Creating an Inclusive Environment For LGTBQ+ Employees: A Panel Discussion for Employers


Many employers want to create an inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ employees but don’t know what they don’t know or where to begin. This panel, led by local LGBTQ+ leaders, will offer an in-depth conversation to create a work environment where everyone can thrive — which is better for individuals, business and community.

Towards this end, The Haven is partnering with OUT Central Oregon and The Bend Chamber to shed new understanding on how to be a better employer, providing a workplace that eliminates gender bias, discrimination and bullying to those who identify as LGTBQ+, and supporting everyone in reaching their full potential. The discussion will feature five leaders in this field and be moderated by Jamie Nesbitt, President of OUT Central Oregon. Nesbitt is a research scientist turned patent agent, with a long history of AIDS advocacy in San Francisco and nationally, and he is now committed to sharing his talents in support of the LGTBQ+ community in Central Oregon.

Creating an Inclusive Environment for LGTBQ+ Employees will cover a multitude of issues, including offensive words, microaggressions, handling unresolved challenges, bathroom policies, and barriers to advancement. The panel will speak about policies, procedures, accountability, safety and empowering managers to be empathetic leaders, as well as having corporate team representation at events in support. OSU/COCC created a Safe Zone Training that will be introduced as a positive response to the needs of LGTBQ+ employees, and the panel will discuss how to create true allyship.

Presented by The Haven, OUT Central Oregon and The Bend Chamber on June 19, 5-7:30pm at The Haven, 1001 SW Disk Drive, Bend.

The panelists include:

Eric North, VP of Human Resources for First Interstate Bank’s West Division.  North is responsible for strategic initiatives and management of First Interstate Bank’s growing human resources organization and expanding its corporate culture.

Erin Rook, Diversity Coordinator at OSU-Cascades, Project Facilitator for Better Together’s LGBTQ+ School Success workgroup, and a founding partner and equity consultant with Allyship in Action, among other community involvement.

Jamie Bowman, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Trainer born and raised in Central Oregon. Bein a mother of three children, two of whom are transgender, ignited her passion for this work. She is the President of the Human Dignity Coalition, Co-founder of the Central Oregon Trans Healthcare Coalition, sits on the Fierce Families Leadership Committee for Basic Rights Oregon and is a member of a new group of consultants, Allyship in Action.

Liliana Cabrera, Educator, Facilitator and Trainer. Liliana’s consulting experience over the last three years has been within Equity, Diversity and Inclusion as it relates to Board Governance and Strategic Planning. She specializes in Community/Culturally-Specific Responsiveness: Latinx, LGBTQ+, Youth and Parents.

Rob Landis, Online Reputation Manager and New Car Delivery Specialist, Subaru of Bend. Born in Prineville, Landis has made it a point to encourage learning and understanding regarding transgender challenges and obstacles within our local health systems, schools and businesses for the past seven years. He has been involved in countless panels for COCC, HDC, PFLAG and local business, as well as taken part in sensitivity trainings and trans-related health care conferences.

Jamie Serra, U.S. Forest Service Employee. Serra grew up in Stockton, California and frequently visited the nearby Sierra Nevada Mountains where she developed a love for nature and ecology. She received a bachelor of science in Forest Management from Humboldt State University in Arcata, California, and has been employed with the U.S. Forest Service for over 20 years, implementing ecosystem management and restoration contracts in California, southeast Alaska and the west slope of Oregon.

The Moderator:

Jamie Nesbitt has a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology and did a post-doctoral fellowship in neurobiology at Stanford University. He redirected his career to that of intellectual property and has been a Senior Patent Agent at FibroGen and Genentech, and currently holds that position at Alector.

Nesbitt has worked with various HIV advocacy groups and corporations, including Gilead Sciences, serves as a Board of Trustee member at AIDS United, a Washington DC-based HIV nonprofit, and is currently President of OUT Central Oregon.

OUT Central Oregon (OCO) is committed to building inclusivity, visibility and equality for the local LGBTQ+ community by developing partnerships and events that encourage and support participation by everyone. • 458-206-0588


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