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A Rockford organization is offering a free diversity training as a part of its weekly training series

Clay Banks - Unsplash.org

Many organizations vowed to focus on diversity and inclusion following conversations about race relations sparked by the killing of George Floyd. A Rockford organization is helping some businesses adhere to those promises by offering a webinar Thursday Jan. 6.

The Small Business Development Center at the Rockford Chamber of Commerce will focus on a concept called the Listening Tour during this event.

“They've been around for a while,” explained Kim Kuborn, the owner of Kuborn Consulting, “and I think it maybe started as a way for you know, a new CEO coming into a company to take a 30, 60, 90 day Listening Tour to kind of understand what is the context? What is the landscape that I'm walking into?”

Heather Kelley, a marketing consultant at the chamber, said diversity and inclusion should be an ongoing focus for businesses.

“And this particular topic is well timed because we're seeing the importance of having these conversations about diversity and inclusion within companies and organizations,” she explained.

Kuborn will lead the discussion during the webinar.

“So, the idea is really to back up, take some time and as the leader of an organization,” she said, “show that you're open to listening and hearing. And actually showing some vulnerability that look, maybe, I don't know everything that I think I should know about this.”

Kuborn said this exercise will help leaders focus on their employees and understand what actions need to be taken to incorporate any changes that are needed.

The virtual program is a part of the development center’s weekly small business webinar series. It takes place from 11 a.m. until noon. Registration is required.

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.
Yvonne covers artistic, cultural, and spiritual expressions in the COVID-19 era. This could include how members of community cultural groups are finding creative and innovative ways to enrich their personal lives through these expressions individually and within the context of their larger communities. Boose is a recent graduate of the Illinois Media School and returns to journalism after a career in the corporate world.