9th Annual Diversity Conference

Kennedy Nolen, Multicultural Reporter

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Don Holly answers a question about racial categorization Friday during the “Everything you wanted to know about race but were afraid to ask” workshop for the Diversity Conference in the Charleston Mattoon room of Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

Molly Dotson
Don Holly answers a question about racial categorization Friday during the “Everything you wanted to know about race but were afraid to ask” workshop for the Diversity Conference in the Charleston Mattoon room of Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

Topics such as gender, mental health and the unity across races will be covered in over 20 workshops Friday, Feb. 3 in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

The 9th Annual Diversity Conference titled “I Am Because We Are” offers participants the opportunity to attend five workshops from 9 a.m. to noon and 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

A free luncheon for Eastern students, faculty staff will be at noon in the Grand Ballroom.

Case studies examining diversity issues happening across the country will be displayed, James Griffin, principal counselor and adviser for the Office of Minority Affairs, said.

Griffin said most of the workshop presenters are Eastern affiliates and staff members, with graduate students presenting their thesis topics.

Jessica Ward, the coordinator for the Center for Gender and Sexual Diversity, said Safe Zone training will be offered for those interested. This training will inform participants on how to support diverse groups of people on different gender, sexuality and sexual orientation spectrums.

To cap off the conference, multicultural jeopardy will be played at 2:30 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom.

The purpose of the conference is to bring awareness and diversity opportunities to Eastern’s campus, Griffin said.

He said the conference gives students and faculty the opportunity to learn about groups different from their own.

Last year’s conference had over 250 guests, Griffin said, and the crowd has grown each year since its inception.

Griffin said the theme this year is to help people understand that there is a common bond between all people. He said the Office of Minority Affairs’ goal is to have participants leave enlightened on a subject they once did not know much about and to dispel any stereotypes or prejudices they may have had.

“It is important to step outside of your comfort zone and experience new things,” Griffin said.

Griffin said he hopes participants leave the conference more aware of others and hopefully inspired to speak up about multicultural issues affecting themselves, their peers and their colleagues. He said the Office of Minority Affairs hopes to cultivate leaders of this generation to become vocal against injustice.

Those interested in attending the conference can register on the Minority Affairs website by clicking the tab labeled “2017 EIUnity Diversity Conference.” From there, potential attendees can read through the workshop descriptions and click the link to register. Those who do not want to attend the luncheon are able to register on site on the third floor of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union, Griffin said.

Students, faculty and staff can attend for free and non-Eastern guests who want to attend the luncheon will pay a $10 fee. If they do not go to the luncheon, the workshops are free to them as well.

Kennedy Nolen can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

 

 

Links:  http://www.eiu.edu/minoraff/EIUnity%20Diversity%20Conference.php