A group of young business professionals is reaching out to the Nashville gay business community with an interactive discussion designed to promote diversity.
The World Café Diversity Initiative will take place on June 21 at the Sunset Grill, and will feature a dialogue-based meeting and invite participants from different backgrounds, cultures, genders, and lifestyles (sexual orientation).
"Only 18% of Nashville Young Professionals surveyed said they strongly agree that Nashville embraces diversity," explained Heather Vincent, with the Nashville Chamber group Nashville Young Professionals. “After reviewing the 2005 survey results, the Young Professionals of Nashville concurred they should take positive steps towards an environment of acceptance in 2006.”
The interactive session will be filled with diversity dialogue. Participants at each table will be presented with different scenarios and questions regarding Nashville stereotypes, discrimination, and personal impacts. At various intervals, participants will switch tables and start a new discussion with a different set of community members. Each table host will provide a synopsis of the table’s results at the conclusion of the session.
"For Nashville to thrive in the future, we should create a culture of acceptance,” Vincent added. “Our goal is to help members recognize their personal responsibility to make a change and explore networking outside their traditional comfort zones."
The group contacted the Nashville GLBT Chamber and asked that their members participate.
"The GLBT Chamber is excited that the Nashville Area Chamber has asked us to participate in this initiative,” said Christopher Sanders, president. “I think it shows that the business community realizes the importance of recognizing all diversity. It is also an acknowledgement of the impact that GLBT businesses and professionals make in Middle Tennessee."
The June 21 World Café schedule is as follows:
5:00 p.m. Registration, appetizers, drinks
5:45 p.m. World Café begins
8:00 p.m. Conclusion
Event participation is limited to the first sixty registrants. The $25 registration fee includes appetizers, two beverages and the opportunity to network, mingle and begin a meaningful conversation about diversity with community allies.
The Young Professionals of Nashville is Nashville’s network of young professional organizations created through a partnership between the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and the 20:20 Leadership Alliance.
For more information or to register, visit www.ypnashville.org or call 615-743-3051.