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Mission Statement

The mission of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility Committee is to ensure equal opportunity and involvement for the MPI-CAC community. Our vision is a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere across race, gender, age, religion, identity, and experience.  

MPI-CAC Membership Demographics Survey

The data collected from this member demographics survey will be studied to help shape future MPI-CAC programming to better service our members. This survey is completely voluntary and your participation will be anonymous. Responses will be kept strictly confidential. Completing the questionnaire should take roughly 3 minutes.


Thank you for your participation and for providing your feedback!



MPI-CAC Board of Directors

Dear valued MPI-CAC members and supporters,

I am thrilled to venture into the new 2022–2023 fiscal year with you as the President of the incredible MPI Chicago Area Chapter! We have some hard work ahead of us as we continue to recover and rebuild after the pandemic, but I know that together we will achieve our goals. An important aspect of growing and improving the chapter is ensuring we infuse Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility initiatives into everything we do, and our IDEA mission is at the heart of all our chapter priorities.

The mission of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility Committee (IDEA) is to create equal opportunities and a welcoming and inclusive environment for our entire MPI-CAC community.

As leaders in our industry, we are inspired by the call to action towards inclusiveness that our members, and the world, rightfully expect of us. Your board of directors and chapter leaders hear that call, loud and clear, and are ready to keep pushing our mission forward. In fact, we have already begun by shifting educational content to reside under the umbrella of IDEA. This effort is to ensure we are imparting this critical initiative into all our educational programming.

I also look forward to working closely with each of you to identify the many other ways we can create experiences that benefit you, our members, in this unique climate. We know your needs have changed over the last few years and it’s crucial our chapter continues to evolve and meet those needs.

In the meantime, I encourage you to take advantage of the chapter’s many volunteer opportunities. Get involved in a committee and fully engage with your MPI-CAC colleagues. I joined MPI, and my first committee, almost ten years ago and my life, and career, have never been the same. I’ve learned how to be a more effective leader, formed lifelong relationships, and created new opportunities for PRA Business Events. Giving back to this chapter feels like my most important duty as I have received so much from it. It is the mission of your president and the board of directors to rebuild our chapter through increased membership, sponsorship, and engagement, but it is going to take a village to accomplish. You are a part of the village – the most important part.

I am excited for the year ahead and look forward to connecting with each one of you. “When we meet, we change the world”. Let’s do just that – together.


Heather Brown, CMP, DMCP

Regional General Manager

PRA Business Events 

How Do We Define Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility (IDEA)?

Inclusion is the act of creating environments in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported and valued to fully participate.

Diversity includes all the ways in which people differ, encompassing the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another.

Equity is the fair treatment, access, opportunity and advancement for all people, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation by marginalized groups plagued by an unlevel socioeconomic playing field.

Accessibility is the practice of designing products and services so that they can be used by everyone, regardless of disabilities. 

Remember the four key arguments that make the case for IDEA:

  1. The moral or social justice case

  2. The economic case

  3. The market case

  4. The results case


This is now our challenge.


The challenge hospitality leaders are facing now is what can I do now, when the future of what we do is unstable?


Before moving forward with a solution(s), measure the effects on workforce diversity as you make critical business decisions:

  • Evaluate your decisions and their impact upon your IDEA strategies.

  • Consider who is in the room when you are making critical decisions.

  • Organize a task force that includes a cross-section of employees at all levels to advocate for and represent the people you employ.


To establish confidence and proceed authentically, leaders can apply three practices: collect data, take accountability and define a clear measurable strategy.


The Steps to Achieving IDEA


The first step to achieving IDEA I is to identify where you are currently standing.


The second step to achieving IDEA is to be transparent and commit to measurable change.


Data will reveal imperfections and unconscious biases, especially those that have created inequities or barriers to access throughout an organization. That means there are opportunities for growth, and taking accountability sets a stage for authenticity.


And it means that you will be able to create a culture of belonging using benchmarks, from tactical ideas that ensure every member has access to virtual calls to financial strategy such as how socio-economic barriers will impact participation.


It may also involve restructuring leadership teams to have representation of various constituencies involved at the decision-making level. Your clients/staff are the professionals that promote and co-sign the value of an organization, and when things are challenging, knowing who they are establishes relationships, reciprocity and mutual purpose to pursue innovative ideas.


The third step is to define IDEA as it relates to an overall strategic plan.


To implement improved practices, reference and make goals applicable to developing organizational culture, whether that involves presenting receipts, sharing a case study or providing evidence from collected data.


Successfully emerging after a substantial health, economic crisis and social advocacy dilemma will be determined by your emphasis on being innovative. 


Resources, whether an allotment of time, commitment to change or financial investment, empower teams which is imperative for effective change that is measurable and sustainable.


The Continued Value of IDEA Is Vital


Concepts for making IDEA a priority now will stand the test of time when we face future challenges. Our willingness to collect data, conduct an assessment, gain deeper insight into those we serve and provide transparency in our report findings are the actionable skills that showcase leadership buy-in now and into the future.


So, how will your organization look in the future? What will be your IDEA success story? Do you want your company to have an ongoing record of demonstrating inclusion, diversity, equity & accessibility for your employees and the communities that you serve.


Further your commitment to achieve economic growth, moral and social justice as a business imperative and competitive edge.

DESHIELDS, Greg, CHE, CDE. June 2020. Citing References. [online]. Available from:

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