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Diversity & Inclusion

Chamber Statement on Diversity & Inclusion: The Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce will champion diversity and inclusion with an intentional approach to inform people, policies, and practices that strengthen access and opportunity in the business community and region at large.

Strategic Priority: Champion the competitive advantage of having a diverse and inclusive business climate.

Research from Visioneering Wichita, The Chung Report, and other community initiatives has demonstrated the need for our community to diversify its industry bases, as well as the individuals living and working in the community to be positioned for long-term innovation and growth. The Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce is uniquely positioned to take a leadership role in building an inclusive community. We have established connections to organizations already making progress for groups with a variety of dimensions of diversity, as well as to the business community through our large membership base.

The Initiatives

Wichita Connect
This program’s mission is to help Wichita-area companies make progress in attracting and hiring diverse and young talent. It will do this primarily by connecting potential employees to a diverse network of Ambassadors who can tell the story of Wichita through their own diversity lens – providing candidates with an enthusiastic, but honest, portrayal of life in Wichita. Ambassadors may represent a specific race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation, service need, or stage of life, among many other dimensions.

Next Steps for Interested Members: Contact Gabri Samia or Jaime Dupy for more information on how to become a partner in this program. 

CEO Roundtable on Diversity and Inclusion
In partnership with Advance Kansas, the Chamber invites a small group of individuals who represent the highest position in their organization to gain a deeper understanding of an all-inclusive approach to diversity. During this discussion, they identify priorities related to addressing the human capital and perception challenges through the lens of diversity and inclusion in the business community. Participants are also introduced to the Advance Kansas concept and invited to nominate high-performing employees to make progress on the identified priorities through community action projects.

Next Steps for Interested Members: Contact Gary Plummer for more information about this program. 

Convening Community Organizations
Understanding there are many groups working on diversity and inclusion (D&I) from many angles, the Chamber convened an Inclusive Listening Tour in 2017 to ensure our program of work as The Chamber aligns with and compliments the work being done by other community groups. We invited hundreds of community leaders to join us for focused conversations around their primary dimension(s) of work. The results of that conversation can be found here.

In 2018, our Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Committee will be working to identify additional opportunities to engage with the greater Wichita community around the topic of diversity and inclusion. 

Next Steps for Interested Members: To learn more about the evolution of this priority, contact Gabri Samia.

Supporting Youth Employment Project
Mayor Jeff Longwell, the Workforce Alliance, the Greater Wichita YMCA, the City of Wichita, and others are partnering to promote the need for summer jobs for youth (targeting at-risk youth ages 16-19), with a goal of having local businesses hire at least 1,000 youth for summer jobs. The Chamber is encouraging its members to rise to the challenge and commit to hiring at least one youth for the summer.

Next Steps for Interested Members: Those interested in participating can contact Amanda Duncan at the Workforce Alliance directly.

Partnering with Minority Business Organizations
The Wichita Regional Chamber has made it a priority to partner with and support groups including the Create Campaign, the Wichita Hispanic Chamber, the Heartland Black Chamber, the Wichita Black Chamber, the Urban League, and others. In addition, we have worked with the Minority Supplier Council and helped to recruit participants for the Small Business Administration’s Emerging Leaders program.

Next Steps for Interested Members: As opportunities for partnership arise, we will notify interested individuals and companies. If you have ideas for other groups to partner with, please contact Angie Elliott.

If you would like to receive more information about the any of these initiatives, please complete the form below.

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350 W Douglas Ave
Wichita, KS 67202
316.265.7771 | info@wichitachamber.org