Ottawa County Diversity Forum to highlight safe and healthy communities

The Ottawa County Diversity Forum is hosting its sixth annual gathering on Oct. 20, led by the Ottawa County Cultural Intelligence Committee, in partnership with the city of Holland, and the Ottawa County Diversity, Equity and Inclusion office. Registration for the 2021 Diversity Forum is now open. The forum is from 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the platform is virtual. The fee is $25, and the deadline to register is Oct. 15. 

This year’s theme will focus on Safe and Healthy Communities.

“The Cultural Intelligence Committee and the Diversity Forum planning team wanted to showcase the ways our community is already addressing safety and health, especially right now. While safety is often thought of as ‘public safety,’ we recognize there are elements of social safety that often get overlooked. In addition, when we talk about health, we might think of it as purely physical when, in fact, it is also emotional and psychological. We want to highlight the way partnerships are addressing these needs today and discuss opportunities that keep us getting better,” says Robyn Afrik, director of Ottawa County Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Community leaders, public servants, and content experts were sought out to speak to this year’s theme. Many are local and showcase the work that is making impacts here and now.

This year, the Diversity Forum will feature keynote Darnell Blackburn, who will share his experience in public safety, recognizing the ways communities can work together to make the journey safe and healthy for all. Dr. Joel Robertson, a widely and respected brain scientist, will also be sharing his work from a scientific approach.

Special guests from the New American Economy will speak on the Gateways for Growth project being brought to Ottawa County. New data will be unveiled highlighting the economic impacts of immigrants, new Americans, and refugees in Ottawa County.

The forum provides a unique opportunity for those who are on their journey toward equity to listen, engage, and share.

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Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.