Diversity Summit Works To Bring Tulsans Together

Wednesday, October 12th 2016, 6:39 pm
By: News On 6

There's an ongoing effort to bring all of Tulsa together in the wake of the Terence Crutcher shooting.

Some say it is very important to keep the conversation alive.

For months now, panel discussions like the "Black Lives Matter" discussion happening Wednesday at the Antioch Baptist Church have been taking place.

But Wednesday, more than 300 people from organizations and businesses participated in the Return on Inclusion diversity training event.

In each of these Return on Inclusion summit workshops, you'll see a colorful group of people from all walks of life.

With the strained political and social climate in America, this is exactly what organizers want to see.

"There's always room for us to grow and develop these conversations and invite more people in," said summit organizer Justice Waidner Smith. 

The Return on Inclusion Summit is Oklahoma's largest profession diversity and inclusion summit. 

It's generally put together by a wide variety of businesses and organizations.

Leading the charge is Justice Waidner Smith with OneOK.

"We have to start talking in order to build relationships and bridge these cultural divides," said Shaylynne Foster, another organizer. 

The workshops address ways to start conversations about tough topics.

Race in the workplace and hiring top talent from all backgrounds.

"At the end of the day it's about business results and to drive business results you need the best and brightest ideas at the table and that comes in all forms sizes races. you just need to make sure everyone has a seat at the table and not just a seat at the table but a voice," Foster said. 

As Tulsa continues to grow, organizers say the need for diversity training is imperative. 

"Tulsa has a very wide history of some of the greatest diversity successes as well as some of the biggest and most horrific diversity challenges. We have an opportunity now to come together and explore how do we create the Tulsa we want to live in," Waidner Smith said. 

Click here to find resources to help your business or organization with diversity training.