Diversity summit in Holland

Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance hopes to make West Michigan a more inclusive region. As part that goal, the alliance will host the 2012 Lakeshore Region Summit on Race and Inclusion on June 5 at Hope College's Dimnent Memorial Chapel.
Alex Doty
May 31, 2012


“For this summit, my belief is that if people come to it, we will have a common understanding about the barriers we can deconstruct,” said Gail Harrison, executive director of the alliance.

Harrison said the summit would identify steps for overcoming the existing barriers that limit people individually, in organizations and institutions, and as a community.

“The changes are coming,” she said. “We have to be able to understand in order to move us from fear to being more inclusive.”

Over the past 16 years, Harrison said she has heard more and more that the community is wonderful, but there is a lack of diversity.

“It’s not from a lack of goodwill," said Harrison, who is from the Tri-Cities area. "It’s from a lack of knowledge about what is getting in the way.”

Event organizers expect more than 600 people from the community to attend the conference. They will include participants from businesses, nonprofit organizations, faith communities, government and educational institutions.

The format of the event includes a morning and a luncheon session, and four focused topics for breakout sessions, which will repeat following each keynote address. The opening session will feature speaker Terry Keleher, director of the Midwest office of the Applied Research Center.

The conference comes on the heels of a May 8 incident of racial intimidation at a Grand Haven apartment complex and an ongoing racial intimidation of a Spring Lake restaurant owner.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.




Does anyone else find it ironic that a summit seeking to diversify the community is being held at a Reformed Church in America Chapel? If it is diversity you seek you must then open your eyes to all viewpoints. Some people with those viewpoints (likely the ones that need to be heard) may find it offensive to be required to enter a place of worship to voice their opinion. A secular choice of venue would have been a better selection if a diverse group of concerned citizens was truly desired.

Fly on the Wall

Epic fail. Is this the comics page?

Hey Dutchie, get a clue.
Other faiths prohibit attendance at this event because of its venue.

This is so stereotypical, it's laughable!!!


Maybe they can hold the meeting under the cross on Dewey hill instead.


I hope West Michigan understands that "ethinic diversity" is nothing more than a liberal scheme to get white people feeling guilty about their success. It's not about "deconstruction" or "removing barriers" in our communities...its is the exact opposite. Its about opening the door to give advantages to people that have not earned them. What Gail Harrison is really saying is that they're too many Churches in West Michigan and not near enough Mosques. The need for foot baths in city restrooms, more black windsurfers, and the lack of Spanish speaking people everywhere. Surely, they're too many white people in Allendale, Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Nunica, Fruitport, and Ferrysburg, and this is an injustice that must be stopped! (ie) barriers The arrogance for Ms. Harrison to assume West Michigan has barriers that limit people. However, I do challenge Gail Harrison to relocate the Cross on Dewey Hill and place it in the middle of Hamtramick, Michigan and then, report back to us on the wonderful benefits of ethnic diversity. Then, just maybe, she'lll see a glimpse of what a screaming intolerance diversity really is.


You seem very passionate about this topic, dyankee. Seriously, you should consider attending and presenting your point of view.


dyankee you sound like a member of the KKK. You are the best example of the need for diversity training anyone could come up with. Good luck and keep your chin up changes to your world are coming soon.


@ sirhansalot: Right-a-way, if someone disagrees with you then, of course, call them a racist and demand they need to be placed in a re-education camp, called ethnic deversity training. I believe most people are getting sick & tired of this nonsense. Even productive minority individuals agree with me and are just as disgusted and appauled with diversity and affirmative action as I am because it destroys the fabric of society and the self-worth of an individual. Everyone should be judge by the content of their character, hard work, dedication, and playing by the rules. Diversity training tosses these notions on it's head and demands that success in this country is handed out only to minoritiy groups at the expense of non-minority individuals. Your're actually providing the better example....how ironic.


Dear dyankee, you have nothing to fear but fear its self.........
By the way...
Diversity training is training for the purpose of increasing participants' cultural awareness, knowledge, and skills, which is based on the assumption that the training will benefit an organization by protecting against civil rights violations, increasing the inclusion of different identity groups, and promoting better teamwork..


Dear Sirhansalot, Liberalism is a mental disorder....By the way, allow me to translate your last post. Diversity training is the purpose of brainwashing citizens and/or the forcing against ones will, the indoctrination of cultural surpremacy by minority groups or thinkers over the entire population based on the accusation that everyone else is a racist, bigot, or homophobe. Said training will be used as extortion of organizations under the expressed and proven guidelines used by ethnic diversity legends, such as Jesse Jackson of the Rainbow Push Coalliton, by threatening frivolous civil rights violations and bussed-in union protestors at your place of business or personal residence. Thus, creating hatred, class envy, racial tension, and social division of an individual, community, town, state, or country, all in an orchestrated effort to control the population and disolve it's freedoms and unalienable rights on which it was founded that amoung these are life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.


P.S. Sirhansalot......almost forgot, your are indeed correct, I will keep my chin up as "changes in my world are coming soon" and if Tuesday night's vote in Wisconsin is any indication of the winds of change, I will eagerly look forward in playing a small role of getting my Country back from the grasp of enept thinkers such as yourself and the likes of the Institute for Creating Racism.


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