Beauty happens when everyone is allowed to make a contribution and have a voice was the underlying message of Marvin Worthy’s Marvin Worthy and Rotarian Brad Gebhartmoving talk on diversity during the Jan. 30 meeting of the Rotary Club of Harrisburg.

Worthy, through his Worthy Consulting and Training LLC, works with companies and organizations to promote inclusion and promote policies that promote diversity.

He told of growing up poor in Union, S.C. in the 1960s, but said at the time he didn’t realize they didn’t have much because of the love and support all around him. However, his family’s move to North Philadelphia and later his experiences at different schools drove home the loneliness and isolation of being an outsider. Worth, who is African-American, recalled being told by a college professor on his first day that he was wasting his time in the class and wouldn’t be able to do the work – all before he even received the syllabus.

Throughout his high school and college years, Worthy told of how he worked to create a welcoming and respectful atmosphere for fellow students – a calling that became his career.

Worthy encouraged Rotarians to “intentionally grow your space’’ and make the effort work with people of different backgrounds, saying it takes a high level of courage to seek out situations that may at first be uncomfortable. He also asked if we can really deliver good services if we only surround ourselves with those who only look like us.

Pictured from left to right is Marvin Worthy and Brad Gebhart, acting president for the day.

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