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Bennett College to Host Conference on Diversity and Inclusion


      The First Diversity Lecture Series to launch on October 11 at Bennett College will feature Chief Diversity Officers from leading global corporations and other diversity thought leaders.

      The series is part of the continually expanding Johnnetta B. Cole Global Diversity & Inclusion Institute and will run through the College’s 2005-06 academic year. Ted Childs, IBM’s Chief Diversity Officer, who has been called “perhaps the most effective diversity executive on the planet.” The lecture series are free and open to the public.

      “Ted will not only provide an opportunity for Bennett Belles and others in attendance to learn more about the diversity and inclusion strategies at IBM Corporation, but he will also expound on the continuing evolution of diversity and inclusion in the global workplace and the ‘worldplace,’ said Bennett’s president and corporate diversity consultant, Dr. Johnnetta Cole.

      She added, “Women of color are still a key underrepresented group in the executive ranks of corporations, businesses, nonprofits, and academic institutions; and it is vitally important that we continue to work toward understanding just how to shift this paradigm. The work and results of Ted Childs at IBM and other ‘C-Suite’ diversity officers are not only proof that it can be done, but it underscores that business is simply better when it is done.”

      Among others, the series will bring to the campus Gwen Houston (Vice President of Diversity, Campbell Soup); Pat Harris (Chief Diversity Officer, McDonald’s Corporation); Deb Dagit (Chief Diversity Officer, Merck); and Dr. Rohini Anand (Chief Diversity Officer, Sodexho USA). Bennett’s first Professor of Diversity in-Residence, Dr. Julianne Malveaux, noted economist, commentator, syndicated columnist and diversity thought leader will be the final speaker of the series in the Spring.

      “It continues to be important that we understand the expanding global economy we will demand, that we have many different people and ideas at the table even if that means moving in a larger table,” Cole said. “We all know it’s the right thing to do, but the results of the organizations that ‘get it’ suggests that it’s the best business thing to do.”

      The college will invite Triad business, government, and community leaders to attend the lecture series and provide opportunities for questions and dialogue during each speaker’s visit to the campus.

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