Monday, June 15, 2015

Capital Region Minority Chamber oc Commerce Diversity Summit

Capital Region Minority Chamber of Commerce
Diversity Summit

Belinda D'Agostino

Growing up in Central New Jersey I thought it was so cool that I could see and experience so many different things.

This became even cooler as I moved into adulthood and began to travel and meet more people.  Those experiences made me realizes that most people didn’t’ have the childhood I did and or the diversity.

Queensborough Community College in New York defines “diversity” on it’s website as this:

Definition for Diversity

The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.  It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.
Diversity is a reality created by individuals and groups from a broad spectrum of demographic and philosophical differences. It is extremely important to support and protect diversity because by valuing individuals and groups free from prejudice, and by fostering a climate where equity and mutual respect are intrinsic.
"Diversity" means more than just acknowledging and/or tolerating difference. Diversity is a set of conscious practices that involve:
§  Understanding and appreciating interdependence of humanity, cultures, and the natural environment.
§  Practicing mutual respect for qualities and experiences that are different from our own.
§  Understanding that diversity includes not only ways of being but also ways of knowing;
§  Recognizing that personal, cultural and institutionalized discrimination creates and sustains privileges for some while creating and sustaining disadvantages for others;
§  Building alliances across differences so that we can work together to eradicate all forms of discrimination.
Diversity includes, therefore, knowing how to relate to those qualities and conditions that are different from our own and outside the groups to which we belong, yet are present in other individuals and groups. These include but are not limited to age, ethnicity, class, gender, physical abilities/qualities, race, sexual orientation, as well as religious status, gender expression, educational background, geographical location, income, marital status, parental status, and work experiences. Finally, we acknowledge that categories of difference are not always fixed but also can be fluid, we respect individual rights to self-identification, and we recognize that no one culture is intrinsically superior to another.
The New Jersey State Department of Health states that NJ is one of the 3 most diverse states in America.
With that being said it is no wonder as to why I support organizations that believe in the importance of diversity and inclusion.  In May of 2015 the Capital Region Minority Chamber of Commerce (CRMCC) held The Central Jersey Diversity Summit in Princeton NJ. The event was done in partnership with The Capital Region Minority Chamber of Commerce,
Capital Region Minority Chamber of Commerce

Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce

American Conference on Diversity
The event was open to business owners, corporate purchasing and human resources professionals, recruiters and anyone invested in issues of diversity and inclusion.
The attendees heard from;
Opening Keynote Speaker; Elizabeth Williams Riley - President & CEO - American Conference on Diversity 

Closing Keynote speaker; Domenick Cama, COO, Investors Savings Bank

Breakout Sessions with Industry Leaders;

Gale Britton, Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion Prudential Financial

Yvette Donado, Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, ETS

Michael Garner, Chief Diversity Officer, MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority, State of New York)

Ryan Parker, Chief Diversity Officer & Assistant VP, RWJ University Hospital

Maureen Tinen, President, UCEDC

Avis Yates-Rivers, CEO, Technology Concepts Group, Int’l
Moderating the break out sessions;
Vanessa Nazario
Rod Colon

In addition to the breakfast buffet the Capital Region Minority Chamber of Commerce Central New Jersey Diversity Summit offered significant networking opportunities.  In closing attendees learned why diversity is invaluable to business enterprises and more.  The Hyatt Regency of Princeton provided a wonderful location for the event with a central location, ample staff and amenities.

About us
The Capital Region Minority Chamber of Commerce (CRMCC) is an organizational partner providing active support to minority business enterprises in Central New
Jersey. Minority businesses include (but are not limited to) those belonging to minority ethnic groups, businesses owned primarily by women, LGBT individuals,
and persons with disabilities. The Chamber offers advocacy and promotional opportunities for members while expanding possibilities, uncovering solutions and
leveraging cultural differences for sustainable prosperity in the Capital region.
The Capital region is a diverse epicenter of commerce and entrepreneurship. Our mission encourages a climate where individuals and organizations benefit from a wide array of experiences, perspectives and backgrounds. We aim to promote fluency in issues of diversity and inclusion, provide education and professional
development while connecting minority businesses with each other and the community at large. Through annual programming, networking opportunities and
access to the region’s top business leaders, members discover new ways to grow professional acumen and bottom line.
If you are seeking Access, Results, Visibility, Leadership, Regional Impact and Networking in the Capital Region, then an active membership in the CRMCC is for you!

Upcoming Event

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Trashed Art Exhibit - Mercer County Library Lawrenceville Branch

Frequently I like to spend a few hours in a local library catching up on administrative items, researching or some quiet time reading.  The Lawrenceville NJ Branch of the Mercer County Library System is one of my favorites.

They have a decent Internet connection, the staff is very helpful, friendly and the location is usually on my route into or out of New Jersey’s capital city, Trenton.

On a recent trip my attention was captured by a piece of art.  While inspecting the sculpture I was approached by one of the staff members who explained that this piece of art was a part of the annual event, “TRASHED ART- A Contest for Creative Trash Transformation.”

The event coordinator Karen Serach was not available at the time but I was given information about the event, a tour of several pieces from previous events and asked to contact Karen with any other inquiries.  I did just that and was delighted to sit down with Karen Serach and to chat about her, and her efforts.  Have a listen to our conversation.

On the day of the reception I bumped into longtime Artworks Trenton supporter Glen Moore who entered a piece.  We chatted about the local art scene and of course Artworks before our recorded chat.  Have a listen to that conversation.

In addition to seeing Glen I met a new friend Marilyn Dombroski who was representing her Husband Gene Domborski and his submission.  We chatted for several minutes about mutual friends, aquaintances and of course artwork.  Have a listen to our chat.

Karen Serach is a very warm spirit who is passionate about the environment, art and sustainability.  I appreciate art in most forms and encourage the efforts of people who want to incorporate more art into the lives of the general public.