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December 11, 2017

Inclusion advocate from Dow to keynote regional MLK event at SVSU

Karen CarterAn advocate for creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace globally will serve as the keynote speaker during the ninth annual Great Lakes Bay Regional Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at Saginaw Valley State University.

Karen S. Carter, the chief inclusion officer for The Dow Chemical Company, will deliver her address Wednesday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m. in the Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts. The event is free and open to the public.

As Dow's first chief inclusion officer, Carter is tasked with driving Dow into the forefront of global industries that integrate diversity and inclusion as a key element of the company’s growth strategy.

Carter has more than 20 years of experience with Dow. She previously held the position of North America commercial vice president of Dow packaging and specialty plastics. In that role, Carter was a member of the global business leadership team responsible for the profits of a division of Dow worth more than $18.4 billion in sales. She was responsible for developing and driving business strategy.

Active in a number of community-minded organizations, Carter is a member of the Board of Directors for Kids' Meals, a Houston-based nonprofit organization that delivers free, healthy meals to children in need. She also remains an active member of The Links, Inc., a nonprofit that serves the Houston community by providing educational, civic and intercultural activities.

For her innovative leadership contributions, Carter was profiled by the website on its Forty Women to Watch Over 40 list in 2014. Her work has been published in the Journal of the American Health Information Management Association and featured in The Huffington Post, as well as MORE Magazine.

Carter completed a bachelor's degree in marketing at Howard University and a master's degree in international business at DePaul University.

She joins a prestigious list of keynote speakers featured during the Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Celebration at SVSU, most recently  former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in 2017.

In addition to Carter's keynote address, the program will include the presentation of regional scholarship awards by the Bay Area, Midland Area and Saginaw community foundations to high school seniors who have embodied Martin Luther King's ideals.

Officials also will announce the winners of the Drum Major Award at the event, which recognizes people whose community involvement in the Great Lakes Bay Region serves to advance King's vision.

The event is sponsored in part by Dow; the Bay Area, Midland Area and Saginaw County chambers of commerce; the Bay Area, Midland Area and Saginaw community foundations; local chapters of the NAACP; Delta College; SVSU and many others. A full list of sponsors is available online at

For more information about the event, please contact SVSU's Office of Diversity Programs at (989) 964-4068.