Award-Winning Journalist, Advocate to Speak on Cultural Diversity, Leadership at West Michigan Event

    GRAND RAPIDS — Inforum, a statewide organization focused on the professional growth of women, will host its annual Capstone dinner on Thursday, Nov. 10, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the JW Marriott.

    This year’s event will feature keynote speaker Michelle Li, award-winning anchor and reporter for NBC affiliate KSDK in St. Louis and co-founder of the Very Asian Foundation. Li has appeared on CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, and in The Washington Post. In 2022, she was a guest on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” after a viewer asked her to “keep her Korean to herself” which Li has since used as an opportunity to foster conversations around cultural diversity on a national level.

    Jennifer Pascua, Marketing Director at Broadway Grand Rapids, will moderate the discussion. Pascua was previously on the Community Relations team for Spectrum Health and spent 25 years as a broadcast journalist, most recently at WZZM Grand Rapids. Tickets are available here.

    “Equity in the workplace is something that I will always fight for,” said Li. “There is power in opening your mind and listening to diverse perspectives, and I am proud to be speaking at an event that recognizes that. I am honored to be given a platform to voice how I overcame obstacles in the way of my own career development, and I hope I will be able to guide other women to achieve their goals.”

    Inforum’s annual Capstone event allows women to see what is possible by highlighting female leaders and providing the opportunity to build and strengthen professional networks. Recent past speakers include author and former Marine lieutenant colonel Kate Germano, ESPN’s Kelley Carter, MeToo founder Tarana Burke, and Sarah Thomas, the first female official in the National Football League. With rising violence against the Asian-American population, as seen in a report published by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism which shows a 339% increase in Anti-Asian hate crime last year, this year’s event will emphasize the importance of cultural understanding

    “Having these hard but necessary conversations around cultural diversity is crucial for understanding the different perspectives and needs of those in our society,” said Terry Barclay, Inforum president, and CEO. “Michelle Li brings a unique set of experiences that we can all learn from as we adopt new ways of thinking and approaching culture, diversity, and leadership.  I look forward to walking away from the event knowing how we can make larger strides towards positive change and be better leaders.” 

    “It is an honor to be given the opportunity to be a part of such an important discussion,” said Pascua. “Efforts towards equality are needed now more than ever, and with the Capstone dinner, we will be taking actionable steps to break down the barriers.”

    Amway is Premier Sponsor for the event. Other supporters include Presenting Sponsor Meijer, Leadership Sponsors Spectrum Health and UPS, Supporting Sponsor Gentex Corporation, Business Booster Sponsor Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, DEI Sponsor Frey Foundation, Media Sponsor 8THIRTYFOUR Integrated Communications, and In-Kind Sponsor JW Marriott, Grand Rapids. For additional sponsorship opportunities, please contact Inforum’s Becky Puckett-Wood at bpuckett-w[email protected].

    Tickets are $75 for members, $100 for non-members and guests, and $1,300 for a table sponsorship. For more information or to register for the November 10th event, visit Inforum online here.