The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation, in partnership with presenting sponsors Demco Products LLC, the government of Clay County and the City of Spencer, plans a pair of events to advance a broader effort for diversity, equity, inclusion and engagement in the region.
Rural Iowa is changing. Travel from county seat to county seat and one can see, hear and even smell the shift underway. Signs and billboards in Spanish, Laotian and Hmong, Tejano on the radio, and the inviting aroma of exotically spiced dishes wooing lunchtime crowds.
Recognizing the inevitability of greater diversity—and its economic and social benefit—leaders of the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation are committed to fostering a welcoming, inclusive environment in the Corridor’s four-county territory in Northwest Iowa and lighting a path for other regions to follow.
Meet Diversity’s Friends
A pair of workshops under the joint title, “Meet Diversity’s Friends: Equity, Inclusion & Engagement,” will be held June 12 at Iowa Lakes Community College in Spencer, Iowa. The morning session for senior executives and key leaders will explore strategic collaboration for the betterment of the Corridor region, address messaging strategies to communicate the value of diversity and assess strategies for engaging underrepresented groups.
An afternoon session for team members will explore the framework of diversity, identify ways to build awareness of diversity among coworkers and consider strategies for communication as the region becomes more diverse so as to foster greater integration.
Leading the sessions will be Sarika Bhakta, principal of Nikeya Diversity Consulting, and Anthony Arrington and Karl Cassell, owners of Top RANK professional and executive recruiting and consulting firm. All are from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Cost is $100 for the morning session and $50 for the afternoon. All participants are invited to a “learning lunch” between sessions to learn about innovative programs in workforce recruitment from around the state.
“Do We Belong” screening and panel discussion
A screening of the short documentary, “Do We Belong,” will be held June 11, the evening before the training workshops, at the Spencer Community Theater.
The documentary tells of the tragic murder of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, a guest worker from India, in a hate crime. Kuchibhotla had lived for a time in Cedar Rapids before moving to Olathe, Kansas, where the murder took place.
Sunayana Dumala, Kuchbhotla’s widow, will participate in a panel discussion following the screening. Also on the panel will be a representative from The Bridge of Storm Lake, a youth outreach organization. Additional panelists are pending.
About the Iowa Lakes Corridor
The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation is the regional economic development agency for Buena Vista, Clay, Dickinson and Emmet counties. The Iowa Lakes Corridor’s mission is to foster, encourage, promote, aid or otherwise assist in the economic development growth and development of the four-county region.