Building A Culture of Belonging in the Workplace




Building A Culture of Belonging in the Workplace

Rockford Park District

Rockford Park District



Tuesday, October 18

8:45 AM - 12:00 PM

Rockford Park District

401 S. Main Street, Rockford , IL 61101

(815) 987-8800

Rockford Park District


Event: Building a Culture of Belonging in the Workplace

Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2022 8:45 AM - 12:00 Noon CST

Location: UW Health Sports Factory

305 S Madison St, Rockford, IL 61104

Price: $25 General Admission

Sponsors: This event is presented by the Belonging Task Force with generous support from Collins Aerospace, Rockford Park District, United Way of Rock River Valley, Rockford Public Schools District #205, the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, and NICNE.

Event Description: Social Belonging is a fundamental human need, hardwired into our DNA. And yet, 40% of people say that they feel isolated at work. Belonging is the top human capital issue employers face today: A sense of belonging is one of the top five key factors in an employee’s decision to stay with an employer (HBR, Deloitte). Employee Belonging impacts wellness and happiness, but it also affects commitment, engagement, motivation, and retention. The evidence is clear: Belonging is good for business.

Keynote speaker, john a. powell, Director of the Othering and Belonging Institute at University of California, Berkeley, will share a keynote address on the imperative of Belonging as it relates to the workplace and the science behind his work on Othering and Belonging. Given the increasing diversity of our teams, we cannot take a sense of Belonging for granted. That is why we, as leaders, colleagues, and team members, must be purposeful and deliberate in cultivating a sense of Belonging for all, across all differences, to harness the benefits of Belonging for us as individuals, for highest-performing teams, and for our organizations, businesses, and institutions. The only viable solution to the problem of othering is one involving inclusion and Belonging.

Mr. Thomas McNamara, Mayor of Rockford, will lead a panel discussion with area employers who are working to build a culture of Belonging in their workplaces where everyone is seen, heard, and valued. Collins Aerospace, Rockford Park District, Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity will share their progress made and lessons learned to help other businesses chart a course to build a culture of Belonging in workplaces across our community.

Belonging leads to better engagement, collaboration, retention, and performance.

Employers can foster diverse, equitable, and inclusive communities by being intentional about Belonging in the workplace creating opportunities for employees to use their strengths to contribute to meaningful shared outcomes aligned with employer goals.


*Collins Aerospace – Eric Cunningham, MBA, Vice President, Electric Power Systems

*Rockford Park District – Matthew Worley, MS, Director: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

*Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau – John Groh, CDME, President/CEO

*Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity – Keri Asevedo, Executive Director

About john a. powell: john is the Director of the Othering & Belonging Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, a research institute bringing people together to identify and eliminate the barriers to an inclusive, just, and sustainable society and to create transformative change toward a more equitable world. john is an internationally recognized expert and thought leader on civil rights, civil liberties, structural racism, fair housing, poverty, and democracy. He is well-known for his work on “targeted universalism” and “othering and Belonging” and is the author of several books, including his most recent work, Racing to Justice: Transforming our Concepts of Self and Other to Build an Inclusive Society.

Event Schedule:

8:00 a.m. Doors Open

8:45 a.m. Welcome & Introduction from Pam Clark Reidenbach, Executive Director, NICNE

9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Keynote from john a. powell

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Panel Discussion moderated by Mayor Thomas McNamara

*Food trucks will be available on site following the event. See ticket page for accessibility information and accommodation requests.


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