How can communities just like yours attract young entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, technologists and others who are adding quality and growth to our state? Research shows one way is by embracing tolerance and diversity for new people and ideas.
The Diversity track at the Create WV conference October 20-22 at Snowshoe Mountain Resort will ignite dialog around youth, inclusiveness in decision-making and talent recruitment facing West Virginia as it seeks to build creative communities for the new economy. Diverse voices from around the state will discuss topics from Hip Hop to immigration, and will address the history, opportunity and resources that build diversity and inclusiveness in West Virginia. This year's Diversity track is lead by Crystal Good Nazario.
Diversity Keynote Speaker: Mary-Frances Winters, President and CEO, The Winters Group
Dr. Mary-Frances Winters is President and Founder of The Winters Group, a 24-year-old organization development and diversity-consulting firm, specializing in research, strategic planning, training, and public speaking with an emphasis in ethnic and multicultural issues.
Session 1, 10 AM Tuesday - Everyday Democracy - How People of Diverse Backgrounds Can Solve Common Problems
Facilitator: Gloria Francesca Mengual
Everyday Democracy is a national organization that helps local communities find ways for people from different backgrounds to think, talk, and work together to solve problems. This organization works with neighborhoods, cities, regions, and states, helping them pay particular attention to how racism and ethnic differences affect everyday problems. Learn how the residents of Jackson Hole, WY, through Everyday Democracy "study circles" have taken the reins to address both the opportunities and the challenges represented by Jackson Hole's changing immigration demographics.
Session 2, 11:15 AM Tuesday - Protecting the Rights of All People - Charleston's Civil Rights Case Study
Moderator: Amy Weintraub Panelists: Seth Distefano, WV ACLU; Marc Weintraub, Charleston City Council; Charlie Rouse, WV Pride
Establishing tolerance and inclusiveness takes more than just good feelings. It takes a focus on building institutional human rights protections and processes. Learn how the City of Charleston dealt with what could have been a divisive mission to secure equal protection rights of gays and lesbians and turned it into a positive for the city's effort to attract and retain the creative class. Regardless of where your community is on this issue, you will learn a great deal from this dialog.
Session 3, 2 PM Tuesday - Building Inclusive Communities
Facilitator: Jim Hunt, Amazing Cities
Learn the steps local government officials, concerned citizens, business leaders and youth can take to create Inclusive Communities that embrace the message: "We" can make everyone feel welcome. Explore the ways to develop an inclusive community as Jim describes his personal story of taking on the Ku Klux Klan and how it led to a transformation in how he approaches public service. It is a journey from a small town in West Virginia to a national coalition of over 160 cities working to fight racism and hatred and to build centers of opportunity and excellence.
Session 4, 3:15 PM Tuesday - Engaging Youth to Create Communities
Facilitator: Pastor Matthew J. Watts, CEO of Hope Community Development Corporation
Youth are a vital natural resource to the West Virginia economy. Empowering youth toward leadership is key to economic development and the sustainability of a community. How does the faith-based non-profit Hope Youth Development Corporation utilize the mentoring program Talks My Father/Mother Never Had With Me to engage at-risk and high-risk youth? How do HOPE programs influence the economic growth of local economies by addressing high school drop outs and juvenile incarceration rates through mentoring?
Session 5, 9:45 Am Wednesday - Developing Niche Cultural Opportunities - Can West Virginia Hip Hop Create a New Economy?
Moderator: Constantia Charbonnette, Ph.D. Panel: Bob Webb; Artist Rasheed Jones, aka "Cyn"; Artist 6'6" 240; Artist/Manager Eric Jordan; Artist K Kutta; Artist Ace Beanz
Can West Virginia grow and nurture non-traditional cultural groups and the economic opportunities they represent? Using Hip Hop and its valuable socioeconomic power as a case study, this session explores how it relates to the empowerment and economic development of Appalachia. Join West Virginia Hip Hop artists as they discuss the opportunity to promote constructive alternatives to the employment and social frustrations experienced by many young Appalachians.
Session 6, 11 AM Wednesday - One West Virginia, Many Origins
Moderator: Rev. Ron English Panel: Monica Brooks, Mexican-Appalachian; Rev. Emanuel Heyliger, KIZRA; Faisal Khan, WV Islamic Society
West Virginia is home to a rich diversity of cultures and communities, representing people from all over the world. Share in this unique dialog that showcases the rich diversity of heritage and voices from throughout the state. Learn how economic patterns have influenced the state's diversity and how communities can take proactive action towards building our state's diversity asset.