League of Women Voters to hold a diversity forum


Photo by Liz Bigham '18

The League of Women Voters is hosting a diversity forum on Apr. 12.

The League of Women Voters is hosting a rescheduled forum on Wednesday, April 12 regarding the Diversity Plan and its incorporation into the Grosse Pointe Public School System. The meeting will be held in the Pierce Middle School auditorium, the location it was planned to take place in prior to the mass power outage.

Tom Wells, president of the League of Women Voters, said that according to Dr. Gary Niehaus, superintendent of the Grosse Pointe Public School System, the goal of the forum is to publicly present the GPPSS Diversity Plan to the community.

“As Dr. Niehaus has stated, the Diversity Plan focuses on leadership and culture,” Wells said. “The Diversity Plan is an outgrowth of the Strategic Plan approved by the Board of Education. The panel (moderated by the League of Women Voters) is there to give perspective and answer questions about what is happening across the country, state and locally.”

The idea for the Global Leaders Forum was discussed following the presidential election in January as a result of an uptick in bullying and hate speech expressed by worried people in the community, Wells said.

“The idea of the Forum came from a group discussion between some concerned individuals, including me, that met with Dr. Niehaus and some members of the administration,” Wells said. “Dr. Niehaus was the catalyst in coming to the conclusion that a GPPSS Forum was needed to present the Diversity plan…The nonpartisan League of Women Voters is moderating this as it does school board candidate and other forums of interest to our community.”

As a change to the entire GPPSS, all are welcome to attend the meeting and share any questions or concerns, Rebecca Fannon, GPPSS Community Relations Specialist, said.

This is a district forum to present the Diversity Plan, with a panel discussion moderated by the LWV,”

— Fannon said.

“There are no other partners but all are welcome and encouraged to come and bring their neighbors.”

Regardless of the community’s views on the plan, speaking is encouraged and wanted at the forum, Wells said.

“We are hopeful that the auditorium at Pierce is full to overflowing,” Wells said. “We are hopeful that any and every concerned community member, parent, student and teacher will attend. This specifically includes those that think they are not in favor of the plan.”

The idea is to have a civil discussion on a difficult subject in a welcoming and respectful environment,”

— Wells