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Joliet Chamber initiates Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council

thetimesweekly.com | 2/17/2021, 7:06 a.m.
The Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry is launching a new council has been created with the following vision: ...

Diversity, equity and inclusion are mere words on paper until they are put in action and that is especially for the workplace.

The Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry is launching a new council that focuses on those three very words. The chamber’s new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council was created with the following vision: “The Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry is dedicated to actively and intentionally cultivating business workplaces to value diversity, equity, and inclusion. We vehemently condemn all forms of prejudice, injustice, hate, intolerance, and racism by actively seeking ways to dismantle systemic discrimination in pursuit of a more equitable business community and a more just society.”

Again, words on paper or in this case, the chamber’s website. Now, according to chamber officials, the time has come to put those words into action.

“The Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry will challenge our Board of Directors, employees, members, and partners, as well as our city, county, state, and other civic leaders to enact positive change in our organization and the communities we serve,” said Jen Howard, chamber president.

The new council was initiated in the summer of 2020 and has been meeting since then to finalize the overall impact of its vision as diversity and equity and inclusion.

These three, Howard said, are “imperative to ensuring our communities are places people will want to live, work, and play. The DEI Council is composed of various chamber members representing a variety of businesses and industry. They will work together on a recurring basis to ensure the vision of the council is carried out in our communities.”

Three main areas of focus, according to Howard, will be workforce, workplace, and marketplace.

“A concerted effort to recruit qualified employees from traditionally underrepresented groups will be the focus for workforce,” Howard said. “The workplace goal is to adopt policies and practices that include people who have historically been absent from an organization/business. As for marketplace, we will work to deeply involve minority-owned enterprises in the regional economy and recognize the enormous purchasing power of minority groups.”

For more information about the new council, visit jolietchamber.com or call (815) 727-5371.