'Rise Together' with your colleagues at the second annual Diversity and Inclusion Symposium
The Diversity and Inclusion Symposium returns this year with presentations on issues facing higher education, including unconscious bias, creating inclusive research opportunities and student success for marginalized communities.
After debuting last year in an all-virtual format, this year's event will shift to a hybrid format, allowing faculty, staff and graduate students in Tucson and beyond to connect with experts on critical diversity and inclusion issues in person or from home.
The free event, hosted by the Office of the Provost, is March 16-17, with the in-person portions at the Student Union Memorial Center. The theme for this year is "Rise Together," which event organizer Earl Lee says reflects an overall goal for campus.
"The theme calls on us to think about how we uplift each other, how we create space for conversation with each other, how we empower each other and how we work together to create a more inclusive and accessible campus for all," said Lee, senior director for inclusive learning, engagement and leadership in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
The first day will offer hybrid sessions, available both in-person and online, beginning with a hybrid keynote address by Jonathan P. Higgins, an educator, freelance journalist and media critic who has worked on inclusion projects with companies and organizations including the NFL, Apple, Disney and Instagram.
Liesl Folks, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, and Francisco Moreno, interim vice president and chief inclusion officer, also are scheduled to deliver remarks.
The second day will be all virtual, with a closing keynote from Kevin Kumashiro, former dean of the University of San Francisco School of Education and an expert on educational policy, school reform and educational equity.
Dozens of University faculty and staff members will lead discussions and workshops on both days. Lee says the presenters span units throughout campus.
"I'm a big believer in microchanges and building the institution that we want from the grassroots," Lee said. "It's always great to hear what folks are doing in their departments and to think, 'That's a good idea. How do I take that to my office?'"
Belén Chávez, access consultant with the Disability Resource Center, will join fellow access consultant Ana Fierro in leading a workshop on audism, or discrimination against people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Chávez says, in discussions about diversity and inclusion, those with disabilities are often forgotten or underestimated.
"Others often make assumptions about disabilities and the extent to which it limits a person's ability to accomplish things, either in their personal life, educational goals or on the job," Chávez said. "These assumptions are almost always for the worse, and present obstacles for people with disabilities in the classrooms and workplace."
She says the goal of her session is to help educate people on how to create and promote a culture that allows people to ask questions and ask for accommodations without judgment.
Amy Kraehe, associate vice president for equity in the arts in the College of Fine Arts and a member of the symposium organizing committee, says she hopes this year's edition builds on the success of last year's event, which drew 500 attendees.
"The Diversity and Inclusion Symposium is about coming together to learn with and from each other," Kraehe said. "Campuswide gatherings like this are rare but important opportunities to cultivate community, connection and compassion across our many differences."
Some of the presentations and workshops include:
"Creating an Inclusive Study Abroad Experience Through Virtual Reality"
- Aviva Doery, Administrative Manager, Arizona Online
- Robert Stephan, Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies and Classics
"Dismantling Racism and Creating a More Just Future in the Nursing Profession"
- Lisa Kiser, Assistant Clinical Professor, College of Nursing
- José Muñoz, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Senior Professional, College of Nursing
"Diversity Creates Diverse Ideas: RII is Harnessing the Power of Diversity"
- Aileen Dingus, Network and Events Manager, Tech Launch Arizona
- Lisa Romero, Assistant Vice President, Research, Innovation and Impact
"Financial Well-Being of Trans and Non-Binary College Students"
- Kenneth White, Associate Professor, Norton School of Human Ecology
While the event is free, registration is required. Once you register, you will receive a link to view sessions online. A free networking lunch also will be offered on the first day of the symposium. The full schedule is available on the symposium's website.