Archive for December 2007

• January 11 Lunch and Learn: “Newcomers: The People of This Place”


Our first Lunch-and-Learn of 2008 will feature Chris Carron, of the Grand Rapids Public Museum, who will introduce us to the newest permanent exhibit at the museum, Newcomers: The People of this Place, which opens January 18.  The Lunch-and-Learn will be held at the University Club on Friday, January 11 at 12:00 noon and will be broadcast live to our other offices via the Internet.  (We’ll, of course, buy lunches for participants in the other offices too.)

Funded in part by a grant from Warner Norcross & Judd, the Newcomers exhibit explores the history of West Michigan through the migration of different ethnic groups.  While the exhibit focuses on West Michigan, the issues are common to every community in the United States.   Why did different immigrant groups chose to leave their native lands? How did they chose where to settle? How did they deal with pressure to assimilate into the dominant culture?  What traditions and cultural norms continue in the families of the descendants of those who immigrated here?

The Museum has asked Warner Norcross & Judd if we would assist it in developing a corporate diversity program around some of the themes in exhibit.  We are excited to do so.  Together this year we will find opportunities to share the similarities and differences in our heritages to gain a greater understanding of each other.  After Chris’s presentation we will introduce some of the other features of what we think will be an interesting and provocative program for the coming year.

If you plan on attending, please RSVP to Lori Tuttle by Tuesday, January 8.

• Recommended Reading: “Thin Ice: Coming of Age in Grand Rapids”

Thin IceThis volume includes 28 essays about growing up in Grand Rapids.  The editors, Reinder Van Til and former City Historian Gordon Olson, chose essays from a wide-range of authors, who evidence the diversity of our community.  

The publisher describes the book as follows:

The coming-of-age stories in Thin Ice relate a range of experiences both good and bad, including happy memories and heartwarming recollections but also personal traumas, intergenerational and racial conflicts, the strictures of religious belief and practice, the joys and sorrows of young romance, and more. Above and beyond the stories of the more notable personalities — Jim Harrison, Roger Wilkins, John Hockenberry, President Gerald Ford, Betty Ford, Al Green, Paul Schrader, William Brashler — the book as a whole is chock-full of crisp, humorous, irreverent, and moving writing.

Also included are essays by Levi Rickert, Hank Meijer, Bich Minh Nguyen, Max Apple, Laura Kasischke, John Otterbacher, Tom Rademacher, and others.

• The January Series Expands throughout the State

The January SeriesThe January Series at Calvin College is one of the finest lecture series in the country.  This year, the Series is expands by adding 12 remote sites where people can see the lectures live on a big screen via the Internet.  Sites include, Troy, Lansing, Muskegon, Holland, and downtown Grand Rapids.

Each year the Series includes lectures on a eclectic group of topics by national and international topics.  This year, a number of the lectures have a diversity theme, such as:

  • Stewarding American Power: Recommendations for the Next President, by Dr. Chris Seiple, President of the Institute of Global Engagement, which is committed to the protection of all religious faiths through the rule of law. (January 8 )
  • 100 Years of Black Gospel Music in an Hour, by James Abbington, Associate Professor of Music and Worship at Candler School of Theology at Emory University. (January 14)

All lectures begin at 12:30 p.m. and end promptly at 1:30 p.m. For a schedule of the lectures, click here.  For a list of the remote locations, click here.  Lectures are also broadcast live over the Internet via RealAudio, and are stored for later download on an MP3 player.

• Calendar of Events

We have added a Calendar of Events to our Diversity News page.  The Calendar will list information about events of interest at the firm and in the communities we serve.  For example, the current Calendar has a listing of events by MAP, Inforum, and the Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs, as well as dates of upcoming Institutes for Healing Racism and other events.

To get to the Calendar, click on the “Calendar of Events” tab at the top of this page.  If you have dates you think should go on the Calendar, please send them to Rodney Martin.

• Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs Sponsors Workshop in Grand Rapids

The West Michigan Alliance of Women Entreprenuers will be holding a half day networking conference called “Pathways to Success,” on January 24, 2008.  The conference will be held at the Dominican Center at Marywood and will run from 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  The conference has nine breakout sessions around the themes connection, education, and leadership. To learn more about the conference, see the AWE Conference Flyer.

• Kwanzaa at the Detroit Institute of Art

Tonya DallasTonya Dallas will be telling her dynamic Kwanzaa tales at the newly remodeled Detroit Institute of Arts on Sunday, December 23 at 2:00 p.m. Ms. Dallas has been telling stories in the Metro Detroit area and around the state for over 20 years and appears frequently at the DIA.

For directions click here. For more information you can call the DIA at (313) 833-3237.