EICC hosts free diversity, equity, and inclusion training workshops

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 8:30 PM CST
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QUAD CITIES (KWQC) - Eastern Iowa Community Colleges is offering free diversity, equity, and inclusion training workshops for businesses, leaders, and anyone else who’s interested. Organizers say the goal is to ”create an inclusive workplace culture and build the successful teams they need to thrive.” The first of three sessions reportedly had over 250 people in attendance.

“We understand the value of diversity that brings to the workplace to our teams and just to the way that we function in the world that it brings a lot of value. And recognizing that and knowing how to capitalize on that value in all of our spaces that we work and live in as is more and more important all the time,” says Paula Arends, EICC’s Director of Continuing Education and Professional Development.

This is the first time the college has hosted an event like this, and they say it’s already successful. The conversations will surround themselves around how to start talking about diversity, how to respond to shocking news around the world and in the workplace, and how to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment.

“Companies and organizations that truly embrace equity and inclusion are more profitable. They’re more success-driven. It really does impact the bottom line, and it does impact the ability of an organization to be successful. And I think that that’s a major reason for us here in the Quad Cities and for any company across the world to really embrace diversity,” adds Arends.

The next workshops will be offered online on January 18 and 25 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The presenter is Yves Salomon-Fernández, Ph.D. Her bio is below.

You can register for the training at

January 18—The Pandemic and the Headlines: Shocks and Response

The pandemic has affected our country unequally. Some lost their jobs, their ability to provide for themselves and loved ones, or their businesses. Others lacked adequate healthcare and child care to get back on their feet. In the midst of the suffering, we also experienced significant racial unrest. This session will provide some tools for facilitating conversations at the dinner table, in the board room, on the shop floor and in Zoom meetings.

January 25—The Business Case for a More Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Work EnvironmentRegister For Session

We are working through a tight labor market and “the great resignation” while also undergoing significant demographic changes. The data shows us that businesses with a more diverse board and executive team are more profitable. The data also shows that a higher sense of belonging correlates with higher employee retention. Our customer and client bases, domestic and international, are more diverse, younger, and socially conscious. This session will focus on the business case for creating a workplace where all feel welcome.

About the presenter

Dr. Yves Salomon-Fernández is a nationally recognized, entrepreneurial, future-focused thought leader and former community college president, who led institutions in suburban and rural settings in Massachusetts and New Jersey. Internationally, she has served with the United Nations in Mexico and as a consultant for the Bermuda Ministry of Education. In March 2018, Diverse Issues in Higher Education named Dr. Salomon-Fernández one of the Top 25 Women in Higher Education.

She has served as a reviewer for the National Science Foundation and Johns Hopkins University Press. A corporator for Greenfield Cooperative Bank, Dr. Salomon-Fernández is also a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Community Development Council. She serves as a board member for Cooley Dickinson Hospital and Mass Humanities, both located in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Dr. Salomon-Fernández received her undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts Boston and holds a certificate from the University of Oxford. Her Master’s degree is from the London School of Economics and her Ph.D. from Boston College. In addition to Haitian Creole, Dr. Salomon-Fernández is fluent in French and Spanish.

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