Media Contact: Mike Bradley
Communications and Media Relations
ORNL kicks off participation in diversity walk
OAK RIDGE, Tenn., April 28, 2004 An enthusiastic crowd of Oak Ridge National Laboratory staff assembled here Wednesday to hear lab Director Jeff Wadsworth launch a community charge for diversity.
At the kick-off for ORNL's participation in the 2004 "Walk as One" walkathon against bias and racism, Wadsworth restated the lab's commitment to diversity and encouraged staff to support the walkathon, set for 4 p.m. June 6 at Volunteer Landing along Knoxville's Neyland Greenway.
Wadsworth said living in Germany, Holland, England, India, Singapore, and the San Francisco Bay area before moving here helped shape his personal appreciation of the value of diversity.
He also said that he plans to participate in the walkathon event. "Oak Ridge National Laboratory is committed to attracting and sustaining a diverse, world-class work force," Wadsworth said. "Demonstrating leadership in building a strong, inclusive community is an important element of that commitment."
Wednesday's ORNL kickoff event also featured a description of NCCJ's programs by Kandi Austin, NCCJ's Walk Coordinator, and a diversity awareness exercise led by Attica Scott, NCCJ Director.
The walk is the primary regional fund raiser for the National Conference for Community and Justice, a non-profit group founded in 1927, to support its programs to promote skills among youth, community leaders and educators, to build a more just and inclusive society.
The local effort this year is chaired by Comcast General Manager Brad Anderson. Honorary co-chairs are Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale.
UT-Battelle is an official sponsor of this event.
Cindy Kendrick, ORNL Concerns Program Coordinator and an organizer of the kickoff, said "Walk As One" also raises community awareness of diversity issues and celebrates the rich and varied cultures and dimensions represented in the region.
"ORNL is rapidly emerging as one of the event's champions," Kendrick said. "We have the opportunity to make a real difference in our community in this area."
For more information or to volunteer, contact the NCCJ office at 865-637-6140 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.