Adirondack Diversity Advisory Council reorganizes as the Adirondack Diversity Initiative

Sunday, March 13, 2016

SARANAC LAKE – The Adirondack Diversity Initiative (ADI) today announced its new name as it reorganizes to better meet its mission of helping the Adirondack region to become more welcoming, inclusive and diverse.  Formerly the Adirondack Diversity Advisory Council (ADAC), the restructured Adirondack Diversity Initiative is a reflection of both the progress made and the immense amount of work remaining. 

The name change signifies an organizational move from an advisory posture to a more proactive role in initiating and leading projects to bring real change to the Adirondacks.  “We helped to get a great conversation going about diversity in the Adirondacks,” said former ADAC Coordinator Pete Nelson. “Thanks to the hard work of the folks who have led it since, we have some wonderful programs underway, such as our expanding youth exchange program.  But all this work has been done entirely by volunteers.  If we are to fulfill our mission we need to evolve.” 

ADAC members held a strategic planning session last fall during which it was agreed that a more formal organization with a budget and professional staff was needed.  That project, including an effort to raise private and public funds, is underway.  “Now more than ever we see the global importance and urgency of diversity issues,” said Chris Morris of the Adirondack Foundation, who leads the ADI’s youth exchange project. “We hope Adirondack organizations and businesses will continue to step up to the plate and help us get to the goal.”

The ADI’s new focus on substantive projects is an exciting opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of North Country businesses, citizens and students.  Said ADI board member, author and corporate diversity consultant Brian McNaught, "The work of the ADI is not to make the Adirondacks ‘politically correct,’ but rather to help illustrate how a truly diverse population contributes to the health and financial success of the Park.”

"We are pleased to see the growing number of Adirondack businesses, organizations and individuals recognizing the need for and the benefits of the Park being more welcoming towards everyone, residents and visitors alike, regardless of race, religion, color, sex, age, economic status, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identify, political persuasion, range of abilities, education, beliefs, home town, nation of origin or status as an Adirondack native or a newcomer," said Adirondack Council Conservation Director Rocci Aguirre.

In addition to the youth exchange program, the Adirondack Diversity Initiative will develop new projects in training and education, arts and culture, marketing, economic development, community partnerships, alliances with SUNY college diversity programs and best practice consulting. 

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