By Megan Wadding, September 2016 Issue.

With the launch of ONE Community’s Young Professionals Multicultural Network (YPMN) event, which will take place Sept. 12, 2017 at The Newton, networking in the Valley just got a little younger, trendier and more diverse.

(Editor's Note: The date and location of the Young Professionals Multicultural Network event has been updated here to reflect the most recent information provided by ONE Community.)

The event will be a blend of the Multicultural Networking and Recruitment Forum and the Young Professionals Network, two of ONE Community's most successful programs.

“Millennials are the most culturally diverse generation in America's history and ONE Community is constantly evolving, so we combined the best of each event and [added] in a new interactive panel discussion,” said Angela Hughey, ONE Community co-founder and president.

This event will specifically target millennials – a generation roughly defined as those currently in their early 20s to early 30s – with the goal of strengthening “business relationships and recruitment efforts between LGBT and diverse allied millennials” around the state, according to ONE Community’s website.

“[Millennials] overwhelmingly believe in treating people fairly,” Hughey said. “They are the business and community leaders of the future. They are Arizona's future.”

As a result, Hughey explained that ONE Community has been actively focusing on millennial outreach and education this year – including the launch of ONE Community's Millennial Multicultural Advisory Board (MiMAB) in January.

“[Our] mission is to educate, inspire and activate millennials to build the thriving and inclusive Arizona of tomorrow,” said Marilyn Purvis, MiMAB chair, adding that YPMN was the MiMAB board’s first opportunity to bring the community together in support of their newly established mission.

Hughey expressed her confidence in the MiMAB board’s ability to help further the mission of ONE Community in Arizona.

“With the addition of the MiMAB, we wanted to ensure that we had an event that put our [board] in a position to lead,” Hughey said, and YPMN was just the opportunity.

The purpose of YPMN, Purvis explained, is to bring together Arizona’s “young talent pool” and engage them in a discussion about how they, as millennials, can be actionable in expanding equality for all.

According to the ONE Community website, this event is designed to bring together diverse communities in order to build worthwhile business transactions that will develop into mutually beneficial relationships.

Travis Shumake, Valley Leadership alumnus, and Devon Norris, Roxx Vodka spokesmodel, at Ocotillo in Phoenix. Photo by Scotty Kirby.

“There will be companies [at the event] that are hiring, along with business, faith and transgender outreach and education,” Hughey explained. “[W]e are focused on educating and empowering millennials to talk about the importance of Arizona being LGBT inclusive.”

With a panel of guest speakers, networking opportunities, vendor booths and more, Purvis said attendees will have opportunities to get information from multiple perspectives about diversity and equality in the workplace.

“The event will feature prominent business leaders and organizations that have placed an emphasis on diversity, inclusion and equality through their support of ONE Community,” Purvis added. “[Attendees] will have the opportunity to meet and engage with these leaders, one-on-one, about the ways in which we can all work together to build and shape Arizona we deserve.”

Over the years, Purvis said, ONE Community has enjoyed tremendous success in hosting several multicultural networking forums. Collectively, she added, they are unique in their purpose, which is to bring diverse, emerging businesses and community leaders together to network and discuss important issues such as LGBTQ workplace equality and inclusion.

“[These] events have served as a guiding light for many businesses who want to embrace workplace equality but are not sure where to start,” Purvis added. “As for the Young Professionals Network, ONE Community has built up one of the largest emerging leader networks in the state of Arizona.”

Event coordinators are expecting more than 200 “millennials, and business and community leaders who want to connect with and recruit millennials,” as well as many MiMAB board members and member business leaders.

“Sometimes, all one needs to do is feel needed and valued in order to engage in their community,” Purvis said. “It is our hope that attendees will walk away with a renewed sense of belonging to our movement toward expanding equality for all Arizonans.”

There is no charge for attending, but ONE Community is requesting that anyone interested please RSVP in advance.

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