Inclusion Begins Within

Image of Stacy Groll

No one would deny we live in changing times.

And when Stacey Groll, assistant to the mayor for the City of Manitowoc, Wis. saw an opportunity to do her part, she went for it. The change? Helping to develop a greater sense of equity, diversity and inclusion within herself, city government and ultimately the community she’s lived in all her life.

That’s why she enrolled in UW-Green Bay’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Certificate Program. Building diversity is as much a practice as it is a field of study. And definitely a tall order within a five-week program that’s entirely online. Was it worth the effort?

“Absolutely!” Groll says, “For both my professional and personal development.”

Some realizations arrived early-on. Diving into issues involving equity, diversity and inclusion can be very intimidating at the onset. “The starting point for me was realizing how much I really have to learn.” But then she realized that it was the diversity of her fellow students and interacting with them that made the program come alive. “It was amazing! Everyone’s experience was different.”

Groll has no plans on stopping. Her goal is to develop a committee within city government so employees can increase their sense of inclusion and together create a more inviting and welcoming workplace. And then after that, invite members of the community to create their own committee in partnership with the City of Manitowoc.

“I want to pull in leaders from different organizations and communities that may be underrepresented. Anyone that has a passion for diversity, equity and inclusion.”

That would certainly include Groll, who is looking forward to the second level of the program and completing her certification. And after that? She’s just getting started….

Groll was a participant the Diversity, Equity and Diversity Certificate Program, offered by UW-Green Bay’s Division of Continuing Education and Community Engagement.

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