The City of Naperville is launching a new event series called Embrace Naperville: Empowering our Mission Through a Year of Learning. The series will be focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and will kick off with a roundtable discussion called The Power of Inclusion on November 10.
Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America, will be the keynote speaker for the inaugural event. There will also be a breakout session led by Nader Najjar, executive director of educational equity for Indian Prairie School District 204
Series Led By City’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager
Naperville’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Manager, Dr. Geneace Williams, is leading the event series itself. Dr. Williams started in the role in February 2021, and has since gotten resident feedback indicating their desire to learn more about DEI. To that end, she’s created a three-part listening, learning, and leveraging framework, of which the Embrace Naperville series is a part.
“I could not be happier than to have progressed to where we are today,” Williams said. “After meeting with residents and organizations, building relationships – without which this work would not be possible – and putting together a plan for the next year, I am excited for the work to unfold. I am grateful to all who helped us get to this place. DEI is not my work – it is our work. Together we are making Naperville an even stronger community.”
Supporting The City’s Mission
The event series is also reflective of part of the city’s mission statement added in 2019: to create “an inclusive community that values diversity.” Part of those efforts includes partnering with organizations to help increase awareness, and to continuing to create opportunities for conversation on the topic.
Event Details, Registration
The Power of Inclusion will take place at the Naperville Municipal Center on November 10 at 6:30 p.m. The event is free, but registration is required, and can be done through the city website.
Naperville News 17’s Kim Pirc reports.
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