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Brookings Inclusive Collaborative hosting diversity and inclusion conversations

A collaborative grant partnership focused on workplace diversity and inclusion is hosting two community conversation events this month, inviting members of the Brookings community to discuss how people experience diversity and brainstorm creative approaches to enhance inclusion.

The Brookings Inclusive Collaborative is holding an in-person event (limited capacity and masks required) at the Swiftel Center from 9 a.m. to noon April 17 and an online event via Zoom, from 1-3 p.m. April 24. Community members interested in attending in person or online are asked to fill out a form at Brookings Inclusive Collaborative.

Brown haired woman in black shirt posing in front of grey background
Rebecca Kuehl, an associate professor in SDSU’s School of Communication and Journalism and coordinator of SDSU’s women, gender and sexuality studies program.

Principal investigator Rebecca Kuehl said the discussions will consider different approaches for enhancing inclusion in both workplaces and in the Brookings community.  

“The conversations will provide an opportunity for community members to come together and consider inclusion in Brookings with fresh eyes, fresh ideas and a fresh dialogue,” said Kuehl, an associate professor in SDSU’s School of Communication and Journalism and coordinator of SDSU’s women, gender and sexuality studies program.

From August to December, Brookings Inclusive Collaborative researchers convened 14 focus groups of more than 80 business leaders, human resources managers, culturally diverse employees, faith-based community leaders, K-12 educators and Brookings residents to gather views, attitudes, beliefs and experiences connected to workplace cultural diversity and inclusion.

The researchers used the focus groups to learn more about how people experience cultural differences in the workplace and whether they consider themselves part of the Brookings community. Their responses suggest that support for diversity and inclusion is growing in the community and some employers have already made strides toward supporting inclusion initiatives, but some participants have suggested that other aspects deserve attention to make Brookings a more inclusive community.

The Brookings Inclusive Collaborative is made possible through a $193,256 Community Innovation Grant from the Bush Foundation. Molly Krueger Enz, an SDSU professor of French and coordinator of global studies,  is the co-principal investigator. Other team members include representatives from SDSU, Brookings School District, Brookings Economic Development Corporation, Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce, Vision Brookings and the Brookings Human Rights Commission.

About the Bush Foundation
The Bush Foundation invests in great ideas and the people who power them in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography. Established in 1953 by 3M executive Archibald Bush and his wife, Edyth, the Bush Foundation supports organizations and people who think bigger and think differently about what is possible in their communities. The Bush Foundation works to inspire and support creative problem-solving—within and across sectors—to make the region better for everyone.