Walk the Walk.
In principle and practice, the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce believes in
the value and power of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Without diversity, equity, and inclusion, we limit our talent, resources, and the business
opportunities necessary to thrive in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.
In an effort to better serve and represent our membership, the Grand Rapids Area Chamber is committed to actively seeking a diverse and inclusive board, workforce, membership, business environment, and community.
Addressing Racism as a Starting Point for Change
Thirty years ago, the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce began the Institute for Healing Racism. Today, we remain the only Chamber to provide an educational program, focused on the impact of racism on individuals, community, and businesses.
Facing Racism is a two-day program offered to members of the West Michigan community. The goal for the program is to provide a learning process that will empower them to become a catalyst for
racial equity; not only within their workplaces, but throughout all areas of their lives.
Inside the doors of Facing Racism, racially diverse members of the community come together, in an inclusive and safe environment, to engage in open and real conversations about race.
Racial inequity continues to be a nationwide concern. Conversations continue to build within West Michigan, leaving some feeling helpless, wondering what they can do to impact change. Facing Racism is a place to start.
Start your healing.
The first step of the program is internal. Through open conversation, objective, and non-judgmental listening, attendees have room to examine their own identity and prejudices.
Attendees gain knowledge around the often misunderstood key concepts of racial inequity. These concepts include: colorblindness, color consciousness, diversity and racial diversity, white privilege, systemic oppression, and implicit bias. The program facilitators guide attendees through each of these concepts, providing historical data and current context. Attendees share their experiences with each of these topics through group conversation and activities.
Bring it to your community.
By the end of the program, attendees experience internal change, they are armed with the tools, resources, and confidence to challenge themselves to take action.
Attendees are empowered to take the information, understanding, and emotional healing they gain and leave with an action plan to implement in their work, family, and/or personal lives.
A section of Facing Racism is dedicated solely to developing different approaches, phrases, and language to use when racial bias is recognized. Through practice, attendees will gain a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw from when correcting the racial bias they witness.
By the end of the program, each participant is empowered to combat racism in all areas of their lives.
How can I get involved with the program?
Facing Racism is for community members, employers, and leaders who are ready to start personal change, start conversations, and impact their circles.
Join your fellow community members in a conversation about understanding racism and impacting change by registering for one of the two remaining sections taking place this year.