In the wake of major social issues that shook 2020, many leaders were challenged to examine their organization’s diversity and inclusion practices.
Hollie Tometich, Executive Director of the Ottumwa Leadership Academy (a program of the Legacy Foundation), enrolled in Cornell University’s Diversity and Inclusion certificate program to increase her knowledge in these areas and apply it to her work. The certificate program consists of 4 courses focused on helping organizations be more supportive and engaging places to work through understanding how people work together.
In addition to the course, Tometich collaborated with Kevin Pope, Branch Manager, Community 1st Credit Union, and Kayla Powell, NYTD (National Youth in Transition Database) and Youth Development Coordinator for the State of Iowa’s Department of Human Rights, in early 2020 to begin discussions around diversity and inclusion within the Ottumwa community.
The team created Brave Dialogue for Intentional Leaders, a program to hold a safe space for uncomfortable conversations where leaders can challenge assumptions to create intentional change related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. This new conversation series, which is currently being piloted by Tometich, Pope, and Powell, challenges hardwired implicit biases and helps leaders begin their own journey to learn more about diversity and inclusion.
“As a community leadership program, it’s important that we are part of conversations that propel our community forward as it relates to diversity and inclusion. Furthermore, we want to be a resource for organizations as they look at training, development, as well as creating an inclusive environment,” Tometich said.
As a graduate of the Diversity and Inclusion certificate program, Hollie is uniquely positioned to help local leaders understand the complex, and often difficult to discuss, challenges we face around diversity and inclusion in rural Iowa and opportunities for growth at work and in life. Local leaders interested in professional development opportunities around diversity, equity, and inclusion should reach out to Hollie Tometich, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.