What are employers doing to understand and attract diverse talent to their workplaces? How do managers and colleagues handle the generational divide at work? How do we talk about diversity and inclusion without shame, blame or finger-pointing?

Those are among the questions to be addressed at the third annual Economic Development Summit, presented by the Midway Chamber of Commerce and co-sponsored by the University of St. Thomas.

The event will be held Wednesday, April 20, from 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at Anderson Student Center on St. Thomas’ main campus in St. Paul.

Author and civil rights attorney Dr. Artika Tyner, associate vice president of diversity and inclusion at St. Thomas, will kick off the morning with a presentation about unconscious bias.

In a recent presentation on the topic, Tyner  whose books include The Lawyer as Leader  challenged her audience of managers and supervisors with two questions:

  • What are the biases I grew up with that I hold to be true?
  • What efforts have I made to make awareness of my privilege a “lived reality”?

Following Tyner’s interactive presentation, Barbara Raye will break the audience into small groups for a discussion of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Raye, who is executive director and founder of the Center for Policy, Planning and Performance in St. Paul, also will lead the group through a 21-point tool kit that will detail strategies for creating an inclusive environment at work.

The lunchtime speaker is Peace Coffee CEO and self-described “queen bee” Lee Wallace, whose company aims “to continue coffee’s centuries-old tradition as a centerpiece of conversation and community.”

Tickets are $50 for the session or luncheon only, $75 for both. For more information, contact Beth Breidel at the Midway Chamber of Commerce, (651)646-2636. Registration is available online here.

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