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‘A Better You, A Better Us’: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Conference 2022 Recap

DEI Conference 2022

On July 26, 2022, 34 Greene Resources team members joined a sellout crowd of over 1,300 people for the annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Conference at the Raleigh Convention Center hosted by the Triangle DEI Alliance and the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s theme, “A Better You, A Better Us,” challenged all participants to reflect on the DEI work they are doing in their personal lives. When asked what this theme meant, one conference attendee from Greene noted that, “Community is a group of people that come together in fellowship. The better everyone is within the group, the better the community will be as a whole. Each individual has an incredible impact on the larger whole.”

Breakout Sessions

The conference featured over 10 breakout session options, a “Privilege Walk” group activity, and keynote speakers. Each attendee was encouraged to choose the breakout sessions in which they had a personal connection.  Breakout sessions included topics such as “Creating Inclusive Spaces for the LGBTQ+ Experience,” “Advocating for DEI in your C-Suite,” and “Supporting People Impacted by the Criminal Justice System: Redefining “Second Chance Hiring”. Many people left these breakout sessions with a sense of conviction to take action in their personal lives.

Keynote Speakers

One key point that a member of our team took from this conference came from keynote speaker LaToya Montague, Executive Director, Communities in Schools Wake County who encouraged all members of the audience to raise their hand if they had “completed their education.” LaToya immediately rebutted the hands raised by saying, “Education is never finished.” Jenny Saul, Senior Director of Professional Recruiting Solutions at Greene further expanded on this point, saying, “We continue learning long after we complete any formal education. Education around DEI principles are also an ongoing learning experience. We should always be seeking to continuously improve and further our education.”

Accessibility in the Workplace

All conference attendees had the opportunity to learn from Calandra Jarrell, Laura Steed Lorino, Megan Oteri, and Kamille Richardson during the Accessibility in the Workplace Panel. One team member said, “It’s all too often that disability is left out of the narrative of DEI, and I loved that the DEI Conference really brought an honest and open discussion about disability to the forefront.”

Key Takeaways

When asked for key takeaways from the DEI Conference, one Greene team member said, “When you focus on the experience and feeling of belonging at the individual level, it will inevitably create a more inclusive space for all, with positive impacts like more creativity, collaboration, productivity, and improved company culture.”

While we are already anticipating next year’s DEI Conference, we will continue to live in the moment to do our part in making the Triangle, and each of our communities, a more Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive place for all.

We cannot express enough gratitude and thankfulness to the Triangle DEI Alliance and The Raleigh Chamber of Commerce for their commitment to DEI and for putting on such a successful and impactful conference.

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