit to the bottom line when they value and practice inclusion.

I was able to attend a variety of sessions.  Highlights: Continue Reading

Centers, Ethics, Events, leadership, Newsroom

25th Annual Multicultural Forum on Workplace Diversity Begins Today

MCF Logo 25The 25th Annual Multicultural Forum on Workplace Diversity kicks off today with a full day of informative sessions and discussions on the theme, Our Time to Lead. This reflects the legacy and evolution of diversity and inclusion over the last 25 years:  opening doors of opportunity, igniting change, and challenging organizations to respond to an ever-changing landscape of social, political, economic and technological realities.  Today, the unprecedented shifts of our time call us to meet these challenges.

Four signature events, or general sessions, offer a path to strengthen individual and collective leadership capacity for the challenges and opportunities ahead. The conference will also feature 58 concurrent learning sessions, a Resource Expo, free Career Fair and Career Services Center. Pre-Conference Professional Development Institutes took place yesterday.

If you’re unable to attend the conference, follow @MCFdiversity and #diversityforum on Twitter.

In addition three champions of workplace diversity will be honored during a Thursday, April 11, luncheon. Each year the forum honors individuals or organizations for their exemplary efforts to address workplace diversity issues. Recipients are: Continue Reading

Events, Newsroom

5 Reasons to Attend the Multicultural Forum (plus one more)

The 25th annual Multicultural Forum will take place next week at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The blog Smartgiving Matters last week compiled a great list of 5 reasons to attend, particularly of you work in the nonprofit world. The post was by Lynnea Atlas-Ingebretson, the Charities Review Council’s Program Director, who will be representing her organization at the Forum. Her list:

  1. Cross Sector Pollination
  2. World Class Thinkers & Leaders
  3. Good Scholarships!
  4. Great Sessions
  5. Professional Development Institutes

Read Atlas-Ingebretson’s full post for details on each of these items. Continue Reading

Environment, Ethics, Newsroom

2012 Diversity Awards Winners Announced

Four champions of workplace diversity were honored during the 24th annual Multicultural Forum on Workplace Diversity, the nation’s leading conference on diversity and inclusion,  March 22 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The forum is designed for professionals who manage a diverse workforce, are responsible for diversity within their organization or work with a multicultural clientele. The Diversity Awards are given to individuals or organizations that show exemplary effort in addressing workplace diversity issues. 2012 Recipients include:

Continue Reading

Centers, Ethics, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

“Them vs. Us”—8 Ways to Bridge the Gap

Workplaces are one of the few places in society where we don’t get to choose who we associate with. With this in mind, understanding different backgrounds and viewpoints is important for being successful in business. Each person’s background defines their world, said Howard Ross. When we hear “diversity,” for many it brings up a “them v. us” feeling, rather than one of inclusion.

Over the past 20 years, we have seen a steady polarizing trend in our country…a movement toward a “them vs. us” way of thinking and acting. The resulting impact on our organizations, our political structure, our economy and our communities threaten the foundations that we hold most dear. A recent Diversity Insights Series conversation brought Howard Ross to campus to discuss why this dynamic happens and what we can do to begin to bridge these gaps in our lives.

ReInventing Diversity Howard Ross is one of the nation’s leading diversity training consultants and a nationally recognized expert on diversity, leadership, and organizational change. He founded Cook Ross in 1989 as a consulting firm dedicated to developing and implementing innovative solutions in diversity and inclusion. In his 90-minute talk, to a (diverse) group of business people from around the Twin Cities, Ross explained how our culture has changed and provided 8 ways to impact our unconscious reactions to “us vs. them.” Continue Reading

Centers, leadership, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Twelve Statements to Ponder as You Build Your D&I Leadership Potential

This guest post from Richard Friend, Ph.D., Friend and Associates originally appeared on the Multicultural Forum blog.

MCFIf leadership involves the use of self to influence others, and leaders at their best are lifelong learners, this is the perfect time of year to commit to the ongoing self-development required to enhance YOUR diversity and inclusion (D&I) leadership potential. Below are 12 statements to ponder, one per month, over the next year. Explore each statement in writing then discuss them and solicit feedback from your colleagues, trusted friends, family members and from those whose followership you are trying to inspire and mobilize. Pay attention to the themes that emerge each month as you contemplate each of the statements, and notice the patterns that surface during this year long self-reflection process.

Since people follow people before they follow plans, leadership development at its core is a journey inward. The first set of statements focus on knowing yourself, building authenticity and aligning your actions with your values. The remaining few focus more outward on the leadership resources required to influence others. Continue Reading