Chicago United Collaborates With UIC's Institute of Government and Public Affairs to Address Diversity in an Era of Economic Uncertainty

May 13, 2009, 08:00 ET from Chicago United

CHICAGO, May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Chicago United and the University of Illinois' Institute of Government and Public Affairs today announced that they will sponsor a one-day summit, titled Diversity in an Era of Economic Uncertainty, to discuss the impact the recession is having on diversity and inclusion in the public and private sectors. The summit will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 21, at the Mid-America Club, 200 East Randolph St., Chicago.

Leaders from business, government, and academia will explore the issues surrounding diversity and inclusion practices as ongoing necessities to create new business opportunities despite the current economic challenges. The conference will feature an interactive, open dialogue regarding:

  • the impact that economic volatility has on diversity initiatives
  • development of strategies to sustain diversity and inclusion as business imperatives, and;
  • best practices for advancing diversity and inclusion in corporate, government, and academic institutions.

The discussion panels will feature thought-leaders from academia and industry who will share in-depth insights on diversity and inclusion practices that are crucial to the success of any organization.

Some of the scheduled panelists include:

  • Dr. Walter Benn Michaels, professor and Chair of the English Department, University of Illinois at Chicago; LaShana Jackson, director of diversity and inclusion, Aon Corporation, and;
  • Andres Tapia, chief diversity officer and emerging workforce solutions leader, Hewitt Associates.

Dr. Katherine W. Phillips, associate professor of management and organizations from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and co-chair of the School's Center on the Science of Diversity will be the luncheon keynoter.

"Chicago United, along with its collaborative partners, continues its commitment to convening professionals from all sectors to advance diversity and inclusion despite the economic downturn," said Gloria Castillo, President, Chicago United. "It is critically important that leaders in both the public and private sectors recognize the value that diversity can bring to our entire economy."

Dr. Robert F. Rich, director of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs added that attendees should expect an instructive session.

"Although we are facing unprecedented economic times in our country's history, innovation, and diversity are essential elements to remain competitive in business," Rich said. "This event has been designed to put you at the forefront of the discussion on diversity, the economy, and alternative approaches to managing diversity initiatives in today's business environment."

For more information, visit Chicago United's Web site at

About Chicago United

Chicago United is the catalyst driving business leaders to maximize economic impact for all races. Created in 1968, Chicago United was the first group to bring together racially diverse CEOs with a common goal of creating a stronger social and economic climate for everyone in Chicago. To achieve sustainable impact, members focus on multiracial leadership development in corporate governance and executive level management; developing a pipeline of future multiracial executive leaders; and cultivating multiracial business partnerships. Through a fierce brand of constructive conversation, Chicago United fosters inclusion and provides an opportunity for senior executives from all racial and ethnic groups to learn from one another, confront and break down racial barriers and achieve shared objectives.

About the Institute of Government and Public Affairs

The Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois seeks to improve public policy and government performance by producing and distributing cutting-edge research and analysis of public policy issues and providing public engagement that enlightens and educates elected officials, students and the general public. The institute was created in 1947 by resolution of the Illinois General Assembly.

SOURCE Chicago United