20th Annual Mayor’s Celebration of Diversity highlights inclusion and equity, challenging Indianapolis employers
Local diversity advocates support, recognize and inspire employers to adopt diversity framework best practices to improve success within their community and workplace
INDIANAPOLIS – 19 August 2021 – Today marks the 20th Annual Mayor’s Celebration of Diversity. This year’s event took place virtually with over 200 attendees with a focus on how businesses can benefit by adopting a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion framework and best practices. EmployIndy, the City of Indianapolis, and the Office of Minority and Women Business Development are honored to have hosted an event celebrating high-achieving local employers with participation from many influential speakers and a special emphasis on the importance of supporting the employment of Indianapolis young people through Project Indy, Mayor Joe Hogsett’s youth jobs initiative.
Project Indy is a location-based job search platform for Indianapolis residents ages 16-24. With over 200 local employers registered, thousands of young people have been connected to employment opportunities. This platform not only connects youth to jobs, it provides an opportunity for employers to diversify their organization and encourage leadership amongst team members.
“It is critical we take time to celebrate our community’s commitment to diversity,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “Engaging young people is more important now than ever. Today, we commend the businesses and non-profits who are already leading the way toward a diverse and prosperous Indianapolis.”
With the financial support of many Indianapolis employers, the Mayor’s Celebration of Diversity hosted well-known local advocates. Attendees to the twentieth annual event learned and heard from the following community leaders:
- DuJuan McCoy, Keynote speaker and owner, president, and CEO of Circle City Broadcasting;
- Mayor Joe Hogsett, City of Indianapolis;
- Angela Carr Klitzsch, president and CEO of EmployIndy;
- Tehea Harding, chief finance and administration officer at EmployIndy;
- Michael Huber, president and CEO of Indy Chamber;
- Fanchon Stinger and Dan Spheler, news anchors at FOX59;
- Kelli Jones, co-founder of Be Nimble Co. and Sixty8 Capital;
- Pamela Ross, vice president of opportunity, equity and inclusion at Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF); and
- Consuelo Poland Lockhart, founder of Latinas Welding Guild
- Alan K. Bacon, GANGGANG
- Malina Simone Jeffers, GANGGANG
“Today, and everyday, we are grateful to the employers who are actively making a difference for our young people through support of this event and are proud to celebrate employers in our community by shining a light on their efforts to increase diversity and inclusion,” said Angela Carr Klitzsch, EmployIndy. “Over the past six years, over 17,000 young adults have accessed jobs through Project Indy. These young people are the future of Indianapolis – the future of our workplaces and our neighborhoods. Creating equitable access to employment for youth provides employers with a pipeline for long-term talent needed in the workplace and individuals with the employability skills to be successful now and in the future.”
This event is a time to recognize employers who have made exceptional efforts to demonstrate inclusivity, diversity, and equity in their workplaces through their leadership, hiring practices, and focus on culture. This year’s award recipients are as follows:
- “Sam H. Jones ‘Best of the Best’” was awarded to Citizens Energy Group for their “One Company, One Culture” action plan to strengthen workplace culture while maintaining a customer-centered workplace. Their Diversity and Inclusion team has also implemented several initiatives to support equity and belonging during the pandemic.
- “Diversity in Leadership” was awarded to the Indianapolis Airport Authority for their targeted focus on building and sustaining a culture that fosters equitable inclusion and diversity in all aspects of business by optimizing organizational performance and employee respect and engagement.
- “Diversity in Workforce” was awarded to Arcamed, LLC, for their work in partnering with a number of local organizations to increase diversity and improve hiring practices company-wide. They have also implemented interview strategies to reduce any potential biases when evaluating candidates.
- “Excellence in Youth Employment” was awarded to OneAmerica for their support of young people in the development of their Pathways Program that introduces students from diverse neighborhoods to the business and finance industries while providing opportunities for mentorship and skills-building.
Due to the impact of COVID-19 in Marion County, many businesses have experienced temporary and permanent closures. Because of this, there is an even higher number of young residents who are facing unemployment.
To support and provide employment resources for these young people, all proceeds from the 20th Annual Mayor’s Celebration of Diversity go towards sustaining Mayor Hogsett’s Project Indy youth jobs program. This program introduces young people to what is often their first job, teaching them the importance of soft skills such as time management, teamwork, workplace etiquette, and more.