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Multicultural Forum Returns

By Lavender March 12, 2010

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Securing the Diversity and Inclusion Future

While the goal of diversity in the workplace is simple, achieving it successfully is a complex process.

The theme of the 22nd annual Multicultural Forum, March 17-18, is: “Securing the D&I [Diversity and Inclusion] Future: Evolving Strategies, Meaningful Outcomes.” It provides CEOs, managers, human resource professionals, and the like with valuable information.

Among the many informational sessions and workshops, several focus on the GLBT community, including “Beyond Partner Benefits: Building on LGBT Policies to Improve Workplace Climate” and “Square Pegs: Building a Strategy for your LGBT Resource Group.”

Multicultural Forum Director Steve Humerickhouse says, “What is needed is a continuation of the D&I progression, from diversity, the number and varied backgrounds of those employed, to inclusion, how those employees are engaged in the organizational purpose, to finally integration of D&I into the core values of the company.”

Referring to integration, Humerickhouse says, “Perhaps the new catch phrase should really be DI&I.”

This way, Humerickhouse points out, no matter the stability of the economy or who the CEO is, diversity and inclusion will be integrated into the essence of the company. Everyone will be treated equally, with a fair chance of keeping his or her job.

Humerickhouse compares the process of integrating diversity and inclusion to that of coming out: “You are never done. It is continual and lifelong.”

With an increase in Asian and Latino populations, plus more out GLBT citizens, Minnesota quickly is improving its diversity numbers.

Yet Humerickhouse cautions, “But if you think of diversity only as representational, then you have missed the point. It isn’t only about numbers.”

What’s more important than high numbers is how employees are treated, brought into the process, and listened to, according to Humerickhouse.

This year’s Multicultural Forum is presented by the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas, in partnership with the National Black MBA Association Twin Cities chapter.

As Humerickhouse sums up, “The goal is the evolution of diversity to become an integral and integrated part of the workplace, and thus secure its future.”

Multicultural Forum
Mar. 17-18
Minneapolis Convention Center
1301 2nd Ave. S., Mpls.
(612) 335-6025
www.stthomas.edu/mcf

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