My hopes for ASAE’s Diversity and Inclusion Conference

A lot has been said recently in the blogosphere about the topic of diversity and inclusion within the association community.  So I was very happy to learn that ASAE was taking the conversation to the next level with the Diversity and Inclusion Conference in Washington, DC next February.  As a DELP Scholar, I feel this is long overdue.  Here are some of my hopes and dreams for this upcoming event.

This doesn’t mark the end of the conversation at ASAE conferences. D&I programming is still needed at the Annual Meeting, Great Ideas, and other activities.

This conference extends the preaching beyond the choir. Those of us who have an interest in diversity and inclusion have already heard best practices, lessons learned and so on.  This program should seek out the skeptics who may even question the need for such a conference.

Being brave enough to have the uncomfortable conversation. How can we learn to work together when we don’t take the time to understand each other?  We all stereotype.  We need to own up to it, deal with it and move on.

Social media is utilized. If no one is actively tweeting, facebooking, and/or foursquaring about this conference, we will be missing a golden opportunity.

To recognize the visible and invisible forms of diversity.  This must become the mindset moving forward.

Giving those who are not CEOs or senior staff the opportunity to participate. To have a thoughtful conversation about diversity and inclusion, shouldn’t we have feedback from across the spectrum?  I’m sure lower level staff can contribute to the conversation as well if not better than the CEO.

This conference becomes part of the regular ASAE schedule. If the association wants to show leadership with this topic, this conference has to continue beyond 2011.  We can no longer afford to just pay lip service to diversity and inclusion.

By the way, if you’re interested in becoming a content leader at the Diversity and Inclusion Conference, RFPs are due this Friday October 1.  More information can be found here: http://www.asaecenter.org/Forms/2011DiversityConferenceRFP/index.cfm Spread the word and get involved!

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6 thoughts on “My hopes for ASAE’s Diversity and Inclusion Conference

  1. I worry that only those who already “get it” (the choir) will attend and that those who need to “get it” won’t be interested. So how does ASAE break through their filters and get them involved in the conversation? I can think of ways to use social media to do this before, during and after the conversation, but my gut tells me that those methods won’t reach them either. So the website, magazine and newsletters will have to be the platform for the conference conversation to be alive for those who don’t attend.

  2. Sorry to just see this late in the process.
    1) Tried to find the conference on ASAE’s web site and didn’t. Do either of you have a good link?
    2) Do remember seeing that it was, I think, $695 regis. Way too expensive for me!
    3) I am curious about having this program at the Park Hyatt – a fab property in a not-diverse n’hood in DC and w/ a ‘chi-chi’ reputation.
    3) And Hyatt’s been sued by housekeepers from 9 hotels – regarding safety and how it is not practiced for the (very diverse) housekeeping staff.
    4) When will non-visible diversity be tackled? It seems to be part of the lip-service.
    5) When will the meetings part of the broader industry STOP having meetings over the holiest days of the Jewish year? (THIS was a banner year for holding meetings over Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur.)
    6) If ASAE thinks diversity/inclusion are so important, why not ethics? Try to find an ethics statement built into what ASAE believes.

    Is there a full moon? I’m cranky!

  3. No one can find it — and it is odd. Wonder if there’s an issue? I’ll check w/ the Diversity Cmte. Chair to see what she knows and post when I find out.

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