The Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce held a press conference to promote the leadership Pledge


JOPLIN, MO – Our country, the four states included, has often been called a “melting pot.” So making sure everyone in that pot is welcome is the mission of a Joplin group.

3 key elements are involved, along with one pledge.

Members if the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce and its Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Work Group held a press conference today to promote the Joplin Leadership Pledge.

“That only improves the recruitment and attracting people into our community, retaining people into our community, but also valuing every individual because that only creates new ideas and innovative ideas that will make us even a stronger community.” Says Erin Slifka, Joplin Chamber Marketing & Public Information.

Not only is the concept the right thing to do, Darius Lewis says it’s good for business.

“We have so many different ethnic groups and so many different religions, so many different races in this area and uh they’re all part of our business community and we need, we need to realize that and start showing that we can accept those groups.” Says Darius Lewis Jr., EDI Work Group Chair.

One of the reasons for the press conference is to make sure this group, which was the idea of Toby Teeter, will continue, even after his time with the Chamber comes to an end.

Missouri American Water is one of those businesses that’s signed the pledge and even started their own equity, diversity, and inclusion group.

“Seeing this come to Joplin is just really exciting because I think the effect it’s going to have on our community as a whole, I think it’s going to make this a great place, Joplin is already a great place but this is gonna make it even better.” Says Christie Barnhart, External Affairs Manager, Missouri American Water.

“This is the type of stuff I wanted to do in life and I want, I want to accomplish these types of things and be part of a group that uh they’re already working towards and it makes me feel, makes me feel accomplished, makes me feel like I’m part of something good for the future.” Says Lewis.

For more information on Joplin’s EDI Work Group, or to sign the leadership pledge, check out the link below.

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