Planning for an Equitable Future:
Economy, Justice, and Education
Our annual business conference.
*2021 Sponsorship Opportunities Available. Reach out to Karen Pelletier for options.
ABOUT THE CONFERENCE | Now in its sixth year under the Game Changers brand, the Chamber’s annual conference brings together members of the Central Mass business community to learn about local innovations, business opportunities, hear keynote speakers, and network with other professionals. This year, the event will be held virtually over a four-day mini-series from June 14 to 17, during which we will be proposing a series of issues and ideas that we think warrant consideration and further conversation as we look to advance the city and region.
This year’s theme, “Planning for an Equitable Future: Economy, Justice, and Education,” is organized in response to the racial reckoning and calls for change taking place across our country over the last year, reignited by the death of George Floyd. Discussions amongst keynote speakers, panelists, awardees, and participants will center around diversity and inclusion in the workforce, but will also look to extend the conversation beyond the office walls to examine efforts toward equity in other facets of our everyday life: in our city, schools, health care systems, and more.
The event is also an opportunity to congratulate recipients of the 2021 Game Changer awards. These individuals, businesses, and organizations have been catalysts for change and are recognized for their efforts at this event. We certainly hope you’ll join us to learn about and participate in the Worcester region’s plan for an equitable future.
Michael Curry, JD, President & CEO, Mass League of Community Health Centers
Michael Curry, Esq. is the president and CEO of Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, which represents 52 health centers, serving over one million patients out of over 314 practice sites throughout the state. He previously served as Senior Vice President of the Government Affairs and Public Policy Division for the Mass League. Prior to joining the League in 2008, Michael had a 16-year career at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, most of that time as Senior Policy Advisor in the Corporate Affairs Division, which included government, public, internal and community affairs. He has served on the health care transition teams for Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and was involved in the passage of Massachusetts Health Reform and the Affordable Care Act.
Curry was also past President of the Boston Branch of the NAACP (2011-2016), and has over twenty years of dedicated service to the NAACP on the city, state-area conference and national levels. He was elected nationally to the NAACP’s Board of Directors in 2014, and reelected twice in 2017 and 2020, and now serves as Chair the National NAACP’s Advocacy & Policy Committee and Vice-Chair of the Political Action and Legislation Committee.
Worcester State University & Quinsigamond Community College
100 Males to College Program
Leadership in DE&I
Dr. Matilde Castiel
Providing equitable access to testing, vaccinations, and education during the pandemic
Leadership and commitment to diverse hiring within the building trades
Tocci Building Corp
Commitment to a diverse workforce on the Courthouse Lofts construction
As the second largest city in New England, Worcester is home to all sorts of people from all different backgrounds. While the Heart of the Commonwealth continues to grow, what are city hall leaders and other key players doing to ensure no one gets left behind? Our panelists will discuss the challenges Worcester is facing, as well as some of the programs and orders in place designed to address these disparities as we all continue to strive for equal access to things like education, health care, and employment opportunities.
Moderator: Stacey Luster – General Counsel and Assistant to the President for Employment and Equal Opportunity, Worcester State University
With social unrest and calls for change breaking out all across the country, many of our elected leaders at the local, state, and federal levels are advocating for legislation to address inequalities — but they shouldn’t be the only ones taking action. This panel will discuss what actions employers can and should take to mitigate racial, wealth, and opportunity gaps in their companies or organizations. From hiring processes and staff coaching and support, to purchasing power and prison re-entry, you’ll learn about available resources and best practices for recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce as well as generating a more equitable community.
Moderator: Bonnie Walker – Director of Equity and Inclusion, Worcester Academy