2014 Annual Fall Diversity Conference


"Diversity in Education: The Danger of the Single Story"  

The Davis Campus Opening will be held at the Davis Campus in Building 3 Ballroom starting at 6:00 PM on Thursday, September 25th.

Light refreshments will be served from 6:00 PM to 6:30 PM.
Opening keynote speaker will be Dr. Forrest Crawford, former WSU Assistant to the President for Diversity and professor of Teacher Education, starting at 6:30 PM. The keynote speaker for the following day during the conference will also provide a brief introduction of his keynote speech around 7:30 PM.

The Ogden Campus Conference will be held at the Ogden Campus in the Shepherd Union Building, 3rd floor, from 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM on Friday, September 26th. 

The keynote speaker for this year's Diversity Conference will be Dr. Myron Anderson, Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Professor of Education Technology at Metro State University of Denver.

Breakout sessions will be at 8:30 AM, 9:30 AM and 10:30 AM. Dr. Anderson will give his keynote speech at 11:30 AM. The conference will end with a roundtable discussion starting at 12:20 PM.
Information booths will be set up throughout the Mezzanine to provide information about student organizations and student services offered at Weber State University.
8:30 AM Sessions:
Disadvantages in Education? Identity and Languages as Opportunities for Learning
Co- Presenters: Morteza Emami and Debi Sheridan
Session Description: This workshop will discuss the use of diverse language in the classroom and the challenges cultural perceptions can raise.

Do You See What I See? A Photovoice Assessment of LGBT Student Life at Weber State University
Presenter: Dr. Laura Santurri
Session Description: This session will explore the perceptions and experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students at Weber State University (WSU) using a participatory qualitative methodology called photovoice.  Findings will be shared to better understand the perceptions and experiences of LGBT students of the overall academic environment, as well as their interactions with other students, faculty, and staff.  A photo exhibit will also be shared.

From Pedagogy to Practice: Engaging Diversity in the Classroom
Presenters: Dr. Nicola Corbin, Omar Guevara, Maria Parrilla de Kokal & Guests
Session Description: Many faculty members strive to be inclusive in their pedagogy about issues related to race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, but find it hard to develop effective lesson plans to engage their students on these issues. This session is geared toward faculty members and teachers who are uncomfortable having or facilitating conversations about diversity and inclusion within the classroom. This presentation focuses on strategies educators can use to effectively engage students and material in a multi-dimensional manner, including but not limited to using a broader array of in- and out-of-class resources, developing effective discussion prompts, accounting for the (oft-unspoken and unseen) diversity of the student population, and dealing with the occasional resistant student(s).

9:30 AM Sessions:
Categorizing Diversity as Disability: The Dangers of Categorizing in Education
Presenters:  Dr. Melina Alexander and Dr. J. Roberto García
Session Description: Participants will learn about some of the biases and challenges students from different backgrounds have encountered through school misclassification and channeling into programs such as Special Ed. or other special groupings for students with learning disabilities.  They will also learn how to recognize these biases and what their effects are on students from diverse groups and traditions. The dangers of stigma will also be part of the discussion

The Journey to an Inclusive Classroom
Presenter: Dr. Myron R. Anderson
Session Description: The goal of this session is to understand the impact of cultural competence in the 21stCentury classroom. This interactive session defines cultural competence and the intersections of biases, cultural identity and microagressions in the classroom environment. In addition, this session will engage participants to identifying classroom biases and microaggressions then work collaboratively to develop strategies to address and remove them, thus, promoting a welcoming and inclusive classroom.

Diversity 101: How to Capitalize on Diversity in the Era of Globalization
Presenter: Dr. Taira Koybaeva, Founder/CEO of Third Alternative, LLC; Associate Professor of Management
Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, Utah State University; Fellow Department of Science, Technology and Society, Technology and Global Security Group, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Session Description: Traditionally most people try to fit in the mainstream culture (both ethnic and professional). This approach is outdated because the globalizing world requires different perspectives, backgrounds, and psychological makeup. People need to be taught not to just “deal” with diversity, but to capitalize on it through understanding their own and others’ diversity.

10:30 AM Sessions:
Making Promises, Keeping Promises: Obstacles to Education and the Interventions That Lift Them
Azenett Garza – Associate Professor of Psychology, Community Research Coordinator for the Center for Community Engaged Learning, WSU
Luis Lopez – Program Administrator for the Community Education Center, WSU
Niccolle Spjut – Community Research Specialist and Grant Writer for WSU and United Way of Northern Utah
Session Description: Many residents of Ogden are beset by multiple social problems, including poverty, unemployment, and low educational attainment. As researchers note how educational interventions are important for reversing these trends, this session outlines both the main problems facing the city, as well as educational programs tied to Weber State University – specifically Ogden United Promise Neighborhoods and the Community Education Center – that are fighting these issues through education.

Disrupting the Disability Narrative: Undergraduate Students Discuss Their Experiences at Weber State
Mr. Mark Veeder, Philosophy and Political Science
Mr. Chris Hall, Philosophy and Sociology
Session Description: Disability is routinely represented as a painful and terrible experience. However, disability is experienced and understood in a myriad of nuanced ways that require us to examine how disabled individuals think and feel about their experiences as "disabled people." And unfortunately, sometimes disability is even framed as a burden on the accommodator rather than as an imperative of accessibility for the accommodated. An all-undergraduate panel familiar with these challenges will share their personal testimony. The discussion will center on how society’s understanding of disability creates barriers to access in higher education and how centering ourselves around disabled perspectives actively challenge those attitudes and feelings that create inaccessible conditions.

Groundbreakers of Brown v Board of Education: Examining the Life, Writings and Struggle of Douglass, Woodson and Du Bois.
Presenters: Dr. J. Roberto García, Dr. Melina Alexander
Session Description: Through examining some of the writings by Douglass, Woodson and Du Bois, we will discuss what education looked like prior to Brown vs. Board of Education case. At a time where the struggle for equity in education seemed an impossible task these as well as many other intellectuals disseminated trailblazing ideas and fought the injustices that plagued their times. Their critique of Plessy v Ferguson as well their repudiation for the awful conditions of black segregated schools charted the path to the landmark case and the end of segregated schooling in the U.S. 

Please contact: Teresa Holt in the Center for Diversity and Unity at teresaholt@weber.edu or 801-626-6957 for more information.