CivicCon returns Monday with a look at how diversity and vibrancy go hand-in-hand

CivicCon returns Monday with a look at how creating diverse and inclusive workplaces helps build better and more vibrant communities.

Mardia Shands, chief diversity officer for the Tri-Health hospital group in Ohio, will lead a free, online CivicCon event Monday that takes a deep dive into what diversity really means and why it matters.

Shands has an extensive history of leading discussions on inclusion, diversity, equality and awareness. Her career has spanned from multi-national global corporations to small not-for-profits across North America and Africa in industries including health care, manufacturing, supply chain and information technology.

She said from a business and community-building standpoint, it’s important for all people to have a path to success through quality education, gainful employment and social equity. She said everyone has a role to play in that, from schools to business to neighborhoods.

Why it matters: HR expert Mardia Shands explains why diversity matters in business and life

“We have full participation from the community in all of its forms: women, minorities, the LGBT community and so forth, because ultimately …  we want a community that doesn’t have high levels of unemployment, high levels of crime and a heavy burden on the social systems,” she said.

Shands asks communities to take an “all-in” approach to diversity and inclusion, and in her presentation she will discuss actionable ways to move the needle. She will also touch on why true diversity isn’t just about our outward differences, and why it is also important to embrace diversity of ideas, cultures and experiences.

The free, open-to-all event will be 6-7:30 p.m. Monday.

Registration is available by searching “CivicCon” at Those who register online will be issued a Zoom link to join the virtual presentation before the event. It will also be live-streamed at and on the News Journal’s Facebook page.

CivicCon in a partnership of the News Journal to make our community a better place to live, grow, work and invest through smart planning and civic conversations.

For more information on CivicCon, including stories, videos and podcasts featuring past speakers, visit

Kevin Robinson can be reached at or 850-435-8527.


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