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Building A Culture of Belonging in the Workplace

Additional Information

This event is presented by the Belonging Task Force with generous support from Collins Aerospace, Rockford Park District, United Way of Rock River Valley, Rockford Public Schools District #205, the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, and NICNE.

Event Schedule:
8:00 a.m. Doors Open
8:45 a.m. Welcome & Introduction from Pam Clark Reidenbach, Executive Director, NICNE
9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Keynote from john a. powell
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Panel Discussion moderated by Mayor Thomas McNamara

Social Belonging is a fundamental human need, hardwired into our DNA. And yet, 40% of people say that they feel isolated at work. Belonging is the top human capital issue employers face today: A sense of belonging is one of the top five key factors in an employee’s decision to stay with an employer (HBR, Deloitte). Employee Belonging impacts wellness and happiness, but it also affects commitment, engagement, motivation, and retention. The evidence is clear: Belonging is good for business.

Keynote speaker, john a. powell, Director of the Othering and Belonging Institute at University of California, Berkeley, will share a keynote address on the imperative of Belonging as it relates to the workplace and the science behind his work on Othering and Belonging. Given the increasing diversity of our teams, we cannot take a sense of Belonging for granted. That is why we, as leaders, colleagues, and team members, must be purposeful and deliberate in cultivating a sense of Belonging for all, across all differences, to harness the benefits of Belonging for us as individuals, for highest-performing teams, and for our organizations, businesses, and institutions. The only viable solution to the problem of othering is one involving inclusion and Belonging.

Mr. Thomas McNamara, Mayor of Rockford, will lead a panel discussion with area employers who are working to build a culture of Belonging in their workplaces where everyone is seen, heard, and valued. Collins Aerospace, Rockford Park District, Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity will share their progress made and lessons learned to help other businesses chart a course to build a culture of Belonging in workplaces across our community.

Belonging leads to better engagement, collaboration, retention, and performance.
Employers can foster diverse, equitable, and inclusive communities by being intentional about Belonging in the workplace creating opportunities for employees to use their strengths to contribute to meaningful shared outcomes aligned with employer goals.

o Collins Aerospace – Eric Cunningham, MBA, Vice President, Electric Power Systems
o Rockford Park District – Matthew Worley, MS, Director: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
o Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau – John Groh, CDME, President/CEO
o Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity – Keri Asevedo, Executive Director
About john a. powell: john is the Director of the Othering & Belonging Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, a research institute bringing people together to identify and eliminate the barriers to an inclusive, just, and sustainable society and to create transformative change toward a more equitable world. john is an internationally recognized expert and thought leader on civil rights, civil liberties, structural racism, fair housing, poverty, and democracy. He is well-known for his work on “targeted universalism” and “othering and Belonging” and is the author of several books, including his most recent work, Racing to Justice: Transforming our Concepts of Self and Other to Build an Inclusive Society.

Physical Accessibility: Easy access parking with 10 accessible parking stalls, fully accessible main entrance with power door openers, 40” doorway clearances on all doors, 11 accessible restroom stalls.

Accommodations: Live ASL interpreter provided by RAMP. Accessible seating areas provided for wheelchair users. For additional accommodation requests, please contact Milton Phillips, Jr., Facility Supervisor at UW Health Sports Factory at 815.966.8771 or miltonphillips@rockfordparkdistrict.org.

Parking: Ample free parking in lower (133 spaces) and upper (318 spaces) parking lots
Other Details: There will be local food trucks on site following the event for your dining pleasure.

Health and Safety: Masks are optional at the Rockford Park District in all areas for customers, employees, volunteers, and visitors. Individuals who are currently exhibiting signs or symptoms of COVID-19 should remain home and not attend programming. For a full list of COVID-19 symptoms, please click here. The Park District reserves the right to deny entry or send participants home from programs if ANY symptoms are present. For full details regarding symptomatic individuals, please click here. This policy is subject to change based on local, state, and federal guidelines.

Subarea:Rockford Downtown

Building A Culture of Belonging in the Workplace