Jordan Larson, Sustainability Economics Specialist for GreeningDetroit.Com
On April 19th GreeningDetroit.com had the pleasure of attending and supporting Detroit’s 15th annual Images and Perceptions Diversity Conference. Hosted at the beautiful Ford Community and Performing Arts Center in Dearborn, the conference showcased a diverse group of experts who spoke on this year’s theme: Empowering Communities by Embracing Diversity. The Impressive list of speakers included MSNBC anchor Richard Lui, NAACP president Rev. Wendell Anthony, WXYZ Anchor Carolyn Clifford, ACRL civil rights attorney Nabih Ayad, as well as many more professionals ranging from police officers to artists and activists.
With such a diverse group of speakers and perspectives, the conference reached a remarkable breadth as well as a depth of ideas related to diversity and empowerment. Richard Lui reminded us of how Detroit in many ways is the birthplace of the civil rights movement and has a rich history of activism and community organizing. In a more detailed oriented panel, Nabih Ayad provided fascinating and important insight into the current state of immigration policy. And in a more emotional talk, Teresa Mears shared moving stories about her experience as a police officer and the importance of withholding judgment of others and seeing the humanity in all people. These are just three examples of the many engaging and thought-provoking talks, and we believe everyone in attendance learned something new and valuable from their experience; we know we certainly did
The founder and organizer of Images and Perceptions Diversity Conference is the one and only Siham Awada Jaafar, President and CEO of 3D Consulting & Communications. In her work, Siham specializes in corporate, educational, and governmental Diversity training. The commitment and passion she has for supporting diversity, community and understanding is inspirational and felt by anyone who has the pleasure to hear her speak. Spending countless hours planning and coordinating each conference, and with no expectation of personal gain, this event is clearly a labor of love for Siham. Here at GreeningDetroit.com, we are proud to have been a small part of this event and we will certainly be back next year!