“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This quote speaks to the importance of recognizing our collective strength as a team and valuing the diversity of our individual contributions.
It would be hard not to notice how much the Tri-Cities has grown in the past ten years. In that span of time, our beautiful community has welcomed citizens from all around the country - even from across the world. As we think about what it means to be an inclusive community, we have committed ourselves to having authentic conversations and thinking about how to work together to create “America’s Most Welcoming Community."
The Inclusion Council began meeting last spring and got right to work - developing a framework to guide how we do our work.
Early on, we utilized the Top 10
strategies as a North Star to think about how to describe our vision. Our vision is “to be a courageously authentic community that embraces its growing diversity”.
Our mission is to CULTIVATE champions for an inclusive community; COLLABORATE with the entire community to create an inclusive future for all Tri-Citians; and CELEBRATE the advances we make in the development of our inclusive community. These subcommittees (Cultivate, Collaborate, and Celebrate) have been stood up to provide necessary focus.
To that end, the three subcommittees for Cultivate, Collaborate, and Celebrate require leaders from the Tri-Cities that can influence, bring expertise and solutions, and meaningfully engage in the council’s work to meet its mission.
As its initial project, the Inclusion Council will create a centralized, strategic DEI community partner with a mission to ensure access, equity, and inclusivity throughout the community; align organizations; cultivate and connect resources to needs; and promote best practices.
Our inaugural project - with the over-arching goal of becoming “America’s most welcoming community” - will take a multi-pronged approach.
We are standing up a DEI Speakers Bureau with the intent of sharing best practices/ concepts/applications in diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the community. The first speaking engagement is scheduled for August 19, 2021 with the Columbia Center Rotary Club.
The Inclusion Council is also working with various subject matter experts and organizations to gather tailored Tri-Cities’ regional statistical data to inform a prioritized list of areas of foci around DEI - with the ultimate goal of putting together a regional “WE Day-like” event in 2022.
We are looking for interested parties in the Tri-Cities who are interested in adding value to this work. Please let us know of your interest in serving via one of the subcommittees described above (Cultivate, Collaborate, and Celebrate).