Creating an Inclusive Corridor

Creating an Inclusive Corridor Main Photo

13 Jun 2019

Diversity, Events

This was a busy week in the Iowa Lakes Corridor! On the evening of Tuesday, June 11, the community came together for a screening of "Do We Belong?" at the Spencer Community Theater. A panel and community discussion followed the short documentary about a tragic hate crime against an Indian immigrant in Olathe, Kansas.

On the panel were Jay Dahlhauser, a Youth Advocate & Operations Director at The Bridge of Storm Lake; Sunayana Dumala, a Database Developer at Intouch B2D, founder of Forever Welcome and subject of the documentary "Do We Belong?"; Tina Shaw, an Executive Officer in the Iowa Department of Human Rights, Office of Asian Pacific Islander Affairs; and Francesca Yu, an employee of Spencer Hospital. Sarika Bhakta, President of Nikeya Diversity Consulting moderated the community conversation. 

On Wednesday, over 50 business and community leaders from across the region joined the Corridor at Iowa Lakes Community College in Spencer to learn more about diversity, equity, inclusion and engagement in two workshops facilitated by Sarika Bahkta of Nikeya Diversity Consulting and Anthony Arrington, Karl Cassell and Nick Ford of Top RANK Professional and Executive Recruiting Firm.

The morning session focused on defining diversity, how it benefits companies and communities and the importance of equity, inclusion and engagement to work alongside diversity. The afternoon session discussed how to better understand coworkers and those in the community that come from a different background or culture. The training brought up many meaningful and applicable topics that can be used to move forward in becoming a more welcoming community for everyone.

"We were very excited about the attendance and the high-quality and value of the training," Corridor President and CEO Kiley Miller said. "This is not the end. Diversity, equity, inclusion and engagement is a journey and the Corridor is just getting started."

The Corridor would like to extend another thank you to our sponsors and hosts: the City of Spencer, Clay County and Demco Products, the Spencer Community Theatre and Iowa Lakes Community College.