Magnifying Pathways Ep. 4: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 9:29 AM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - On another episode of Magnifying Pathways, leaders with United Way discussed the importance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Quad Cities.

Wednesday’s group of panelist included:

  • Rene Gellerman, United Way Quad Cites President and CEO
  • Alfred Ramirez, Diverse Strategies Now President and United Way Quad Cities Board Member
  • Dr. Burl Randolph Jr., Colonel U.S. Army, Retired, who led United Way’s United for Equity Fund review panel

Kicking off the discussion, Rene Gellerman referenced the importance of DEI in the QC with internal research conducted by United Way.

“We noticed and identified significant gaps in the Black and Hispanic community, in areas of education, income and health. Those we consider, is the building blocks of a foundation that every community needs to thrive,” said Gellerman.

Gellerman also added DEI as apart of Untied Ways Rise United 10-year goal.

Alfred Ramirez chimed in to talk about the incorporating DEI principals in peoples everyday lives and work environments.

“We need to be culturally aware and competent, accepting, not rejecting other and then I think really when it comes down to it, it that were all part of an ecosystem, were all mutually interdependent, if some of our community members aren’t given an opportunity, or an ability to access or to thrive...then we all suffer and lose,” said Ramirez.

Dr. Burl Randolph Jr. says the impact of not incorporating equity is costing the U.S. economy trillions of dollars.

Citigroup released a study last year, it talked about the cost of inequity on our economy, it occurred from 1999-2019, so when we talk about businesses of color, and discrimination in lending, that’s cost our economy $13 trillion of the last 20 years,” said Dr. Randolph Jr.

The panelist also brought up inequities affecting the current labor shortage, post COVID.

Wrapping up, panelist provided ways Quad Citians can make actionable changes in their live to advance equity or how they can become an ally.

“First of all, be an activist ally, and I emphasize the term activist ally, not a bystander who only says I got your back and takes no action, and also don’t commit micro-aggressions and step in when you see one happening, that’s the most important thing, if you see one happening, step in.” said Ramirez.

Gellerman also encourages Quad Citians of an upcoming opportunity to learn more about DEI with the QCDEI Leadership Institute.

Next month on episode 5 Magnifying Pathways will talk ‘Mental Health: its okay to ask for help’. This episode will air live on the TV6 News Alert Desk Nov. 10th at 9am.

Magnifying Pathways is a partnership with TV6 and United Way Quad Cities, as we aspire to expose Quad Citians to local available resources.

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