Three champions of workplace diversity will be honored at the 26th annual Forum on Workplace Inclusion, the nation’s leading conference on diversity and inclusion, which will take place March 18-20 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

People who shape, lead and drive diversity and inclusion come together at the forum to examine what’s working, exchange ideas and explore new directions.

The Diversity Awards are given to organizations or individuals who show exemplary effort in addressing workplace diversity issues. Recipients will be honored during a special luncheon on Thursday, March 20, at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Recipients are:

Ken Charles: Winds of Change, Individual

Ken Charles

Ken Charles

Ken Charles is the chief diversity officer for General Mills and a longtime champion of workplace diversity and inclusion, advocating for positions that have established General Mills as a leader among Minnesota and U.S. companies. Charles is the driving force behind creating an inclusive workplace environment at General Mills, as well as its public stand for a fully inclusive state. His work will pay off for years to come by establishing a clear message to current and future employees of the company’s desire for a broadly welcoming community and workforce.

Stinson Leonard Street: Winds of Change, Organization

Stinson Leonard Street is a significant contributor to local law-school diversity scholarships and programs for disadvantaged youth. The law firm was formed in January with the merger of Minneapolis-based Leonard, Street and Deinard and Kansas City-based Stinson Morrison Hecker. Leonard, Street and Deinard in 1953 became the first major law firm in the state to add a woman partner to its ranks. In this tradition and with a five-point diversity action plan in place, the firm works to actively increase employment and partnership opportunities for all underrepresented groups.

Kurt Wiger: Friend of the Forum

Kurt Wiger

Kurt Wiger

Kurt Wiger is this year’s Friend of the Forum Award recipient. For almost eight years he has been active with the forum’s program and health care track committees. He has volunteered with logistics and hospitality, and has been a ceaseless advocate of the conference.

Registration is still open for the conference, including the diversity awards luncheon. Participants can choose to attend either the full three-day conference from March 18-20, or single conference days. Special rates for travel and accommodations are available. For more information and to register, visit the forum’s website.

About The Forum on Workplace Inclusion

The Forum on Workplace Inclusion, formerly known as the Multicultural Forum, has grown into the nation’s leading conference for advancing diversity in the workplace. Presented by the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas, the forum offers active collaboration, thought leadership and valuable tools that meet the challenges of diversity and inclusion.