Home » The Bottom Line: Inaugural Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Summit to engage businesses in building a stronger future for Kentucky

The Bottom Line: Inaugural Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Summit to engage businesses in building a stronger future for Kentucky

by Jacqueline Pitts

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Talent recruitment and retention, supplier diversity, public policy, and much more will be the focus during the Kentucky Chamber’s Inaugural Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Summit on October 26 in Louisville.

During the summit, speakers from a variety of industries, including business, education, government, and non-profit, will lead conversations on key areas that must be addressed to build a stronger future where all Kentuckians can grow and thrive.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Strategic Alliances and Outreach Rick Wade and Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Ashli Watts will kick off the summit by sharing the importance of advancing DE&I in terms of economic competitiveness.

The summit’s keynote, Frost Brown Todd Chief Diversity Officer Chris Johnson, will focus on how workplaces are transforming to promote well-being, culture, community, and belonging. With that, he will talk about ways businesses improve recruitment and retention strategies to ensure a diverse workforce and inclusive environment.

As businesses are looking to diversify, a panel will share strategies for employers to be more intentional in finding and engaging diverse suppliers, provide insight on the barriers minority businesses face, and educate attendees on the impact minority business enterprises have in communities and the Commonwealth.

Research from the Kentucky Chamber’s racial inequity report demonstrates the disproportionate impact of the criminal justice and education systems on minority populations. Following the release of that report, the Kentucky Chamber Foundation created the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to help create deliberate, meaningful, and sustainable change in Kentucky.

During the summit, a panel with representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union, Goodwill Industries of Kentucky, Simmons College, and Volunteers of America will have a conversation on how key Kentucky groups are looking to build a more equitable criminal justice system by focusing on education, poverty, and public policy.

Education leaders from the Kentucky Center for Statistics, Kentucky Department of Workforce Development, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, Simmons College, and Kentucky Chamber Foundation will take a look at the landscape of Kentucky education and the critical importance of improving representation, retention, and talent attrition in Kentucky’s education system.

Kentucky public policy leaders, including Senator David Givens, Senator Gerald Neal, Representative Samara Heavrin, Terrance Sullivan from the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, and Kate Shanks from the Kentucky Chamber, will take part in a discussion on bi-partisan solutions that would provide more equitable opportunities and bring about progress in Kentucky.

To learn more about the Inaugural Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Summit or to view the full agenda, visit: kychamber.com/events/education/deisummit.

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