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Growth Association hosts continuing conversation on community and economic health

Community leaders and members joined the RiverBend Growth Association’s Community Conversation on Diversity & Inclusion event Thursday, April 15, featuring Jaqui Melton, MBA from the Center for Diversity and Cultural Competence at Barnes Jewish Hospital.

This month’s event was the second part to a three-part series titled “Introduction to Community Health.”  Melton will continue to facilitate. Over the course of this series, social determinants of health will be covered including topics on Education, Neighborhood, Social Network, Health, and Economic Stability. This is a free event to attend via Zoom. The recording of March 18 and April 15 and other RBGA events can be found at:

The RBGA will wrap up the series on May 20. This event is presented and hosted by the RiverBend Growth Association and sponsored by Alton Memorial Hospital.

“This is a great opportunity for all community members to join us in a safe place to have tough and hard conversations as we continue to provide leadership required to attract, promote, and support new and existing enterprise growth throughout the Riverbend Community,” said Trish Holmes, RBGA’s director of Member Services.

“If we are truly going to make equitable change in and for our communities, it is necessary to include diversity, equity, and inclusion in every part of our work. Carving out the time and space to have, what can be, difficult conversations for many of us, is the only way we can work towards repairing harm and building a better world — together,” adds Melton.

Melton is an experienced group facilitator and curriculum developer, with a history of working in the hospital, health care, and education industries. She is skilled in nonprofit organizations, conflict resolution, fundraising, leadership, research, community building and event organizing. She is a social services professional with a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Secondary Education. A Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) focused on Educational Leadership and Social Justice is in progress.

The RiverBend Growth Association is the chamber of commerce and the economic development organization for the communities of the Riverbend.

The Growth Association serves Alton, Bethalto, East Alton, Elsah, Foster Township, Godfrey, Grafton, Hartford, Roxana, South Roxana, Wood River and Wood River Township. The mission of the Growth Association is to provide leadership required to attract, promote and support new and existing enterprise growth.

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