The following are individuals and companies that will receive awards at the Urban League Equal Opportunity Day breakfast.
1. Inclusion by Design Award - Hospice of Chattanooga, Clark Taylor, CEO
2. Community Impact Award - Chattanooga Room in the Inn, Erin Creal, executive director.
3. Whitney M. Young Jr. Award - Walter Williams, partner with McKoon Williams and Hegeman
What: Equal Opportunity Day breakfast
When: 7:30 a.m. Oct. 29
Where: Chattanooga Convention Center
Cost: $100 per person
Contact: For more information call the Urban League at 756-1762
Leaders can influence and direct change to ensure that everyone can participate in the workplace, said Gale King, executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Nationwide Insurance.
"The reality is that if we look at companies that have diversity, their organizations are growing and getting stronger. The result [of diversity]speaks for itself," said King, who was named one of the 100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America by Black Enterprise in 2012.
King will be the main speaker at the Urban League's annual Equal Opportunity Day breakfast Oct. 29 at the Chattanooga Convention Center.
The theme of the event is a community of opportunity.
The breakfast is a celebration of efforts to create an inclusive community and the Urban League's biggest fundraiser of the year.
Diversity is a benefit, not a liability, said Warren Logan, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga.
"When you look at the African-Americans and the Latino population, you're looking at spending patterns projected to go into the trillions of dollars," he said. "Are these populations included in the workforce, the workplace and the marketplace? Where are those dollars being expended?"
The Urban League of Greater Chattanooga has served more than 9,000 people in the region including 800 youths participating in activities such as after-school programs and STEM Academy. The Urban League also provided volunteer income tax assistance to more than 6,800 people and helped some 350 people get jobs through its economic empowerment programs, according to organization figures.
The Urban League will recognize individuals and companies for working to ensure the Chattanooga area is an inclusive community.
Leaders of successful companies know their audiences and find ways to connect with them, King said.
Nationwide, her Columbus, Ohio-based Fortune 100 company, has been recognized by multiple organizations for its commitment to diversity and leadership development. It's been featured in Black Enterprise, Savvoy, Latina Style and Uptown Professional publications.
If Chattanooga wants to be a community for all of its people, it has to include all of its people. And inclusion probably won't just happen, she said.
"You have to have a plan," said King. "You have to be intentional."
Contact staff writer Yolanda Putman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6431.