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Diversity Committee

Committee Chair - Katie Melnikoff

Committee Members: Naja Bomasi, Melinda Bowleg, Bruce Breton, Chiquita D'Arbeau,  Jaye Holly, Chuck Oakes, Mat Petrin, Cathy Smith, Theresa Trietiak, Marsha Lazarus, Natasha Matwijec, and Shatoya Michel.

Purpose  / Mission - “To provide the membership of CRHRA with tools, knowledge, and ability to help their organizations promote values and practices of an inclusive workplace."

Diversity Panel Brochure

 Recruiting, Hiring, Retaining, and Promoting People with Disabilities - A Resource Guide for Employers 

 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some common questions you may have about Diversity and the CRHRA Diversity Committee.

Q: What is Diversity?
A: The definition given by Dr. Roosevelt Thomas in his book Beyond Race and Gender sums it up pretty well.  
He said, “Diversity is the mosaic of people who bring a variety of backgrounds, styles, perspectives, values, ‘abilities’, 
and beliefs as assets to the groups and organizations with which they interact.” Our committee added ‘abilities’ to reflect
diverse physical and emotional abilities.

Q: How does Diversity differ from Affirmative action?
A: EEOC governs EEO laws and regulations – Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (race, color, religion, 
sex, national origin), the Age Discrimination Act of 1967, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Americans with 
Disabilities Act of 1990, the Civil Rights Act of 1991 (provided for monetary damages in cases of intentional
discrimination).  In addition, one may file complaints under any of these bases of retaliation.

EEO and Affirmative Actions are legally driven while Diversity is voluntary.
EEO and Affirmative Action began in the 1960’s and diversity initiatives sprang out of these programs in the 1980’s.

Non-compliance with EEO and Affirmative Action has legal consequences while diversity is a voluntary commitment to an inclusive workplace.

Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Diversity
Derived from Civil Rights Legislation

Derived from Executive Order11246 -  federally mandated

Derived from voluntary commitment to an inclusive workplace
Law prohibits discrimination in the workplace Laws and regulations provided requirements for Government contractors only No legal requirements
Comprehensive federal protection began in 1964 Executive Order 11246 signed in 1965 Diversity initiatives emerged in the late 1980’s
Failure to comply with EEO laws could result in court-imposed requirements Failure to establish and meet Affirmative Action goals could impact government contract awards Failure to implement successful initiatives may negatively impact productivity
Requires employment decisions to be based solely on candidates work-related qualifications Requires outreach to ensure representation in the workforce Requires awareness that mission success depends on leveraging the individuality of all employees


Q: Why should my business promote Diversity?
A: In 1997, The Hudson Institute issued a report “Workforce 2020” that predicted: The American labor force will become
more brown and black in the next twenty years, but its most noticeable color will be gray. This challenging workforce will 
need a demonstrated commitment to diversity. Visible and invisible heterogeneity is present throughout all levels 
and area of an organization. Human differences and similarities are welcomed, valued, and utilized at all levels and 
across formal and informal systems.

If diversity is not managed properly, it can lead to lower productivity, miscommunication, conflicts, stereotyping, 
turnover, and lack of teamwork. Creating an inclusive work environment by respecting difference and 
developing the potential of all employees provides for a competitive edge for the 21st century workforce.
 If managed effectively, diversity can increase productivity, create a competitive advantage, reduce turnover, 
increase innovation and creativity, and increase employee satisfaction and morale.

Q: What does the Diversity Committee for CRHRA do?
A: The Diversity Committee creates, collaborates, and builds educational opportunities for learning about 
diversity needs and inclusion.  The mission of CRHRA clearly defines our goal and purpose: to educate 
and raise awareness of our New York State business partnerships to create an inclusive workforce.

Q: How do I get help promoting diversity and fostering an inclusive environment at my place of business?
A: You are welcome to contact us for an individual discussion and consultations.

Q: Can I volunteer to work with the CRHRA Diversity Committee?
A: Yes, we would love for you to join our committee. Please contact the committee chair for more information.

Q: How do I contact the CRHRA Diversity Committee?
A: Feel free to call the CRHRA office (below) or e-mail the committee chair.

Q: What kinds of resources are available for my business to help promote diversity and fostering an inclusive environment?
A: See our tool kit below for a brief overview of some of the available tools. Our committee is staffed with inclusion 
professionals who are able to create innovative strategies specifically for your company’s needs.

Diversity Resources

Useful Links –

SHRM – Society for Human Resource Management Diversity page
Black Voices – Black entertainment, sports, news, culture, and community page 
DOL – The Department of Labor's page
EEOC – The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s page
HRC – Human Rights Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender equal rights page 
NAAAP – The National Association of Asian American Professional’s page
National Black MBA Association – Education and economic growth for African Americans page
NHBG – National Hispanic Business Group’s page
Indian Country Today – Multimedia publisher to the Indigenous people of the Americas page
VA – U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs page
VESID – Vocation & Education Services for Individuals with Disabilities page
WBENC – Women's Business Enterprise National Council page
Diversity & Inclusion Jeopardy

Disability Resources

New York State Education Department’s Adult Career Services and Continuing Educational Services –Vocational Rehabilitation
Our Ability
ASTEP – Asperger Syndrome Training and Employment Partnership
Federal Government’s
Think Beyond the Label
Capital Region Workforce Investment Board
US Department of Labor’s Workforce One

Diversity and Inclusion Books
Sponsor a CRHRA Monthly Meeting Book Giveaway​Learn more here

Join in on the CRHRA Diversity and Inclusion on LinkedIn.

Upcoming Diversity Events – Click Here 

Diversity Newsletter articles – Click Here

Volunteer Opportunities –
If you would like to join the CRHRA Diversity Committee please email the committee chair. 

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