The panel discussion "Cultural Competence in the Workplace" will take place at HopeCollege on Tuesday, March 3, at 7 p.m. in the MaasCenter auditorium.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

The event is being organized to bring awareness to how organizations can be culturally competent when they recognize the subtle and obvious ways cultural references influence the way all people think, interact and make choices.  The panel is comprised of professionals from Fifth Third Bank who work directly with the Fifth Third Diversity Blueprint.

Scheduled participants include Francine Gaston, vice president of community affairs; Sherry Kasper, assistant vice president, business relationship manager; Patrick Lonergan, vice president, community affairs manager; and Christopher Macon, assistant vice president, director of affirmative action and community relations. Macon was the 2009 winner of the Grand Rapids W.W. Plummer Humanitarian Award for his commitment to diversity in the Grand Rapids community. Dr. Kim Hawtrey, professor of economics at Hope, will mediate the panel.

Sponsoring organizations include Fifth Third Bank; the department of economics, management and accounting at Hope; and the Hope College Phelps Scholars Program.

The MaasCenter is located at 264 Columbia Ave., at the intersection of Columbia Avenue and 11th Street.