Since its founding more than 30 years ago, The Forum on Workplace Inclusion® has grown from a two-hour telecast attended by 75 people to become the nation’s largest workplace diversity, equity and inclusion conference, with more than 1,600 participants from 45 states and 15 countries in 2018. In the intervening years, we have added webinars, podcasts and breakfast presentations to our offerings and expanded the conference from that original telecast to three days packed with nearly 100 individual presentations. More great things are in store as we move forward.
An integral piece of The Forum’s history has been our relationship with the University of St. Thomas. For more than two decades, St. Thomas has been a supportive home for The Forum, working collaboratively with Forum leadership to ensure The Forum’s success and enabling its significant expansion, both in the conference itself and in the creation of new programming. As we look ahead to the next two decades, we see the need for additional change. In particular, we want to ensure that The Forum has the freedom to make programming decisions independently of the University’s institutional considerations. As a result, through the mutual agreement of Forum leaders and St. Thomas, The Forum on Workplace Inclusion® expects to end its formal affiliation with St. Thomas at the end of this fiscal year (June 30, 2019).
This decision is the outcome of serious and thoughtful consideration and reflects the guidance of The Forum’s advisory board. The decision does not reflect any reduction in the University’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion; in fact, St. Thomas recently has increased its DEI resources and continues to strongly support the work and goals of The Forum. St. Thomas is committed to continuing this support as The Forum transitions to a new home.
The 2019 conference will not be affected by this decision, and we anticipate announcing our new home at the conference. As of today, this new home has not been determined; we are actively exploring potential partners, and all inquiries and ideas are welcome.
I am excited and optimistic about the future of The Forum. We continue to look to you – our Forum friends and family – to support us as we move boldly into this future, to help us to continue to engage people, advance ideas and ignite change through our events in 2019 and beyond. Thank you for your past support and for all the amazing things we can accomplish together in the future.
For questions or more information, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Forum on Workplace Inclusion®
University of St. Thomas