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Event Brings Merrimack Valley Together on Mission of Inclusion

Businesses, nonprofits, government and educational institutions around the state are working together to build Massachusetts' reputation as a place where people of color want to live and work through efforts like the Commonwealth Compact, an initiative launched in 2008 with the support of more than 125 institutions across the state, including the University of Massachusetts system.

The compact and its mission will be among the major points of discussion when Equal Opportunity and Outreach hosts its second "Diversity in Motion" forum on Wednesday, July 29. The event will bring together people representing public and private employers, as well as government and organizations from across the Merrimack Valley from Lawrence to Lowell.

Speakers will include Stephen P. Crosby of UMass Boston's McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies, who cofounded the compact with Boston Globe publisher P. Steven Ainsley and Ralph Martin, former Suffolk County district attorney. Chancellor Marty Meehan will also address attendees. A panel moderated by Prof. Meg Bond of UMass Lowell's Center for Women and Work will discuss the challenges of retaining a diverse work force, including the impact of economic conditions. Panelists will include:

* Colleen Richards Powell, the compact's deputy director and formerly of Harvard University;
* Ron Marlow, Massachusetts assistant secretary for Access and Opportunity;
* Alberto Vassallo III, vice president of El Mundo Boston;
* Rosa Hunter, owner of RLH Enterprises.

WHERE: Alumni Hall, UML North, One University Ave., Lowell. For directions and parking information, contact the Office of Public Affairs.