Iowa Ideas
Iowa Ideas

To provide a nonpartisan, statewide learning experience

designed to explore the key questions and big ideas that will shape the future of Iowa.

Iowa Ideas

Diversity Forum will join Iowa Ideas, featuring keynote Gloria Cotton

Tickets now available: Sept. 20-21, downtown Cedar Rapids

Jan 1, 2000 at 12:01 am
    Gloria Cotton of InQuest Consulting will keynote the 2018 Diversity Forum, as part of Iowa Ideas. (Courtesy photo)

    The Employee Resource Group Consortium (ERGC) has announced a new twist to their annual Diversity Forum.

    New for 2018, the Diversity Forum will be part of The Gazette's Iowa Ideas conference. 

    Attendees with a specific interest in sessions focused on diversity will gather for a morning workshop featuring national keynote and consultant Gloria Cotton. 

    Then, diversity- and inclusion-focused sessions will be featured throughout Iowa Ideas, giving participants a view of how diversity intersects with topics such as education, health care, workforce and more. 

    Meet Gloria Cotton: 

    An expert HR and organizational development professional, Gloria has more than 25 years experience working with all types of entities. She will lead group discussion and activities that examine the definition of diversity and inclusion, the behaviors and feelings connected to the feeling of exclusion, and share best practices in optimizing trust-filled relationships.  


    Tickets are now on sale. Options range from $75 to $275 (it pays to register early!). See all options at our registration page

    Scholarship and volunteer opportunities are also available — read more and apply

    Register today

    2018 Diversity Forum schedule: 


    • Kick-off activity and keynote (full conference): A high-energy condition of the state with message from Diversity Forum Keynote Gloria Cotton.

    • Diversity Forum keynote: Gloria Cotton: Creating environments of understanding, how to cope with unconscious bias and behavioral practices that lead to productive, inclusive collaborations. A message and interactive activities.   

    • Luncheon keynote (full conference): Details to be announced

    • Reaching all students: From K-12 to higher ed, institutions in Iowa have had to grapple with how diversity intersects with student experiences, free speech, access to internships and other educational opportunities, and more. How can Iowa set all students up for success?
      *Offered within education track

    • Diversity in criminal justice reform: From first contact to re-entry, how do race, sexuality, gender identity, faith, mental health and socio-economic status impact the criminal justice system? And how can we reform the system to ensure that justice truly is served?
      *Offered within human & social services track

    • Slipping through the cracks: A look at the demographics of care. What patterns and opportunities exist when considering varying physical and psychological needs across race, gender, ethnicity and beyond? A look at access to care, the advocacy groups leading the way, and how health care providers can work together to close the gaps. 
      *Offered within health care track

    • Welcome home: immigrants and refugees: A look at the role immigrants and refugees play in Iowa, and the evolving needs of these populations. What's working, what's not, and what impact will current policy debates have on individuals and our state as a whole?
      *Offered within policy track

    • Pints & Politics (full conference): All things politics — from federal to hometown issues — in a social, non-partisan setting. Led by The Gazette team and Iowa Public Radio, featuring audience Q&A and a guest appearance (TBA).


    • Building inclusive, connected communities: How can communities develop a regional strategy and pursue economic development goals with diversity and inclusion in mind? The role of neighborhoods, housing, schools and more in maintaining a unique identity while building for the future. 
      *Offered within regional development track

    • Effective re-entry programs and societal impact: What elements can help incarcerated individuals prepare for life outside the system? Representatives from reform organizations will share best practice re-entry programs and the issues addressed in the journey of life outside. Topics of race, sexuality, gender-identity, socio-economic status and more will be addressed in discussion of effective environments and re-entry programs for all.
      *Offered within human & social services track

    • The value of diversity and inclusion: The ROI of D&I. Hear real stories from Iowa employers about the impact of setting up and implementing D&I programs and the impact they can have on a region. What roles should employers play, and what opportunities can exist for employees? And how to set the culture and create an atmosphere where inclusion is a way of life, not an exception.  
      *Offered within workforce track

    Register today

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