Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Diversity is celebrated at Seattle City Hall

(l to r) Gil Gido, president , National Association of Asian American Professionals-Seattle Chapter; Mazvita Maraire, coordinator, Garfield Community Center; Moderator: Bruce Harrell, Seattle City Council; Fern Renville, executive director, Red Eagle Soaring; and Ricardo Sanchez, vice-president of communications, SeaMar Community Health Centers
Seattle, Wa - Before a diverse audience in the Bertha Knight Landes Room at City Hall, a panel reflecting the mulitcultural essence of Seattle assembled to celebrate Black History Month responding to questions about their careers, leadership characteristics, achieving goals and offering their perspectives on leadership because in the everchanging world, leadership today is essential, not only in one's career but in the community. This event gave everyone an opportunity to share experiences and perspectives.

Seattle Council member, Bruce Harrell moderated for nearly two hours having the audience engaged in the conversation. At the end of it all, everyone's leadership and appreciation for diversity expanded. Here are a couple of the questions asked to panelists and not surprising, many of the answers are alive in each community.

  • As you reflect on your career, what personal traits or characteristics have helped you become a successful leader?
    • Answer: Passion, self awareness, being a team player, integrity and communication. These are all learned skills that you can master with a little bit of practice. Pick two and see what difference it makes in your career.

  • What have been your greatest challenges toward doing your job and achieving your goals in the workplace? 
    • Answer: Being different can be percieved as a challenge, but realizing that it can be a career asset will not only make you valuable, but also helps in the enjoyment of your career and for those around you, so embrace your differences and express them.

  • What advice would you give on surviving in multicultural environment?
    • Answer: Part of all of our jobs in the workplace is to educate. While it may seem that everyone knows about you, they really don't. Share and be open. It will only create inclusiveness and demystify assumptions, which most often create conflict.

Thank you to the African American Affinity Group of the Seattle Public Utilities for organizing and hosting this event.

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