NOW is the time to get involved: The Diversity Center’s Walk, Rock and Run

We are at an extraordinary moment in our country’s history. Now, more than ever, is the time to stand up for diversity, equity and inclusion.

As Bill Priemer, president and CEO of Hyland, recently said, “We must do better. We must do more.”

As our organization has grown over the last 29 years, we continue to listen to and learn from the communities around the world where our employees live and work. This important, ongoing dialogue continues to guide us and has led us to commit to creating an ever-evolving culture of diversity and inclusion. It has also helped us understand the value of individuality and the different skillsets and viewpoints that diversity brings.

It also led us to the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio, located in the community where Hyland’s headquarters is located.

Since 1927, the Diversity Center has been working to eliminate bias, bigotry and racism. It promotes understanding, respect and institutional equality on matters of race, age, religion, sex, ethnicity, culture, ability, gender identity, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status. The organization achieves this by offering youth programming as well as promoting diversity and addressing institutional bias in the workplace.

Learning to lead

Hyland has been working with the Diversity Center since 2018. Since then, two of my colleagues have graduated from the organization’s LeadDIVERSITY program.

As part of this nine-month leadership program, Courtney Conn and Rebecca Scina visited local organizations to discuss diversity, learn how they are furthering the cause in our communities and share best practices to strengthen Hyland’s own diversity efforts.

“I value the experiences, friendships and professional connections I’ve gained throughout the LeadDIVERISTY program,” said Scina, a global sales manager at Hyland. “My personal evolution over the course of this class has taken me from ally to advocate, and now to activist. I loved this program and promote it to everyone I meet.”

Walking the walk (running the run)

For all these reasons and more, we’re proud to be participating in the Diversity Center’s 18th annual Walk, Rock and Run.

The event spreads a message of respect, acceptance and inclusion. Proceeds enable the Diversity Center to empower more than 14,000 youth and youth-serving professionals in 11 counties via school programming, conferences and retreats.

This year’s event will take place virtually. To keep things safe during the evolving COVID-19 situation, participants can choose their own courses, whether on a treadmill, a neighborhood street or a park. Want to get involved? Complete your walk or race between Sunday, June 21, and Monday, July 6.

Peggy Fisher, president and CEO of the Diversity Center, explained how the event fits into the organization’s larger mission.

“We are grateful and proud to be partnering with Hyland to fulfill our mission of standing up and speaking out against bias, bigotry, racism and anti-Semitism by championing social justice and educating a new generation of leaders committed to building stronger, more inclusive communities,” she said. “Hyland’s support means a lot to the Diversity Center, but it means even more to those without a voice who depend upon us to speak out and stand up for them.”

Staying involved with the Diversity Center and its mission, Scina is a Hyland team co-captain for the Walk, Rock and Run.

“This is a huge opportunity,” she said. “Hyland and the Diversity Center have formed a lasting partnership where we work to help eliminate systemic racism and discrimination in all its forms. In taking a more active role in these and future events, we can ensure that the momentum of change will create a brighter and safer future for everyone.”

Courtney Conn, a human resources program manager at Hyland, says the event represents a step toward meaningful change.

“For me, the Walk, Rock and Run event symbolizes a step forward that each one of us can take to collectively create change, together,” she said. “I’m walking for myself, my family, my friends, my community and all those who continue to fight hard to continue to eliminate racism and provide social justice for everyone.”

Getting involved

Hopefully, we are all asking ourselves what we can do to help.

If you’re looking for a small, yet meaningful way to be a part of this important national dialogue, here are three opportunities:

  1. Sign up for the 5k race
  2. Join Hyland’s team to walk or run
  3. Donate to the Diversity Center to support the organization’s programming

We need to make our society more equitable and inclusive for everyone. It’s something we all should embrace.

And we need to do it right now.

Lisa Jackman

As part of the Employee Experience team in the HR department, Lisa Jackman manages a team that focuses on Hyland’s corporate social responsibility and employee communication efforts.

Lisa and her team... read more about: Lisa Jackman

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