In the latest episode of “Diversity Straight Up,” hosts Sarika Bhakta and Anthony Arrington speak with Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart about the city’s efforts to improve equity, diversity, inclusion and engagement (EDI&E) in the community, new initiatives to attract minority candidates to city posts and the importance of the rising “ban the box” movement.

Listen below or subscribe to the show at SoundCloud, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Stitcher. Diversity Straight Up is presented by Collins Aerospace, the city of Cedar Rapids and Alliant Energy.

About Brad Hart:
Brad Hart has been serving as mayor of Cedar Rapids, the second largest city in Iowa, since 2018. He has been a successful business lawyer for more than 35 years, first in Houston, Texas, and since 1990 in Cedar Rapids at the firm of Bradley & Riley PC. He works with his clients on a variety of business matters and business acquisitions. Brad’s professional recognition includes the highest rating from Martindale Hubbell, being listed in Best Lawyers in America and Chambers and being named the Lawyer of the Year in Iowa for Corporate and Mergers & Acquisitions Law.

He is very active in the community, volunteering hundreds of hours each year. He has been actively involved with more than a dozen community organizations and causes, including serving as board chair for the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce, Young Parents Network, Horizons and United Way of East Central Iowa.

About the hosts:
Sarika Bhakta is president of Nikeya Diversity Consulting and a Certified Diversity Executive with more than 20 years of experience in leadership, management, talent attraction/retention and resource acquisition/development. Born in Gujarat, India and raised in the Midwest, Sarika empowers leaders to identify their authentic self to be successful change agents in today’s global economy.

Anthony Arrington is co-founder and managing partner with Top RANK Professional & Executive Search and Consulting, a search firm focused on helping companies acquire professional and executive-level talent, with a special emphasis on diverse and inclusive leadership. He has more than 20 years of experience in management, strategic planning, leadership and staff development in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors.