Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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President and CEO of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce Kaylin Risvold and guests discuss diversity, equity and inclusion, as part of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce. The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee was launched within the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce in January of 2020, and today’s guests play vital roles at the Chamber, within that group.

Kimberly White, the Executive Director of the Career and Networking Center in Naperville, is also the Chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee at the NACC and she joins Kaylin today to discuss forming the committee and the timing of the committee. Meena Banasiak, Director of Quality and Food Safety at Phoenix Packaging also joins the discussion, to talk about her involvement in the DEI Committee and its role in helping local businesses understand how they can be more inclusive. They are joined by Lourdes Lonergan, Director of Business Development for the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago, who brings insight on how YWCA is offering DEI training and resources to area businesses.

Statement on DEI

The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce released a statement on DEI policy and denouncing racism earlier this year, as the DEI Committee, their goal was to create a sense of belonging and community. “That was a really poignant thing for me to reflect on,” said Meena Banasiak.  “When we look for ways to create inclusive environments and give people that sense that they belong it really depends on our ability to draw out the values that people hold and bring to every group that they interact with, that representation of the whole of who they are,” said Banasiak.

“One of the things that really resonates with me and I think everyone on the Committee is that we all have had stories to tell, or we have had witness to stories that have happened,” said Lourdes Lonergan. “The goal of our committee is to really educate people abut all these different cultures and bring an awareness so they can see there really is a lot more that binds us than divides us,” said Lonergan.

Watch More Episodes of  “Inside the Chamber”

Watch more episodes on today’s top business trends and issues, especially as they affect Naperville.  And, to find out more about how the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce is driving economic growth through active engagement and advocacy for the business community, visit their website.