WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
Since 2003 the Diversity Roundtable of Greater Lafayette, a committee of Greater Lafayette Commerce, has offered a biannual Diversity Summit—a half-day gathering focused on education and networking through presentations and moderated conversations in support of diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in our area. Past Summits have attracted professionals from Lafayette, West Lafayette, Purdue University, and Ivy Tech Community College-Lafayette, as well as engaged community members from throughout the region who are committed to making the Greater Lafayette area a more diverse, welcoming, and equitable place.
In light of recent calls for greater accountability on issues of racial equity at the local and national levels, the 2021 Diversity Summit presents an opportunity to turn conversation into action. Through numerous community events, Diversity Roundtable meetings, and Community Conversations hosted by the United Way, stakeholders in our area have already begun to identify both the challenges we face in pursuit of equity, as well as the assets and resources we possess to meet those challenges.
WHAT IS STRATEGIC DOING?
This year’s DRT Summit is intentionally designed to be a gathering of the “doers” -- those who want to go beyond raising their voices and start raising their hands in order to identify the things that they can do to strengthen our community. By utilizing the Strategic Doing framework, the Summit will provide all participants with the necessary tools and skills for this work.
“Strategic Doing teaches people how to form collaborations quickly, move them toward measurable outcomes and make adjustments along the way. In today’s world, collaboration is essential to meet the complex challenges we face”. -Strategic Doing website
By emphasizing assets rather than deficits, and by helping participants link and leverage talent, resources, and expertise, this framework will guide the development of individual and collective action plans. In this way, the 2021 Summit will go beyond sharing information and facilitating introductions between stakeholders—it will foster the kinds of dynamic collaborations and shared accountability necessary to meet the urgent and complex equity-related challenges that we face.
KEYNOTE SPEAKER & FACILITATOR: KENYETTA DOTSON
An expert facilitator and trainer, Kenyetta Dotson frequently works with community leaders, youth, families, and residents to address community concerns and issues, identify gaps, brainstorm solutions, and work collaboratively to bring about positive change. She founded Dotson Consulting in 2013 with a mission to empower people, strengthen community, and improve the overall quality of life for individuals, youth, and families who are the most underserved.
Over the past seven years, Ms. Dotson has written and aided in securing grants for local non-profits, small businesses, community-based organizations, and projects which have brought over $20,000,000 to the families and neighborhoods of Flint, Michigan. In addition to her expertise with grants, community organizing, leadership development, and capacity building, she has been instrumental in developing several community-based organizations and other vital programs in the Flint community. Ms. Dotson’s specialty is working with community partners and leadership teams to create and refine programs while successfully raising funds, identifying resources, and building strong networks of partners who collaborate to improve neighborhood conditions, overall safety, and the health and well-being of marginalized groups and underserved communities.
Building on numerous conversations and community discussions in the latter half of 2020, the Diversity Summit planning team has identified four areas of focus for this year’s gathering, which will serve as the topics for the afternoon breakout sessions.
Employment & Commerce
In addition to an overview of Strategic Doing provided by the keynote speaker, Kenyetta Dotson, participants will hear from Ed Morrison, one of the founders of Strategic Doing and a co-author of Strategic Doing: Ten Skills for Agile Leadership, prior to the breakout sessions.