SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Tuesday was the ‘Equity in the 413’ western Massachusetts racial equity summit. This summit is a part of an effort to advance racial equity in workplaces and organizations across western Massachusetts.

Organizations like Behavioral Health Network, Health New England and the Women of Color Health Equity collective gathered at the Sheraton Springfield, ready to take a step forward in the journey towards an equitable future at the first ever ‘Equity in the 413’ racial equity summit.

Briana Wales-Thaxton, Vice President of the People and Culture Community Foundation of western Massachusetts told 22News that advancing racial equity is the right thing to do and that it’s what people are asking for, “I say all the time that there are skills that we need to exist in a global economy and a global world. And advancing racial equity is at the top of those charts. We need to be able to exist together, not only exist but actually help each other advance as a collective humanity.”

At the summit, there were discussions on Baystate Health’s approach to advancing equity and reducing bias in the workplace, a panel discussion on social justice within organizations, moving beyond diversity and inclusion, and starting root cause discussions in rural communities.

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