Taking advantage of our community’s diversity can be a challenge. While people of different ethnicities, cultures, and ages are all around us we can often find ourselves on the outside looking in. Host Don Marsh talks with guests about ways non-profit and arts organizations can engage new and underserved communities and improve their diversity.
Engaging communities and improving diversity are the topics of a conference this week called “Cross-Cultural Engagement: Building a Diverse and Dynamic Community.” In addition to keynote speaker Howard Ross, there will be a performance by the Urban Bush Women, which uses cultural expression as a catalyst for social change.
- Howard Ross, Founder and Chief Learning Officer, Cook Ross Inc. and author of "Re-Inventing Diversity: Transforming Organizational Community to Strengthen People, Purpose & Performance"
- Jill McGuire, Executive Director, Regional Arts Commission
- Cecilia Nadal, Founder and Executive Director, Gitana Productions
Jill McGuire said engaging people of diverse communities needs to be a worldwide effort. As far as St. Louis is concerned she said, “St. Louis is really moving forward and looking at engagement.”
Cecilia Nadal said, “With the kinds of problems we have in St. Louis with the number of people who are poor, we have to change the paradigm. If we do not we are going to be left with a city that continues racial and ethnic isolation.”
Howard Ross said research of human behavior has evolved remarkably over the last thirty years. “Overwhelmingly human beings are biased and we have it for a reason because it is a survival mechanism and bias can show up in a negative way and a positive way,” said Howard.
Gitana Productions and the Regional Arts Commission present a conference called “Cross-Cultural Engagement: Building a Diverse and Dynamic Community” on October 11 and 12 at Webster University, Community Music School