The Greater La Crosse Area Diversity Council has adopted a theme for 2016: “Building Capacity and Developing Relationships.” As I develop my role as Executive Director, I am excited to enhance the Council’s connections in the area by working with our existing members and founders, developing new active members, and strategizing and collaborating with forward-thinking employers and non-profit and grassroots initiative leaders, people who work every day to make the La Crosse area a more diverse, inclusive and welcoming place to live, work, contribute and belong.
The strength and vitality of our workplaces and businesses depend upon the vibrancy of and well-being of our communities. This year, we want to make those connections more visible and strengthen the relationships among nonprofits, community groups, and employers. In the past month, I have been connecting with leaders of organizations and initiatives such as the Hmoob Cultural and Community Agency, the African American Mutual Assistance Network, the YWCA La Crosse, the Human Rights working group, Independent Living Resources, The Center: 7 Rivers LGBTQ Connection, the Health Science Consortium Cultural Competency Committee, and UW-L’s Institute for Social Justice, with additional meetings planned.
These and other groups work every day to improve our communities by empowering people who often face discrimination. They develop important community initiatives and conversations and provide vital services. They move our communities forward, enhancing the work of the Diversity Council and the employers who work with us to make our workplaces and organizations more inclusive and empowering. We are so fortunate to have organizations like these in the Greater La Crosse Area. Their work enhances opportunities for employers who want to connect with a diverse workforce, develop insights about diversity and inclusion, improve services to diverse clientele, and build more diverse workplaces and leadership teams.
The Council is eager to enhance the connections we already have through our active board and director, and to develop new collaborations. We plan to showcase the work of area non-profits and initiatives focused on diversity and inclusivity at this year’s annual conference, so please, let me and our Council board members hear from you about new and continuing work in the Greater La Crosse Area. And let us know if you’d like to be involved in our work. We need your ideas and energy, as well as your membership support.
Thank you for all you do to support diversity, inclusion, and equity.
Jodi Vandenberg-Daves, Executive Director