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Perspectives Blog: Blog Posts

Lessons from a Legend: James C. Burroughs II

Monday, June 5, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Catherine Roman
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By Jill Fiebelkorn

 

From the Black Lives Matter movement to the most recent Minneapolis Sculpture Garden faux pas, diversity and inclusion often lack equality in the state of Minnesota. These issues demand improvement in schools and the workforce. James C. Burroughs II is on the case, and is determined to overcome the challenges faced in his first year at his new job.

 

Over a year ago Governor Dayton chose Burroughs for the role of Chief Inclusion Officer for the State of Minnesota. Burroughs’ resume is filled with 20 years of work focused on diversity and equality in both public and private sectors. He has been employed with Minneapolis Public Schools, law firms and Universities of Law, all with the goal of increasing diversity in the workforce.

 

James was the featured speaker at our recent Coffee with a Legend.  He shared the following words of advice.

 

What advice do you give to young professionals?

 

Network. But don’t just network within your circle. Branch out and connect with different people with different backgrounds and expertise. Always be networking. Don’t wait until the assignment is due or it is time for an internship. Grow those relationships now so they cultivate opportunities.

 

Also, intent versus impact, know the difference. The message received may not be the message sent. A big mess can be created when the intended gesture or message is not received in the correct manner due to lack of preparation or outreach.

 

What challenge in your first year at Chief Inclusion Officer stands out?

 

There have been many challenges. Just getting the voice out on the topic of diversity and inclusion is a constant challenge. The minority community is growing. Businesses and the upcoming workforce need to be prepared to feed from each other in a positive manner.

 

What’s a good way to learn about opportunities to increase diversity?

 

The recent People of Color Career Fair was a success, but it doesn’t stop there.  Contact the governor’s office. More events are coming up to achieve the governor’s goal of hiring more minorities in government jobs. Twitter and other social media are a great way to follow events and opportunities.

 

Want to learn more? Join us on Thursday, June 8, at 8 a.m., for a personal, small group talk with Lee over coffee. Space is limited for this intimate discussion, so register today.

 




Minnesota PRSA
5353 Wayzata Blvd, Suite 350
Minneapolis MN 55416
Phone: 952-564-3046
Fax: 952-252.8096
Email: office@minnesotaprsa.org

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