Steve Pemberton, chief of human resources at Globoforce, presenting “One America: The Micro Cultural Changes to Bring the ‘United’ Back into the USA” on campus Feb. 13

Steve Pemberton, an internationally known speaker and current chief of human resources at Globoforce, will come to Case Western Reserve University to kick off the spring semester’s Power of Diversity lecture series.

The lecture, titled “One America: The Micro Cultural Changes to Bring the ‘United’ Back into the USA,” will be presented at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, at the Tinkham Veale University Center on the Case Western Reserve campus. The event is free and open to the public; those interested are encouraged to register.

“We are excited about the upcoming lecture by business executive, diversity leader, human resource professional and youth advocate Steve Pemberton,” said Marilyn Sanders Mobley, the university’s vice president for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity.

“He has a wealth of knowledge in the areas of business and equity, and in his current position is working to make U.S. workplaces more civil and inclusive. We anticipate that his lecture will inspire us to think and act in ways that foster greater unity and collaboration even as we continue to address the issues that threaten to divide us.”

Before joining Massachusetts-based Globoforce, a leading social recognition provider for companies worldwide, Pemberton served in executive positions at Walgreens, including as chief diversity officer—the first person to hold that position in the drugstore chain’s 114-year history.

A ward of the state for much of his childhood, Pemberton chronicled his journey of breaking away from an abusive foster family, gaining acceptance to Boston College and going onto to become a top business executive in his 2012 best-selling memoir, A Chance in the World.

The story has been translated into several languages, inspiring audiences around the world; a movie adaption is underway.

As a result of his difficult upbringing, Pemberton is now an advocate for the youth and the disenfranchised. He established the Chicago-based Pemberton Fund for the Future, providing support to children aging out of foster care.

“Mr. Pemberton’s commitment to youth and the disenfranchised is in line with many of our community-based and social justice programs” added Sanders Mobley. “Exposing our campus community to diverse viewpoints and innovative efforts to promote diversity and inclusion are among the very reasons we created the Power of Diversity series.”

This article was originally published Jan. 24, 2018.