As we celebrate Black History Month, I am encouraged by the commitment to expanding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) education and opportunity in our organizations and the community.
Being the home of a Tier 1 Research Institution, Ames is naturally positioned to reach new heights in science and technology. That same curious nature spills into our community and it is clear to see how we work together to cultivate innovation into our workforce, small businesses, programs, and initiatives.
As I sit down to write this month’s op-ed, I can’t help but reflect back on the year we’ve had. It’s safe to say that 2020 was an unexpected whirlwind of events that kept us all on our toes.
It’s almost upon us - here we are on the cusp on the holiday season and with that comes the surge of shopping for the perfect gift for those on your shopping list. On behalf of the Ames Chamber of Commerce board of directors, my team, and myself, we all urge you to put every shopping dollar you can back into our local business community.
Diversity and Inclusion is essential for our community's growth. Over the past several years this topic has been brought to the forefront of the workforce dialogue. We are pleased that so many businesses and organizations see and understand the need to empower leaders to be as well-equipped as possible to properly embrace diversity, work toward universal equity and continually develop Ames into the Smart Choice to live, work and play.
With the presidential election garnering much of the media and national attention, state and local candidates seeking election or re-election on this year’s ballot are often overshadowed. As we prepare to cast our ballots, I urge you to look critically at all the names, not just the ones at the top, and remember that decisions made by your local officials are the ones that impact your day-to-day life.
2020 has managed to throw yet another curveball our way.
The damage the derecho left was far and wide. No one was exempt from its impact, we saw tangled power lines, hundred-year old trees spilt in two, and lived in darkness for a period of time. But in my observation, that wasn’t where the impact ended.
As we prepare for thousands of Iowa State students to return to Ames, we have an incredible opportunity to show them their impact on our community.
Diversity and inclusion have been a unifying goal in Ames and Story County for several years, but implementing a real cultural shift has become more imperative now than ever before.