With a mission of improving the quality of life in Central Pennsylvania through teaching and support of effective community service and servant leadership, Leadership Harrisburg Area (LHA) hosted a forum on civility and solutions around racial justice in response to the murder of George Floyd.
Nine community experts participated and an audience of more than 300 people convened online for more than two hours. Participants requested a next step beyond the original event, which resulted in LHA entering into a meaningful collaboration with the Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Development Institute (MLKLDI) to map out some tangible next steps.
Recognized as a one-of-a-kind collaboration in which both partners share an equal stake in developing and delivering a training program on diversity, equity, inclusion and racial justice, the first DEI training program was delivered by Una Martone (LHA) and Joseph Robinson Jr. (MLKLDI) on July 13, 2020.
The program generated a swell of interest from community groups, corporations and nonprofit organizations, including interest from the PA Department of Revenue, which secured LHA and MLKLDI to deliver the training program to more than 1,300 employees. Other state departments soon followed.
Through the collaboration, program participants engage in a forum for learning, self-reflection, dialogue and understanding. They are provided with definitions, examples and practical tools for making simple and substantive changes to more civilly co-exist with their co-workers, families, peers and fellow humans. To date, the DEI training program has been presented to over 3,200 individuals.
The program furthers LHA’s objective of raising the quality of life and developing more community leaders; and it furthers MLKLDI’s mission of teaching the principles of Martin Luther King Jr. so that everyone can equally engage in the region’s quality of life.
The partnership between LHA and MLKLDI is a true collaboration and one that has impacted many lives, even beyond those who have participated, and is moving the needle for a more racially diverse and tolerant humanity.