Diversity & Inclusion Resources
Perspective from the RiverBend Growth Association
The RiverBend Growth Association is a business and community organization that has worked for over 30 years in the Riverbend area and surrounding communities to build strong bonds with all its members.
The death of George Floyd has re-ignited an issue that has plagued our nation for far too long, an issue that must be addressed and eliminated. The spotlight in the past few weeks has illuminated the inequalities of justice. Racism in all forms, systemic or otherwise, have no place in our community.
“We stand in solidarity against racism and advocate for diversity, equality, and inclusion in our society and economy,” said John Keller, President of the RiverBend Growth Association. “As a community organization, we will leverage our expertise and relationships with the public to help develop solutions that will enhance our regional economic system.”
The RiverBend Growth Association agrees with and supports those exercising their first amendment rights in peaceful demonstrations and supports the community leaders that are leading the call for action and change.
Over the past year the RiverBend Growth Association has formed a committee to focus specifically on Emerging Leaders and Diversity. Through this committee we have begun to create the Emerging & Inclusive Leadership Council where we can have these difficult and important discussions, and create an environment that is safe for everyone to voice their opinions and learn more from others.
Please join us on June 19, 2020 at 1:00 PM for the first of many community conversations on these topics. Register at www.growthassociation.com/events. There will be speakers from different organizations and different backgrounds who will help us lead this conversation. We also ask for experiences on these important topics. Only by working with our communities do we build trust, and ensure our region is safe and prosperous for everyone. For this reason, this discussion will be open to all community members of the Riverbend, not just the members of the RiverBend Growth Association.
Although we still have work to do, and until all people are equal, the RiverBend Growth Association stands committed to working hard in continuing to improve our region.
Community Conversation meeting video – Unconscious Bias (08-20-2020)
Community Conversation meeting video – LGBTQ (July 16, 2020)
Community Conversation video (June 19, 2020)
What is Diversity presentation (June 19, 2020)
Educational Resource List (books, movies, songs) updated
How can we respond as a business community?
· We can be sensitive to the fact that some employees are hurting. People are trying to process what is happening in our nation and where they fit into the conversation. Wellness programs, including counseling, can help. But there’s great power in a business leader just reaching out and checking in.
· We can work harder to create fair workplaces. This requires dialogue and training that leads to greater understanding. At the very least, business leaders can make it clear that expressing or acting on racist attitudes in the workplace will not be tolerated. Being proactive in developing diverse teams and leaders makes companies stronger.
· We can make an extra effort to consider applicants who lack connections. It’s harder for people to start a career when they don’t have relatives in professional occupations. Without intentional outreach, hiring managers never get to meet some great potential employees. Offering more paid internships is another way to attract and develop diverse talent.
· We can donate to and volunteer with workforce development causes. Multiple organizations, including RiverBend Growth Association members, are helping individuals who face economic and other challenges to become self-sufficient and, more than that, succeed. This work has clear benefits to the Riverbend community.