The Greater La Crosse Area Diversity Council Thu, 02 Nov 2017 21:15:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 34645140 Meet GLADC Board Member, Andrea Hansen Tue, 26 Sep 2017 20:37:16 +0000 By Sonia Garcia, GLADC Intern
 Andrea Hansen is a founding member of the Greater La Crosse Area Diversity Council and has served in various capacities since 2007.  Andrea is the program director of the Self-Sufficiency Program (SSP), a community engagement program of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department at UW-L.  SSP is a pre-college program which helps low-income single parents learn about the higher education options in La Crosse, and prepare for academic success.

Andrea began her time at UW-L in Continuing Education and Extension (CEE) where she was awarded a grant from UW-Extensin to address workforce diversity and inclusion.  Through this grant, Andrea formed an advisory group which designed a series of community workshops,  highlighting the need to  to support workplace diversity initiatives and lift up the strengths and assets of the area’s changing demographics.  The advisory group did not want to disband after the grants ended and, with lead sponsors and memberships, the Diversity Council was born.

Andrea feels fortunate to find a niche at UW-La Crosse that allows her to engage in community education and change work within an academic setting.  SSP, CEE, and the the work of creating the Diversity Council reflect UW-L’s commitment to the “Wisconsin Idea,” the idea that the university should be active in solving problems that affect the quality of life of citizens of the state.

Like many of the other board members of GLADC, Andrea is active in numerous community initiatives,  including the AAUW-La Crosse Branch and WINGS program for community women interested in going to college; helping to establish and provide leadership for Lugar de Reuion, an area resource for Spanish-speaking residents; working to raise awareness of issues related to aging, family caregiving, and the long term care workforce; and designing a ACT Prep Program for Hmong students that included family sessions and support.  In 2011, Andrea received the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Leadership Award in for promotion diversity and justice through education and advocacy.   In 2014, she was recognized by the YWCA Tribute to Outstanding Women program in the activist category.

After 10 years of helping launch and develop GLADC, Andrea continues to devote significant time to the Council, currently serving as our Treasurer.  Andrea says she values how the Council has grown and transformed over the years. She reflected on the contributions each leader on the Board, and the past and current Executive Directors have made to increase the awareness and capacity of the Council. Positive energy for change comes from each member organization and individuals embracing the mission and vision of diversity, inclusion and equity.

Andrea hopes the Council will continue to build and grow. The increased level of total organizational buy-in is one aspect needed to increase our region’s ability to attract and retain a more diverse workforce. Andrea believes that workplaces can be great agents of change that have a positive impact on the wider communit. It is her hope that organizations and employers will embrace the values and practices that build open, inclusive, and equitable workplaces and lead to more just, creative, and healthy  communities.








Announcing our New GLADC Affiliated Speakers Bureau Tue, 26 Sep 2017 20:34:33 +0000 Are you interested in more in-depth training on diversity, inclusion, and equity for your organization? We are excited to announce a new resource available through the Greater La Crosse Area Diversity Council: our GLADC Affiliated Speakers Bureau. If you have attended our events, you’ll likely recognize these high-quality speakers: Ricardo Acevedo, Nizam Arain, Dr. Quincey L. Daniels, Amanda Goodenough, and Willem Van Roosenbeek.
We are so fortunate to have these excellent speakers who are willing to share their expertise on topics such as:
  • Recruiting a diverse workforce
  • The value of diversity to service organizations
  • Combating hate and bias
  • Effective sexual harassment prevention and response
  • Creating an inclusive workplace or school for transgender, non-binary, and queer employees/students
  • The macro effect of microagressions
  • Multiracial identities in the workplace
  • The language of inclusion
  • Cultural competency
  • Developing a positive school climate
Speakers serve area businesses, non-profits, government agencies, and community organizations.They provide in-depth information and strategies related to recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce/team, educating members of your organization about cultural diversity and other forms of difference, addressing discrimination and unwelcoming behavior in the workplace, and creating a genuinely welcoming, inclusive, and productive environment in which people can work together to advance the mission of your organization.
For more information, see the Speakers Bureau portion of our website, and please help spread the word!
Mark Your Calendars: Nov. 2 GLADC Annual Conference Tue, 26 Sep 2017 20:31:09 +0000 The theme of this year’s GLADC Annual Conference is “Pro-Active Strategies for Inclusion in Today’s Workplace and Community.”  Join us to learn from a broad array of expert speakers who will share best practices for: addressing hate and bias incidents, learning to be positive and proactive mentors and allies, developing and supporting inclusive leadership, and creating an LGBTQA-Friendly workplace.
Registration opens soon!
The conference runs from 8am-2pm on Nov. 2 at Lunda Center, Western Technical College.
Supported by the member organizations of the Greater La Crosse Area Diversity Council, with major support from Gundersen Health System, Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare, La Crosse County, Wal-Mart Distribution Center of Tomah, UW-La Crosse, and Workforce Connections.



Language Access: Re-cap and Strategies from September Lunch and Learn Tue, 26 Sep 2017 20:30:22 +0000 What can you do, and what does federal law require you to do, to facilitate language access for Limited English Proficient (LEP) employees, patients, clients, and customers?
Michelle Pinzl’s illuminating GLADC Lunch and Learn presentation was packed with information and strategies on this topic. We learned about the potentially dire consequences of failing to provide trained interpreters in many situations, such as medical and legal circumstances, the reasons that family members should not be called upon to interpret, and the problems with undervaluing trained interpreters, or not knowing where to find them.
We also talked about starting points for organizations to prepare themselves to provide language access services.
For example, you might strategically consider the following questions for your organization:
·      Who in our organization is limited English proficient (LEP)?
·      In what situations do we or might we interact with LEP people? E.g. in what medical, legal, employee orientation, or customer service situations?
·      To whom can we turn if we need an interpreter to manage any of these situations?
·  What kinds of protocols can we create in our organization and how can we educate our employees about the legal and ethical necessity of qualified interpreters?
·      In the course of serving and adequately communicating with all our employees, clients, patients and customers, what documents are most in need of translation and into what languages?
·      Are we hiring people with language skills in order to serve patients, clients and customers in their first languages, and are we rewarding those skills in how we compensate those employees?
Beyond your organization, we can think about the following questions as a community:
·      Can we create a central information-sharing resource to help organizations find interpreters, especially for languages of lesser diffusion?
·      How can we celebrate language diversity?
·      How can we educate others about language access and why it is important?
Michelle is working on a database with the hope that it will be eventually housed on Viterbo University’s Community Interpreting Certificate webpage. This database is meant to help people find professionally trained interpreters who effectively carry out interpreters’ codes of ethics and standards of practice. It also includes a short list of language service providers who can help in providing resources for over the phone or video remote interpreting. In the meantime, if you’d like to have a list of trained interpreters in the La Crosse area, you can contact Michelle directly at *protected email*




GLADC Annual Conference: Pro-Active Strategies for Inclusion in Today’s Workplace and Community Thu, 21 Sep 2017 21:20:36 +0000 Join us to learn from a broad array of expert speakers who will share best practices for: addressing hate and bias incidents, learning to be positive and proactive mentors and allies, developing and supporting inclusive leadership, and creating an LGBTQA-Friendly workplace.

GLADC members receive a discounted registration fee.
Discounted registration fees are also available for students.

Register Here

Conference Schedule:

8:00-8:15            Welcome & Refreshments
Combatting Hate/Bias in the Workplace
Amanda Florence Goodenough, UW-La Crosse
No place is immune from hate, bias and everyday bigotry. Is your workplace ready to respond? What proactive measures can organizations take? How do we foster a workplace culture that resists bias and embraces inclusion? With these questions as the backdrop, this presentation will cover the basics of hate/bias response in the workplace, including:
•     Defining and identifying hate/bias;
•     Understanding the impact of hate/bias and the importance of addressing it;
•     Grappling with the complexities and current issues surrounding hate/bias, and ultimately, exploring ideas for addressing bigotry and supporting those affected by it.
9:45-10:00          Break
Life’s Lessons on Mentorship, Inclusion & Diversity
 Jennifer Ingram, Mayo Clinic, Rochester
An interactive session designed to redefine diversity and expand understanding of inclusion, highlighting strategies and significance of mentorship within both the workplace and community. This session is intended to offer reflective awareness and actionable steps to aid in inclusive leadership capacity building.
11:15-11:30        GLADC Updates
11:30-Noon        Lunch
Inclusive Leadership Panel
Moderated by Thomas Harris
Vince Hamilton, Ho-Chunk Nation
Sandy Littlejohn, Gundersen Health System
Tony Yang, School District of La Crosse
Panelists with strong inclusive leadership skills and experience will address questions about what inclusive leadership means to them and what kinds of leadership strategies it takes to move diversity and inclusion efforts forward in an organization while creating an inclusive environment.
Creating an LGBTQ+ Inclusive Workplace
Will Van Roosenbeek, UW-La Crosse
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and other people who fall under identities of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression deserve to be free from discrimination, bullying, and/or microaggressions. How do we make the workplace more inclusive for everyone? What things can you do to create change? This presentation will share tools to change your workplace.
1:30-2:00            Next Steps and Evaluations
Meet Ann Wales, GLADC Board President Mon, 07 Aug 2017 17:20:52 +0000 Ann Wales serves as President of GLADC’s Board of Directors.  She brings a passion for the work, and a continual willingness to learn and to share, along with years of experience in Human Resources. Ann is a remarkable servant leader for the Council, regularly volunteering her time to take on organizational tasks, consistently listening to ideas, adding her own thoughtful perspectives, and bringing good humor and a willingness to roll up her sleeves to keep advancing the mission of the Council.

Since the Council’s founding in 2001, Ann has had some level of involvement and represents Gundersen Health System on the Council. She says that what she’s learned from the people on the Council and the presenters has been “life-changing,” and she is “honored to be part of it and so grateful that Gundersen supports my involvement.”

Ann is driven to be involved in the Council not only because it connects to her work in Human Resources at Gundersen, but also because of her faith:  “Social justice is a big part of my faith,” Ann says. “I desire to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly.  Being a part of the Council has enabled me to do just that.  The Council has provided an opportunity for me to hear stories, to listen, to learn, and to be challenged about my own privilege and bias. It has also provided me with an opportunity to be an advocate and to be a part of educating other people, encouraging and challenging them.”

The impact of the Council and Gundersen’s active participation are evident in many ways.  GLADC’s “expertise and passion has helped shape the hiring and education and training we do here at Gundersen,” she says.

Ann is optimistic about the Council’s impact on the community as a whole, too.  The Council, she says, has “built a lot of awareness and educated a lot of people on issues of diversity and inclusion. We are creating advocates and I think the work of the Council will be to create more advocates.  We will need to provide them with the resources and the training they need to advocate for diversity/inclusion in their workplaces, organizations and communities.”

In addition to Ann’s service on the Council, you can find her around the community, serving on the La Crosse Jail Ministry Board, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Planning Committee and the LASHRM (La Crosse Society for Human Resource Management) Event Planning Committee. She is also pursuing another master’s degree in hopes of one day becoming a chaplain.  We are very grateful to have Ann’s leadership on the GLADC board!

New GLADC Organizational Member Benefit: Job Ads Mon, 07 Aug 2017 15:30:50 +0000 We’re excited to introduce a new Diversity Council member benefit to our 2017 member organizations:  the opportunity to link directly to your organization’s Career Opportunities page from our GLADC website.   We’ve heard from many of you that you would like to recruit a more diverse workforce, and we hope this service can be helpful.

The new “Careers” tab on our website invites job seekers to start their search with employers that have demonstrated a commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity by supporting our Council.


Likewise, if you are a member of the Council, or would like to become one, we invite you to make your membership visible on your employment opportunity page, or elsewhere on your website.  Let people know about your support for diversity and inclusion, in the workplace and in our community!

If you would like to become a member, have questions about this benefit, or would like a copy of our logo to include on your site (if you’re a member), contact Jodi Vandenberg-Daves at *protected email*

Welcome New 2017 GLADC Members! Wed, 26 Apr 2017 19:02:17 +0000 We are pleased to welcome the following new members to the GLADC for 2017.  Organizational members make our work possible, and demonstrate a commitment to our mission of making the Greater La Crosse Area a more welcoming, inclusive place for all.
Thank you for joining!
ABLE, Inc.
Altra Federal Credit Union
Dynamic Recycling
Festival Foods
Petro Energy Company
And thanks to all our continuing members, with special appreciation for our Champions,who sustain us at the highest membership level:
Gundersen Health System,
La Crosse County,
Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare,
Walmart Distribution Center of Tomah
and our fiscal agent, Workforce Connections
It’s not too late for your company or organization to join our Council for 2017!
Meet GLADC Board Member, Mai Shoua Vang Wed, 26 Apr 2017 18:57:40 +0000 Story by Sonia Garcia–Mai Shoua Vang is one of the newest members of the Diversity Council, having just joined in the fall of 2016. She grew up in the La Crosse area where she graduated from Holmen High School. From there, she graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. She came back to the La Crosse area shortly after graduating and worked at the Hmong Community Center. Now, she is the Interim Advisor for Upward Bound at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, a program that serves first generation college bound and underrepresented students in high school. Upward Bound prepares their students for college through academic and career exploration. Mai Shoua said the populations Upward Bound serves and the goal it has coincide with the Diversity Council.

Mai Shoua, a young professional and woman of color, brings a new perspective to the Diversity Council. This is an important group to be a part of, she explains, to grow and attract young, talented, and diverse people to La Crosse and to retain them. The Diversity Council has found its niche and is very specific about its goal: how do we impact workplaces in a positive way that will make this community more inclusive? Mai Shoua observed that, “Young people of color don’t want to come back to the area to live and work because communities of color are often ostracized, othered, and traumatized from experiences in a predominately white community like La Crosse. For example, the Hmong Center often received requests from college students to ‘observe the culture’ at the Center. Although the requests were flattering in showing that people in the community were interested in learning about Hmong culture, it also served to ‘other’ Hmong people.  We are not a zoo. We are not a science experiment for one semester. Diversity is not only about eating exotic foods and hosting festivals. It takes a long-term commitment to make real change happen.”

Mai Shoua feels that the Diversity Council has the opportunity to educate and empower employers to impact their employees and address the lack of diversity in the area at its roots.




Viterbo’s Spanish Language Newspaper Creates Student-Community Connections Tue, 28 Mar 2017 17:55:33 +0000

Story by Alicia Quiñones–

El Sol is a new student-run newspaper that covers politics related to Spanish speaking people and countries, education, art, sports, and entertainment at Viterbo University. In addition to helping Spanish language students at Viterbo use their language learning in meaningful ways, the newspaper also helps foster connections to La Crosse community. The Greater La Crosse Area Diversity Council interviewed Dr. Jesús Jambrina who has helped the students make the newspaper a reality and we would like to thank him fogiving us his time. We would also like to congratulate the staff and students working on El Sol on the success of this wonderful newspaper! 

Why is El Sol important to have on the Viterbo campus and for the community?  

“It is important on campus as a tool for teaching and learning in the classroom for faculty and also for both Spanish major and minors, the latter being one of the most popular minors at Viterbo. Writing along with speaking and reading is an important aspect of language learning, so with this newspaper students have the opportunity of practicing their writing. 

It  is also a vehicle for students to share their experiences with the Spanish speaking cultures, for example, when studying abroad. Around half of students traveling abroad on campus go to Latin America and Spain, and not only for courses, but for service trips, and family vacation, so the newspaper offers the opportunity to tell these stories to their classmates, but also to the Viterbo community.

Who do you hope will be served by El Sol? 

In our Department we have been trying to bridge our courses with the La Crosse community through several projects like collaborating with Centro Latino, Catholic Charities, and Lugar the Reunión, among other local and regional organizations. We organize a Hispanic Heritage Month reception every fall, and also program cultural events like performances and music concerts open to the public.  

The Latino community in La Crosse is around 2,500, but if we count Southeast Minnesota and Northeast Iowa then we reach several thousand of Latino Spanish speakers plus the student population at Higher Education Institutions who are immersed in Spanish language and culture in one way or another 

Finally, this newspaper is part of our Department efforts on hospitality, which is one of the core values at Viterbo. Welcoming diverse languages and cultures is an educational tool to expand and value other experiences, which will hopefully enrich students experiences on campus. 

What was the driving force in starting El Sol? 

“The Department received a small grant to develop Hight Impact Practices (HIP) for first and second year students, so we decided to upgrade our Newsletter to an actual Newspaper and students loved the idea. This is a project that is mainly elaborated by them with some mentoring, but they are the one choosing and writing the articles. This year, the Department decided to integrate the project into a course and now the plan is to offer this course (SPAN 406) every semester so we can have a Fall and Spring Edition. In the future, we would like to have a Summer edition as well.” 

 Is there a sponsor for El Sol? 

Spanish Club and also from a few advertisements sponsor the newspaper. If someone is willing to support this project, please, get in contact with me: *protected email* 

Additional Information about El Sol: 

Twitter account: @elSolLC & Facebook page: El Sol LC.  

“We want to serve as many people as we can by offering information about the Hispanic/ Latino community in tristate area. If you have something to say about this community or want to help, please contact us at *protected email*