A new diversity leadership program at the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce brings together individuals from all backgrounds to create an environment that fosters impartiality, imagination and progress.
Other Voices — the Chamber’s signature diversity, equity and inclusion program — attempts to do just that by expanding one’s individual knowledge about bias, discrimination, prejudice and racism while deep diving into topics that can be difficult to talk about, such as religion, sexism and poverty. At the center of this program, participants learn from the experiences of others while reflecting on their own personal journeys, which creates a safe environment for everyone to enact real change.
“I highly recommend the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce’s Other Voices program and want to thank University Libraries’ Administration Department for sponsoring my application.”
This year, University Libraries’ sponsored the application of External Engagement Coordinator Nakia Hoskins, who graduated from the program on May 4. Hoskins has been with the University since 2018 and spends a majority of her time working to expand the library’s footprint in the community. Before joining UNC Greensboro, Hoskins worked at the International Civil Rights Center and Museum where her focus was community outreach and making sure that citizens who were often marginalized were included in local programming where service gaps existed.
“Although completely virtual, a first for Other Voices, ‘the gallery’ as we called it, consisted of 29 classmates from various Greensboro organizations and companies, but it was just as intimate as any in-person workshop I’ve attended,” commented Hoskins.
Each session allowed participants to bring their unique experiences, life lessons and feelings to the table, which formed a suitable space safe for cathartic releases and personal growth. Likewise, community guest speakers added to the educational value of the program.
“Having members of my community share their various struggles based on how they identify and are received in this community was eye-opening and challenging,” noted Hoskins. “It increased my awareness and personal desire to help attribute to a more acceptable society — especially in Greensboro,” said Hoskins.
The program is a win-win for everyone — employers and employees. The Chamber’s Other Voices program allows participants to hear from diverse individuals who speak candidly about their experiences and advocacy work to help the community.