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For Immediate Release (00-37)
Date: July 24, 2000
Contact: Steve Simon, 240-567-7952 or Renate Laine, 240-567-5310

Montgomery College’s Diversity Management Institute
to Host First "Diversity Showcase" on September 6

Rockville, MD -- Montgomery College’s Diversity Management Institute will present its First Anniversary "Diversity Showcase" of services and capabilities, during a day-long exposition on September 6 at the Glenview Mansion in Rockville. The event will feature samples of diversity training workshops that help organizations understand the benefits of increased diversity competency.

“This showcase will be an opportunity for participants to learn how to manage diversity and be more comfortable in the diverse marketplace in which they operate,” said Clay E. Hickson, interim director of the Diversity Management Institute. “If businesses and institutions are to succeed in this changing environment, they must embrace diversity, rather than manage it, grudgingly.”

The Diversity Management Institute was launched last fall to provide diversity training and consulting services that help public and private sector organizations understand the changing demographics of their workforce and customers. Its goal is to assist organizations to maximize employees’ potential, increase productivity, improve customer satisfaction and stay competitive.

“The institute was established as a result of Montgomery College’s vision that the area’s diverse population can be a tremendous strength if employees and employers alike are better educated about diversity issues,” said Hickson. “The College is an ideal home for such an entrepreneurial venture because of its resources and expertise and because the College’s diverse student body mirrors the general diversity of the metropolitan area.”

During its first year, the Diversity Management Institute has been contracted to provide diversity awareness training to several businesses, government agencies and non-profit organizations across the region.

This showcase will feature plenary sessions focusing on pressing concerns in the field and workshops aimed at providing participants with tools and techniques in diversity management they can take back to their workplaces. Among the workshop topics are: managing a diverse workforce, customer service across cultures, conflict management across cultures, sexual orientation issues in the workplace, and cross-cultural communication. Each participant will have the option of attending two of the workshops during the day-long event.

The showcase is being presented in conjunction with the Mayor and Council of Rockville, the Rockville Human Rights Commission and the Rockville Chamber of Commerce. The Diversity Management Institute is a part of Montgomery College’s Office of Continuing Education.

In addition to public support, organizers are seeking corporate sponsorship. Any organization interested in supporting the showcase should call Brenda E. Gibson at 240-567-7960.

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