Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Creative Region Initiative: How Inclusive?

Joe Lacey, who you probably know as the school board member who's in the news alot, has made some interesting comments on on my post on the Creative Region Initiative.

Joe makes a good point. I was praising this effort to be inclusive but I never thought about if there are any lesbians or gays.

Not really a show stopper for me as this is still a pretty good set of folks, but it would be ironic if lesbians and gays were not included in this effort, epecially if out LGBT folk applied to be catalysts. Why?

Read this excerpt from consultants material available at the SOCHE website:

Creative Communities Leadership Project

"Together the 30 Catalysts make a diverse team of emerging leaders – and
by diverse we mean by geography, background, industry, age, race,
orientation, experience and more. Catalysts are selected by your
organization(s) through an open application process. The Creative Class
Group will assist you with application materials and other support
throughout the selection."

...orientation in this context refers to sexual orientation, whether one is gay, lesbian, straight, bi, or transgendered. And note the preference here is to be inclusive.

Also ironic given Richard Flordia's writings on the GLBT community being an indicator for tolerance within a community.

Yet Florida also says this

Not all talented and creative people can abide homosexuality, of course. They may even move to more traditionalist regions or firms where their views prevail. That's fine, but it's not a winning formula for society as a whole. A more inclusive society captures talent and ideas that reside at the margins. Simply having an attitude of inclusiveness and open-mindedness seems conducive to creativity.

Things that make you go "hmmm", especially when thinking about some of the other economic development and regional branding issues floating around out there.


Greg Hunter said...

We indirectly discussed this issue in October. Where? Of course, your blog.

Anonymous seems familiar as well

Jefferey said...

I went back and looked at that post.


When I start repeating myself its time to change the subject.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe orientation was a question on the application...maybe it should've been?...I only remember one catalyst and one CC staff publicly outing themselves at the workshop, so it's kind of hard to know...

Unknown said...

As a catalyst, I can tell you that we do indeed have LGBT members in our group. Also, I'd like to emphasize that this catalyst group is not exclusive - we are all looking for members from the community to join our teams (especially if they have a specific knowledge, expertise or interest in the project initiatives we are working on). So there is even more opportunity to broaden the diversity of our already very diverse group.

This effort is truly a bottom-up grassroots approach, and it is like no other organized effort that I know of to happen here in Dayton. Its success is very dependent on community participation.

Thanks to Jeffrey for discussing this here on Daytonology. I welcome you all to join the conversations we have going on at our DMM Forum ( And I'll be posting more specific details this weekend.

Joe Lacey said...

When I asked staff this question a week ago, I got no response. So who are the LGBT catalysts?

Unknown said...

Joe - please go to

...and please don't overlook the rest of my previous comment - we are looking to include others in the community to become active participants in our initiatives.

Anonymous said...

Orientation was not a question on the application. So staff would simply not know.

Which would explain why they couldn't answer within your urgent, need-to-know timeline.

So let me ask you...
Where is the LGBT orientation question in the application to post here on Daytonology?

Because by your logic then, how am I to know whether THIS is truly an open and inclusive process and dialog?

(Or are only squelchers are allowed to post....?
Guess I missed that question too.)

Joe, why don't you join the group's initiatives instead of taking misguided potshots from the sidelines. It's really easy to be a constant critic. Typing isn't that hard. Rolling up your sleeves is.

(Yes, I know you're on the DPS Board. No, I'm not the same "anonymous" as the earlier post person.)

But I have known many of the Catalysts for years. It is a most amazing and diverse group from many perspectives. And, yes, the LGBT community is represented.

In fact, the Film Dayton initiative is reaching out to include the existing LGBT Film Festival to be an integral component of a larger annual indie film festival effort.

Isn't that all you really need to know?

Or should I ask, what about you?

Are you L, G, B or T?

And does the School Board know?

Anonymous said...

To clear up the matter. I'm Dave and I'm a Gay Catalysts. I am working on the tolerance initiative. Its a great diverse group of Catalysts....join us, work with us and lets make our community stronger.

Jefferey said...

Dave, Billy, thanks for the input, and I consider this topic closed.

Joe Lacey said...

In response to anonymous, I am gay and I've never hidden that fact when I ran for school board or served on the school board. I got the Dayton Board to add sexual orientation to their non-discrimination policy.

I'm not criticizing or taking pot shots. I simply wanted to know about their efforts at inclusion before I join the effort.

If you take that as a pot shot or criticism, then maybe they could improve their outreach. Why didn't they respond to my question to tell me they didn't know and why they didn't know? If it wasn't part of the process of choosing catalysts then how did they achieve such diversity?

If you tell me that you're reaching out to the LGBT community but you really don't want to talk about it, as a gay man, I might have a couple more questions for you.

Jefferey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.