Forum discusses diversity and inclusion


Sherman Wright. Photo via

A discussion about diversity in the Grand Rapids market is coming this week.

The Diversity & Inclusion Forum, hosted by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, will be this Friday at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Grand Rapids, from 8:00–11:30 a.m.

The chamber said the goal of the event is to offer businesses insights into “reaching new, diverse markets” and creating an “engaging, inclusive company culture that attracts and retains talent.”


Sherman Wright, co-founder and managing partner of the marketing agency CommonGround in Chicago, will serve as they keynote speaker, addressing the faces of customers and employees in a diverse business environment.

Vickie Rosenberg, president of Vickie Rosenberg and Associates, will lead a workshop called, “Changing the Culture of Organizations for Success in the New Demographic.”


The event will also feature a community panel discussing on how to develop connections in diverse talent pools.

The panel will include Jill May, founding member of LGBT Professionals Group and volunteer coordinator and fund development director at The Right Place, Kaushik Nag, representative of the Western Michigan Bengali Cultural Association and president and manager of talent acquisition at Amway, and Sonya Hughes, the chamber’s VP of inclusion and community leadership, representing the Multiracial Association of Professionals.

“Multicultural markets are the fastest-growing segments of the U.S. population,” Hughes said. “If businesses are not engaging diverse talents and customers, their brand could lose market share to a competitor that does.”

Hughes added that the chamber is hosting the forum to “provide businesses with unique strategies for diversifying their talent pipeline and growing their consumer base.”


Tickets are $50 for chamber members and $65 for non-members.

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