Recognizing the Value of An Inclusive Region

The 2018 Signature Class participated in a two-day programming event hosted at the Oxon Hill Manor in Prince George's County.
 
The series began with Inclusiveness and Belonging Day; designed to help LGW's Signature Class learn about unconscious bias and its implications. This program day was presented in partnership with Cook Ross facilitated by  Howard Ross (’91), Founder and Partner and Kimberly Rattley, Senior Consultant.  Read more about Howard’s LGW experience in our January Featured Member profile. The class participated in a series of exercises and discussions that highlighted the impact of unconscious bias and demonstrated methods to create more inclusive organizations and businesses. Program participants were asked to explore topics of power and privilege and bridging and bonding concepts through a personal lens. 
 
“Today's content was fascinating and forced me to think hard about my own biases and assumptions about who people are and what they’re about.  So deep and thought-provoking. Stretched me intellectually, emotionally and politically in ways I did not think possible.” 2018 Signature Program Participant 
 
Many thanks to Cook Ross Inc.'s Howard Ross ('91) and Kimberly Rattley for sharing your expertise.
Enjoy pictures of the event below: 
 

 
For our second program day- Human Needs Day, LGW18 reconvened at Oxon Hill Manor for a closer look at ensuring basic human needs for those in the region - food, shelter, and purpose. We were thrilled to be welcomed by several LGW members from Prince George's County. Guests shared memories from their Signature Program experience and also spoke to the strength of LGW's Prince George’s County member connection. Speakers included: 
 
Dana Stebbins (’88) President and CEO, Law Offices of Dana B. Stebbins, LGW Board Member 
Dawne Carroll (’17) CEO Potomac Regional Media Associates
Danielle Glaros (‘17) Chair, Country Council Prince Georges County Government  
Betty Hewlett (’91) Chairman, Prince George’s County Planning Board MNCPPC
Mel Franklin (’15) County Council Member Prince George’s County Government 
Major Riddick (’88) President and CEO Strategic Solutions Center 
Howard Stone (’88) Director, Public Safety and Fiscal Management Committee, Prince George’s County Government 
Todd Turner (’17) County Council Member Prince George’s County Government
 
Following the panel, the Cook Ross team led a virtual simulation, using video testimony from a homeless parent living in D.C. and, receiving assistance from SOME -So Others Might Eat. The class identified and analyzed the challenges that homeless parents encounter on a daily basis and how that can impact family stability and growth. Read more about Mayor Bowser’s ('13) plans to close DC General by the end of 2018. The session concluded with a conversation around what the Signature Class can do right now to support efforts to end homelessness. 
 
Transitioning from the topic of homeless to housing, Melissa Bondi, State and Local Policy Consultant of Enterprise Community Services presented a regional overview on housing affordability and solutions.  Learn more about LGW and Enterprise Community Partner’s joint efforts to solve the issue of housing affordability in the region.
 
 
 
“Whatever brought you into this room, already you are showing your appreciation for and your investment in regional approaches. We need LGW members. What are the actions you can take as an individual?” -Melissa Bondi, Enterprise Community Partners 
 
The afternoon portion of Human Needs Day began with an interactive workshop on regional hunger, led by Christel Allen Hair (’11) and Lavette Sims of Capital Area Food Bank, the largest supplier of food for people who need it in Washington DC. There are over 700,000 at risk of hunger in DC, and 1/3 kids in the District of Columbia do not know where their next meal will come from. During the activity, the Signature Class imagined themselves as DC residents facing hunger and were assigned with the challenge of acquiring healthy and nutritious groceries to feed their families for an entire day on a limited budget. 
 
“The activity was dynamic, insightful, realistic, eye-opening, unique and heartbreaking all at once to know real people face this challenge every day in our communities.” -2018 Signature Program Participant 
 
Wrapping up the day, Mark Bergel (’16) of A Wider Circle moderated a panel on how to create thriving communities in our region, featuring Jeannie Sanford, COO of Bread for the City and Jean-Michael Giraud of Friendship Place. Experts discussed the causes of homeless for thousands of individuals in Greater Washington and the efforts of regional leaders to end homelessness by providing essential services and workforce development opportunities. 
 
Inclusiveness and Human Needs Day programming addresses another component to effective leadership which is the capacity to understand the diverse needs of people in our community and the ability to create inclusive and supportive environments ensuring that all voices and audiences are validated. 
 
Many thanks to A Wider Circle, Bread for the City, Friendship Place, and Capital Area Food Bank for lending us your experts to speak to the efforts of growing a thriving community in Greater Washington.
 
Below are some photos from Human Needs Day: 
 

 
 
Inclusiveness  and Belonging Day Occurred on January 18
Human Needs Day Occurred on January 19