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Impact of community diversity on economic development is focus of IUPUC event

“Lead by Design: Unveiling the Bias” is third in a series of community roundtables

Oct 12, 2020

The IUPUC Center for Business and Economic Development will host Columbus-area residents in an Oct. 13 discussion about how bias, equity, diversity and inclusion fuel economic development.

The free, virtual “Lead by Design: Unveiling the Bias” invites people in the Columbus area to engage on local issues. The event will include a keynote address by Mark Stewart, president of United Way of Bartholomew County. There also will be breakout conversations following presentations by Julie Goodspeed-Chadwick, IUPUC Chancellor’s Professor of English; Kevin Jones, IUPUC associate professor of management; and Marsha VanNahmen, assistant director of the IUPUC Center for Teaching and Learning.

Melissa Fairbanks, director of the IUPUC Center for Business and Economic Development, said community members will have the opportunity to speak with one another on issues of diversity, inclusion and economic development rather than be fed information.

“After each of the three presentations, attendees will participate in breakout sessions to discuss key points and to interact with one another,” Fairbanks said.

“Research has proven that diversity, equity and inclusion create more community engagement and higher productivity. Many studies have shown that when a diverse group of people makes decisions, the results are better and have a more far-reaching impact.”

“Lead by Design: Unveiling the Bias” is partially sponsored by the Indiana University Council for Regional Engagement and Economic Development, which granted $2,500 from its Regional Economic Development Fund.

What they’re saying

The event speakers shared a brief summary of their presentations for the event.

“In considering and adhering to feminist principles, we will be open to diversity and inclusion and be aware of – and continue to strive toward recognizing so we can mitigate – bias. A feminist workplace establishes a culture in which people feel valued and that they belong, and one in which we can attract and retain diverse people and ideas. We build and sustain a community when people feel heard and valued, and results show that people work harder and organizations are more successful when they attract and retain diversity in all its richness.” – Julie Goodspeed-Chadwick

“I will present a process to help participants move forward with ideas to understand and manage unconscious bias. I’ll present four questions from the “design thinking” approach of Jeanne Liedtka and Tim Ogilvie to challenge participants to create actionable approaches to reduce the adverse impact of unconscious bias.” – Kevin Jones

“Population growth is important to economic growth, and a significant percentage of Bartholomew County’s population growth over the past decade has come from people of color. Bartholomew County has room for improvement to retain people of color and continue to attract them. Many civic organizations in Bartholomew County – including not-for-profits and local government commissions – do not reflect the demographic makeup of our community. Women and people of colors are often underrepresented.” – Mark Stewart

“We all have unconscious or implicit bias. Implicit bias can influence our decision-making in ways we don’t even realize. Knowing this, we can integrate measures to neutralize our biases before they translate into behavior and minimize the negative impact within our organizations.” – Marsha VanNahmen

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