Awareness. Integrity. Respect.
Enrichment through Diversity
Mission StatementPromoting a culturally diverse environment where all employees, residents, and visitors are valued and welcomed.
- To increase awareness of social injustice and its effects
- To improve fair and equal treatment for all
- To enhance county’s reputation as welcoming to all
- To equip and empower people to resolve social justice issues
In 2011 after evaluating the areas of strengths and needed growth, the Four C’s Initiative (Customer Service, Communication, Creativity and Culture) was born. By establishing common goals and procedures, inclusive to all County entities, employees obtain additional tools to use when expediting County services to the community.
Cultural Intelligence Committee
In May of 2013 the Human Resources Department provided all Ottawa County employees the opportunity to apply for consideration to become part of a Cultural Change Team (now known as the Cultural Intelligence Committee). This team was formed to work towards providing cultural change input, direction and promote communications with stakeholders as well as internal departments. Another directive for this team is to focus on completing research and recommending cultural change best practices and initiatives.
The Cultural Intelligence Committee is comprised of the following participants:
- Reyna Masko – Chair
- Albert Doorn – Treasurer
- Alan Vanderberg
- Theo Randall
- Connie Barker
- Cynthia Smeyers
- Daniel Ruiz
- Danielle Potter
- David Macias
- Elda Ramos
- Sarah Salguera
- Shandra Smith
- Vern Helder
In October of 2013 several members of the Cultural Intelligence Committee attended “The Racial Equity Institute” which was a 2 day conference sponsored by Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance (LEDA). LEDA is a non-profit organization works towards dismantling barriers and ensuring people of all ethnic backgrounds have the opportunity and access to participate equally within the communities where they reside. This training provided the committee members a platform of education to inspire thoughts and discussions centered on cultural diversity, racial equity, unintentional bias, racism and the opportunity to get to know each other.
In May of 2014 the Cultural Intelligence Committee attended the Lakeshore Diversity Alliance Summit on race and inclusion on the campus of Hope College to gain knowledge on how to implement the goals defined above. This year the topic of discussion centered around dismantling unintentional bias. There were over 750 in attendance. Participants were encouraged to challenge their own biases and refute them. The summit concluded with a focus on how the diversity within a community is critical in providing economic stability. The Cultural Intelligence Committee met two days after the summit to discuss how to use the tools discussed at the summit to move forward with the goals established for Ottawa County.
“Research shows a key factor in preventing us from achieving true equity is unintentional bias; unconscious attitudes and stereotypes that shape our understanding of ourselves and others.” - Cultural Intelligence Committee attending The Racial Equity Institute