The week-long event was produced and planned by BCBSNE’s six employee resource groups (ERGs) and featured daily sessions that highlighted each of the ERGs’ missions:
- Young Professionals (YP) Connect, supporting YPs and their advocates.
- Fearlessly You @ Blue, supporting LGBTQ+ employees.
- Military Families United Together, supporting veterans and military families.
- Building Leaders Like Us for Excellence, supporting Black employees.
- Latinos Empowered to Achieve Their Potential, supporting Latino employees.
- Possibilities, supporting disabled/abled employees.
“Putting this summit together isn’t an easy task and takes time and dedication from each of the ERG leads,” said event co-lead and BCBSNE Director of Diversity and Inclusion Jay Warren-Teamer. “Their passion for making this week the best they can shows what Belonging at Blue stands for.”
The summit kicked off with a DEI update from Warren-Teamer, a few words from BCBSNE’s new CEO and President Jeff Russell and a keynote presentation from Dr. Helen Abdali Soosan Fagan, leadership, diversity and inclusion scholar and practitioner and founder of Helen Fagan and Associates.
Dr. Abdali Soosan Fagan shared insights on the important work that individuals must do at an intrapersonal level to overcome personal obstacles to inclusion.
Over the course of the week, employees could attend various sessions that featured guest speakers and BCBSNE’s own employee advocates. Events included:
- YP and Early Career Panel Discussion
- A Conversation about LGBTQIA+ Diversity Advocacy
- Beyond Interfaith ERGs: Extending the Table for Religious Equity
- The Historical Background of the Omaha Star
- Red, White and BLUE – A BCBSNE Employee’s Military Journey
- Introduction to Deaf Community, Culture and American Sign Language
“This year’s summit brought together an incredible array of speakers, and throughout the week, they highlighted what makes each of our ERGs truly exceptional,” said event co-lead and BCBSNE Agile Project Manager Karah Thompson. “It was a great reminder of the outstanding individuals within our community.”
To wrap up the week, the ERGs came together at Blue Cross Centre, BCBSNE’s headquarters, for a celebration. During the wrap-up event, employees could meet ERG leaders, learn more about each ERGs’ mission and network with other members of Team Blue.
“In a world where we gather less often, celebrating our ERGs and BCBSNE’s commitment to DEI in person together felt like the perfect finale to a great week,” said Warren-Teamer.