The Room Block
The Room Block
Doing the Work: A Look Inside an IDE Task Force, with Yolanda Simmons-Battle, Jatare Barrett, and Alli Shebek

Almost a year into the development of the PCMA Greater Midwest Chapter’s Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (IDE) Task Force I sit down with founding members, Yolanda Simmons-Battle, Jatare Barrett and Alli Shebek to talk about how and why it was formed, the type of programming it provides, its future goals and what they have learned. We also reflect on some of the other significant events and anniversaries that are important to discuss when exploring IDE efforts. Our history may be in the past, but it created the foundation that we stand on today and that foundation is in need of some major repairs. Tune in to learn how you can begin, what role we all need to play and why it’s so important to continuously seek new information.

Yolanda Simmons Battle is a born and raised Chi-town girl as the only child to wonderful parents. She was raised to desire to learn more, to love people and enjoy life that more abundantly. She is married and the proud mother of three children. Yolanda holds a B.A in Psychology from Roosevelt University, currently working on her M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and is a Certified Meeting Professional. As her role as a Senior Meeting Manager, she also serves as the Chair of the Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Task Force of GMC PCMA, the Chair of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee at AHIMA, and a licensed Minister at Purposed Christian Church, under Rev. LeAundre and Prophetess Patricia Hill, Pastors. Yolanda is an eternal learner, an avid reader, and a consummate seeker of justice.

Jatare Barrett is a certified meeting professional with more than 15 years of international and domestic event and meeting management experience. She was invited to join the GMC PCMA Inclusion, Diversity and Equity task force, which was the first task force for PCMA in 2020. Passionate about learning more about the topic, she has recently completed the University of South Florida MUMA Inclusion Diversity and Equity certification program. She has co-created two inclusion, diversity and equity workshops with GMC PCMA within the last six months as well as served as a panelist for a Choose Chicago staff IDE workshop.

Alli Shebek, DMCP, is a Senior Experience Designer with PRA Events in Chicago, a leading business events management¬†firm. She first got involved with PCMA after being selected as one of the “20 in Their Twenties” Class of 2018, and has been an engaged member since then. Alli currently serves as Marketing Co-Chair for the PCMA GMC Chapter, as well as a member of the IDE Task Force. She is also actively involved in MPI, serving as Director of Marketing for the Chicago Area Chapter. Alli is passionate about voting rights and access to free and fair elections, and volunteers with Vote Save America and MoveOn to serve this passion. When she isn’t designing events, creating marketing campaigns, or engaging with voters, Alli can be found enjoying live music at concerts or relaxing near Lake Michigan with her dog, Roo.