Let's talk diversity panelist

From left, Tiffany Wang, program coordinator, Diversity Awareness Partnership; David Walker, Cause Event & Grassroots marketing specialist, Brown Shoe Co.; April Ford-Griffin, director, Civil Rights Enforcement Agency of St. Louis; Karen Kalish, Social Serial Entrepreneur and Home Works Teacher Home Visit Program and Dan Anderson-Little, Trinity Presbyterian Church.

The Ameren Network of Minority Employees (ANME) resource group hosted its second annual Let's Talk Diversity panel discussion, Oct. 16 at Ameren's headquarters in St. Louis. More than 100 attendees listened to a panel of five community leaders as they talked about diversity inclusion.

Shirley Stennis, president of ANME, said the forum provided leaders, advocates, and supporters of organizational diversity efforts an opportunity to come together to discuss "safe to say" in the workplace.

"We want our employees to understand that what they have to say is valuable to our company," Stennis said. "This discussion allows us to provide better service for our customers and helps enrich Ameren."

Panelists included Karen Kalish, Social Serial Entrepreneur and Home Works Teacher Home Visit Program; April Ford-Griffin, director, Civil Rights Enforcement Agency of St. Louis; David Walker, Cause Event & Grassroots marketing specialist, Brown Shoe Co.; Tiffany Wang, program coordinator, Diversity Awareness Partnership; and Dan Anderson-Little, Trinity Presbyterian Church.

"Diversity brings added focus to the way we do business," said Sharon Harvey Davis, vice president and Chief Diversity Officer of Ameren Corporation. "Our employee resource groups like ANME are asked to do community outreach, educate our employees around the resource group's focus area and to support the mission of Ameren. The panel discussion was an opportunity to do all three."


Study: white kids benefit from diverse classrooms



Research compiled by the National Coalition on School Diversity demonstrates that white children in grades K-12 benefit significantly from integrated classrooms, a conclusion that mirrors many previous findings that diverse schools also produce beneficial outcomes for low- income students and children of color.

 In a recent research brief, Dr. Genevieve Siegel-Hawley, a member of the Coalition's research advisory panel, writes that diverse schools are linked to a series of positive learning outcomes for white students, including more robust classroom discussions, the promotion of critical thinking, improved problem-solving skills and higher academic achievement.

She writes that white families "wishing to maximize the academic and social benefits of education for their children can actively seek out diverse schools, assured that their own children will be strongly advantaged by the experience."

The National Coalition on School Diversity is a network of civil rights and social justice organizations that advocate for a stronger commitment to racial and economic integration in Grades K-12.  The coalition works closely with the Poverty & Race Research Action Council (PRRAC), a Washington policy organization that provides grassroots advocates with research on structural inequality issues and designs strategies to fight poverty and improve race relations.

Dr. Siegel-Hawley notes that the country's changing demographics underscore the importance of advocating for diverse classrooms.  Last year, the Census found that for the first time white infants accounted for less than half of all births in the U.S.  Moreover, in 1970, white students were roughly 80 percent of the national public school enrollment, but today are less than 54 percent.

"As the global economy continues to transition from the industrial age to an era based on knowledge production, flexibility, innovation and risk, today's students should be educated in learning environments that foster such characteristics," she writes.  “Enrollment in racially integrated schools is also associated with important social and psychological advantages that improve productivity in an increasingly diverse workplace."

Citing the history of white resistance to school desegregation, Dr. Siegel-Hawley says that it is "important to specifically highlight" the ways that white students gain from diverse educational settings. She hopes her paper will help expand diversity in classrooms across the country.

"Sustained support for school diversity on the part of white families is central to the creation of stable, integrated schools," Dr. Siegel-Hawley says. 


Early career exploration for HSD middle school students



Hazelwood School District Middle School University (MSU) is hosting workshop #2, in a series of six sessions. Middle School University is an interactive program designed to teach parents and students about the importance of early preparation for college. MSU is specifically designed for students in 5th-8th grade and their parents/guardians who are interested in early preparation for the future.

Workshop #2 is titled, “Career Exploration.”

Dinner and childcare will be provided.  

When: Thursday, Nov. 8 at 6:00 p.m.  

Who: HSD students, parents, grandparents and community. All students in the District are welcome to attend, including home-schooled students.

Where:    Hazelwood North Middle School

4420 Vaile Avenue

Florissant, MO 63034

Event Contact:     RSVP to Audrey Wittenauer at awitt@hazelwoodschools.org or call 314-953-5190.


Community Holiday Concert

Jamestown Mall Business Owners present a Community Holiday Concert Series at Jamestown Mall between the mall  entrance of JC'5 Star Outlet and Macy's Department Store on Saturday, November 17, 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m..  

Featured artists:  J Oscar School of Music Band, Recording Artist/Guitarist, Jordan Brewer, Recording Artist Alfred T. Wilson releasing his new CD and many more.

First 100 Adult Shoppers to check in at the Hostess Table will receive a Free gift while supplies last.  

Sponsoring businesses:  AW Printing, Brinells, Brown Insurance Agency, Healthcare Education, HCG Midwest Miracle and Papa Joe's Cafe.

For additional information contact Vanessa Slaughter at 314-494-5250.

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This is interesting to know especially if you want to launch your own business and have your own employees. As for me I think I know what to do to get a promotion this year. Thanks for making me aware of it!

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