Tasked with supporting businesses and the community-at-large in their efforts to understand and implement practices and policies that center equity, diversity, and inclusion. To achieve a significant transformation, this work group will build collaborative relationships in the business community through education, conversation, events and programs, with the ultimate goal of increasing awareness of best practices in equity, diversity, and inclusion and supporting actions that spur change. Businesses that prioritize equity, diversity, and inclusion improve their bottom line, attract and retain top talent, and generate more innovative ideas.
The Chamber organized and deploys the business community through these work groups to improve livability. These work group are co-chaired by young professions from YPN, but are open to the entire chamber membership to join and serve.
Co-Chairs: Sergio Rizo and Heidi Smorstad
Chamber Staff Liaison: Ashton Chapman
To support Chamber members in their efforts to be more equitable, inclusive, and diverse, Chamber liaison Ashton Chapman is available to provide insights, strategies, and action plans for change. Ashton Chapman, PhD, is a researcher, educator, and community organizer. Her cross-sector work includes experience in higher education, healthcare, nonprofit, and social enterprise spaces. Across all of her work, Ashton is committed to the creation and sustainability of equitable practices, programs, and policies that center community voice and honor community expertise. As the Founder and Director of Social Grove, a national research collaborative, and a Culture of Health Leader with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Ashton works directly with community residents and leaders to acknowledge and celebrate diversity, champion inclusion and belonging, and address social and health inequities by redistributing power, building community, and transforming systems. In partnership with the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, Ashton looks forward to working alongside the Joplin community to ensure that all residents have the resources they need to live their happiest, healthiest, fullest lives.