Diversity, Equity and Inclusion focus of year-long series in Clark County

Residents invited to take part in learning journey focused on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Clark County is coming together for a year-long learning journey focused on helping bridge divides and promote a community that works for all. It’s in response to community members expressing, over the past several years, a desire to understand the historical and contemporary ways race, class and culture impact individuals and the community. The Clark County Health Department, Clark Regional Medical Center (CRMC), Better Together Winchester and The Greater Clark Foundation (GCF) have partnered to offer a four-part training series to any community members interested.  

“We want all people in our community to feel a sense of belonging and safety,” said Jen Algire, president and CEO of GCF. “Several recent reports show many of our neighbors don’t feel anything close to that. This series can help change the way our community interacts. We must understand the past without being trapped by it, embrace the present without being constrained by it, and look to the future guided by the hopes and courage of those who have come before us.”   

Training sessions will be led by Kentucky native Pastor Edward Palmer, a national and international voice in leadership development. He will guide participants to an improved personal and collective understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion.  

“Equity lays the foundation for public health transformation,” said Becky Kissick, Clark County Public Health director. “We must examine ourselves and our community with a critical lens and have honest conversations to move forward together ensuring just and fair inclusion for all members of our community.” 

Topics include implicit bias, avoiding cultural collisions, let’s talk about race, and a final session to tie everything together.  

“Clark County Medical Center is committed to ensuring every patient the highest quality of care,” said Candice Tackett, director of physician relations and industry, CRMC. “As part of that commitment, our hospital staff is tuned in to issues of unconscious bias and disparities in health outcomes based on race, class or culture. Trainings like this help us address these issues head-on while providing all residents in our community the best healthcare possible.” 

The first topic is implicit bias. The training will help participants recognize their own biases, understand how those biases impact their own communities, and develop skills to reduce the influence of bias in daily life.  

“To recognize one’s implicit bias does not make one a racist, but helps to bring understanding to this unconscious lens through which we see and judge others on the basis of appearance,” Palmer said.   

Each high-energy, interactive session will include a presentation and group discussion. 

“This work is so important because it will help us develop an understanding of how our personal attitudes affect interactions we have with others,” said Kelly Hutchens, Better Together Winchester. “Once we understand, we can consciously choose to make changes in ourselves.”   

Continuing education credits will be provided for multiple disciplines. Although everyone who participates will benefit from the sessions, people working in healthcare, education, law enforcement, housing, financial services, government, human services, retail and manufacturing will find the training valuable to their interactions within the community. 

Community members are encouraged to attend all four classes, but it is not a requirement. The courses are planned for the following months: 

  • May – Avoiding Cultural Collisions 
  • September – Let’s Talk about Race 
  • November – Tying Things Together 

Specific session dates and times will be released closer to the trainings. 

For more information, including frequently asked questions, click here. 

This series is the first of several community-wide efforts to address diversity, equity and inclusion in Clark County this year. Upcoming events and announcements will include art installations and projects and opportunities to have honest conversations with neighbors.