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News & Press: FOCUS

Diversity: A Winning Strategy for the Lansing Region

Monday, October 1, 2018  
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By Tedi Parsons, Lansing Economic Area Partnership

When you look at today's "hot" cities and the places people want to live, have fun and call home, one thing is evident, there is a strong presence of diversity. More than ever before, people are very intentional when choosing the place where they want to live, work, play, pray and raise a family. Is this place Lansing? I would say ‘Yes’, as the Lansing region represents many forms of diversity, including a rich culture of the arts, placemaking, world-class schools, faith-based communities and cities, townships and villages who are laying out the welcome mat.

The foundation of our region’s welcoming spirit lies at the feet of those who live and work here. From state government to General Motors to 61 different languages spoken to our impressive institutes of learning, Lansing has a steep tradition in manufacturing, agriculture, and a Big-Ten university, which all add to the rich fabric of diversity and inclusion represented throughout our cities, counties, towns and villages. With a long history of diversity, Lansing is a place where everyone is welcomed, regardless of race, age, color, national origin, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, religious beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and/ or expression, or marital status. Our diversity department is open 24-7, 365 days a year.

As the Director of Diversity & Inclusion for LEAP, I am afforded the great opportunity to work with businesses, municipalities and community leaders who represent the very best of what Lansing has to offer. I am inspired by great organizations like FosterSwift, MSU Federal Credit Union, Capital Area Michigan Works!, Sparrow and Lansing 5:01, who are investing in creating a culture that attracts world-class talent.

From the creation of Diversity Lansing’s professional trainings to our sold-out Diversity Education Series, LEAP, along with its regional partners, has been hard at work leading the diversity discussion. Together, we have seen over 2,500 individuals take part in these important discussions, bringing this knowledge back to their businesses, homes, communities and places of worship. However, the conversation cannot end here and must continue.

With a strong focus on attracting and retaining top talent, building a strong workforce, and ensuring an inclusive culture exists where everyone is welcomed at the table, Lansing is truly creating a winning strategy – where EVERYONE wins!

Tedi Parsons is the Director of Diversity & Inclusion at Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP). Learn more at

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