Dr. Artika Tyner Gives Keynote Address at Minnesota Twins Diversity Network Forum

By: Planting People Growing Justice
SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Aug. 21, 2017 - PRLog -- Dr. Artika Tyner, associate vice president, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of St. Thomas, was the keynote speaker at the Minnesota Twins Diversity Network event. Her topic, "Leadership for Social Justice," was more than just suggestions – it was a clarion call to action with concrete ways to accomplish the goal.

"The pursuit of diversity and inclusion is a call to action," said Tyner. "It is a call to leadership."

Dr. Tyner has committed her life's work to serving as an ambassador for diversity who empowers youth around the world and trains them to become the leaders of tomorrow. She has taken part in a number of initiatives in the U.S., China and Africa to share the importance of working and learning together.

Tyner's leadership theory, Planting People Growing Justice, is the manifestation of people coming together, innovation and problem solving. Tyner shared her vision during the Diversity Network event with the Minnesota Twins baseball team of how people can work together to build a more just and inclusive society.

Find Your Passion

Tyner advises everyone to discover what they are passionate about and actively work toward accomplishing those goals, whether it is education or criminal justice reform. Everyone needs to embrace a philosophy of caring for others no matter what their circumstances, treating each person as an individual, and being willing to go the extra mile for the sake of others for the betterment of all.

Redefine leadership

This involves people being willing to make a difference outside their title, job or perceived role in life. Individuals encounter multiple opportunities to be of service each day, but it's the leaders who are willing to act on those opportunities, thereby making a real difference and changing the world.

Make financial inclusion a priority

There's been no better time in history than now to focus on financial inclusion by creating jobs and ending poverty. This is of particular importance in regions such as Minnesota that ranks 23 of 25 of U.S. metro cities where there's a significant white versus color unemployment gap.

According to Aristotle, "poverty is the parent of revolution and crime." The Itasca Project estimates that $500 million in new Minnesota state and local tax revenues could be generated through greater workforce participation that can then be reinvested in communities. This type of investment is the foundation of safe communities and strong families.

Develop a strategic plan

"Truth be told – diversity and inclusion is the thread that weaves our organizations together," said Tyner. A strategic plan must include a mechanism of accountability that monitors progress, fosters innovation and encompasses the following:

1.      Policy – Develop a policy for building partnerships with minority-owned businesses for services and contracts.

2.      Retention – Develop an effective exit strategy to understand why people are leaving your organization, where they're going and ways the organizational climate can be improved.

3.      Evaluation – Utilize the village approach of collective responsibility for creating an inclusive workplace (make it everyone's job, not just that of the diversity and inclusion professional).

4.      Benchmarks – Develop a strategic plan for 2025 and beyond with goals that include increasing diversity in leadership, leadership succession planning, expanding social responsibility efforts, and building new partnerships in the community.

5.      Education – Focus on cultural competence as a core professional skill and as a lifelong learning journey. Utilize the free Harvard Implicit Association test.


"You and I can make a profound impact in the world if we are willing to serve and lead," said Tyner. "This leadership challenge provides each of us with a new lens to look at their hands and ask, 'What's in my hands to make a difference?' What is in my hands is power – the type of transformative power needed to make diversity and inclusion more than mere words on paper, but a call to action to make justice a lived reality."

In the words of the song of Miss Freedom Fighter Esquire (http://artikatyner.com/miss-freedom-fighter-esq/): "We who believe in freedom. We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes." Dr. Tyner is awakening community members across the globe from their slumber.

Planting People Growing Justice
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