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Bailey leads national diversity talk

Bailey leads national diversity talk

Arianne Olayinka

"From Intention to Action: A National Conversation on DEI," took place virtually on Wednesday, Dec. 8. LCC Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Tonya Bailey hosted the event, with a board of eight panelists.

The panelists consisted of DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) experts from across the country. The panel included Dr. Paulette Granberry Russell, president of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.

Additional panelists were Dr. Jesse Bernal, Dr. Jasmine Lee, Dr. Diley Hernandez, Dr. Thomn Bell, Dr. Yvette Marie Alex-Assensoh, Michael Carter and Hilda Ladner.

"We looked for individuals that were not only passionate about the work, but had action behind the work that they were pursuing," Bailey said. "Remember our theme was from intention to action. We looked for individuals that were making sure that institutions were moving the needle forward year after year, and those that were a part of the difference makers around this conversation."

The event included 132 attendees from across the U.S.

"I think it further brought us together such that we can start planning and taking actual steps toward improving systemic issues and historic barriers that have kept us divided, and not allowed us to come together for the greater good," Bailey said. "I think it accomplished a lot of different things and the attendance being over 100 people … demonstrated and showcased that there is a need and a desire for this conversation."

The two-hour event may be the beginning of a series.

"We are confident that this discussion needs to have a part two (or up) to a part 10, possibly." Bailey said. "We are looking at April of 2022 to have our next national conversation on diversity, equity and inclusion."

Bailey illustrated how change can be made.

"This is a time for us to realize the importance of our uniqueness, the importance of our history, and more importantly the importance of what each and every one of us brings every day to the table." Bailey said.

"This conversation opened the door for us to have actionable steps in advancing DEI, as well as an opportunity for us to come together for real change."

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