Monday, September 20/Day 1
Natalie Gillard, Founder & Facilitator
FACTUALITY is a facilitated dialogue, crash course, and interactive experience that simulates structural inequality in America. Participants assume the identities of various characters, encountering a series of fact-based advantages & limitations based on the intersection of their race, class, gender, faith, sexual orientation, age, and ability. FACTUALITY has supported the diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at NBC, Google, Bloomberg, the American Heart Association, Princeton, Yale, and The University of Arizona, where author and civil rights activist, bell hooks participated. FACTUALITY has reached over 35,000 participants and was featured in the Amazon Best Seller, The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table and Baltimore Magazine’s “Best of Baltimore” issue. FACTUALITY is listed in the Kellogg Foundation’s Racial and Equity Resource Guide.
Intersectionality: A Deeper Dive into Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Demetria Miles-McDonald, CEO, Decide Diversity; Terrian Barnes, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Trainer and Consultant, Fe-smart LLC
Today’s version of diversity covers, among many other things: gender, race, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion, and veteran status. Everyone fits nicely into these groups. According to statistical reports, people fit into only one of these categories at a time. We compare men to women, white people to people of color, and cisgender and straight to LGBTQ. What happens when people identify with more than one of these groups? Business leaders have traditionally assumed that every person who identifies with one of these groups experiences the world and workplace similarly. However, people are complex and rarely identify with only one group. It’s time to expand our definition of diversity and advance our thinking. It’s time to talk about intersectionality. Objectives: Learn the concept of intersectionality and how it fills the gap traditional diversity and inclusion programs create, recognize and examine your own intersectional identities and how you utilize that uniqueness at work, analyze the intersectional diversity in your organization and the competitive edge it gives, discover your role in incorporating intersectionality into your diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Heritage Invention: A Solution to BIPOC Worker Apathy
Danielle Hobbs, Reed & Roots Wellness Company
Workplace assimilation reduces talented BIPOC employees to carbon copies of accepted institutional norms. Their heritage and unique skill sets are often forfeited to meet the structural expectations of its “culture fit.” The emerging of heritage interventions provides a much-needed solution. Through its method, fatigued and apathetic employees rediscover and reinvigorate the value systems and culturally motivated characteristics that propelled them into their positions in the first place. It also provides structural support for their authentic contributions to an organization that values diverse voices over cultural fit.
More Than A Fraction
Kerri Moseley-Hobbs, Executive Director, More Than A Fraction Foundation
Can you achieve diversity and inclusion without reconciliation? This presentation and interactive discussion introduce the use of a holistic, strength-focused, and reality-based model on the feasibility of reconciliation to support diversity and inclusion. The presentation will use the More Than A Fraction Foundation’s (MTAFF) preliminary model of steps and authentic social interactions that work towards reconciliation, diversity, and inclusion. How do you start these conversations? Can you articulate realistic goals? How do you avoid confusing diversity and inclusion with assimilation? The preliminary model that will be used is based on a case study currently in progress with the MTAFF that is testing the feasibility of reconciliation between two families and their shared history of slavery: the family that owned the plantation that today is Virginia Tech University (the Prestons) and one of the families they enslaved across multiple generations (the Fractions).
Tuesday, September 21/Day 2
Confronting Implicit Bias in Ourselves and Our Institutions
Debra Walker Hart, M.S - Director of Equity Programs & Title IX Coordinator -Marshall University; Shelvy L. Campbell-Monroe, Ph.D. Associate Dean for Diversity & Inclusion- Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and School of Pharmacy
Implicit bias plays a significant role in most of the choices we make every day. No matter how much we think we are in control of our decisions, our implicit biases—that combination of beliefs and experiences that shape how we see the world—often drive the actions we take. Following the presentation, participants will be able to:
Identify and understand how one’s worldview, biases, and assumptions impact relationships with others
Develop a deeper understanding of the filters through which you view and interpret yourself and others
Identify patterns in your own ways of evaluating, assessing, and working with other people
Demonstrate culturally competent attitude and behaviors in a work setting
Apply tips and strategies for mitigating bias
Begin a dialogue for reflection of organizational values and norms and how they impact the quality of the organization and talent management decisions
Dr. Teresa McKenzie, Office for University Accessibility, Student Accessibility Services University College & Veterans Services Coordinator, Ohio University Southern; Noel Payne, Accounting Support Specialist, Ohio University Southern
Sometimes my soul just screams out! A session to voice the thoughts we hide from others. There are so many things happening around us that is affecting us personally and professionally. Sometimes we react; sometimes we keep it inside. We often don’t feel safe or secure enough to confide in others and share that we feel afraid, angry, or guilty. For those of us wanting an outlet to let our souls speak, let’s share this space so we can connect, build a stronger self, and know that we are not alone in our struggles.
Neurodiversity in the Age of Diversity and Inclusion
Dr. Kelly Choyke, Community Health Researcher, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Ohio University; Dr. Kay-Anne Darlington, Assistant Professor of Communication, University of Rio Grande
Neurodiversity is a term that has gained in popularity when referring to individuals and groups who are divergent when it comes to contemporary expectations of sociability, learning, attention, physical interaction and contact, communication, mood, and other non-pathological mental functions. Lack of inclusiveness for neurodivergence exacerbates anxiety, fear, and anger for those struggling in non-inclusive spaces and can produce trauma, particularly educational and work-related trauma. Furthermore, most conversations surrounding neurodivergence have centered around white males, ignoring the reality that gender and culture - including ethnicity and race - impact symptoms, treatments, experiences, and outcomes of neurodiversity.
Wednesday, September 22/Day 3
Hear My Story
Moderator: Barbara Biggs, Librarian, Ohio University Southern
Poets: Tierre Jeanné-Porter, Mauricio Novoa, Caroline Earleywine, Ashley Steineger
“So, if my words were a lifeline when escape felt the farthest/ Then my life lives in these lines…” -Mauricio Novoa, from “Ambitions”
People write for as many reasons as one can think of, but one of those reasons is to try to make sense of the world and connect with others. Join us for this session to hear four poets from vastly different backgrounds read from their work and then come together in conversation to show us that no matter how different we might seem, more things bring us together than divide us.
There is one among us “Real Life version of “Among Us “... Identifying Impostor Syndrome and ways that we self-sabotage
Danielle Holmes, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Academy of Holy Angels; Charles Simonson, Ohio University
In the game “Among Us,” players must work to identify impostors within the group. In life, individuals can fear the idea of being identified as an impostor and work at a hype increased focus on success and effectiveness, which can be detrimental. In this session, we look to explore the Impostor Syndrome further. We will look to engage participants with the following learning outcomes during this workshop:
Ability to define and understand the foundational concept of Impostor Syndrome
Understand the impact of impostor syndrome on individuals and groups
Identify ways that Impostor Syndrome presents in people of color
We will utilize Kahoot/other collaborative participation sources to crowdsource general information, survey, and build upon participants’ knowledge with current terminology and researched themes. We will intersect the Impostor Syndrome Phenomenon with the experience of people of color to showcase hidden nuances within this self-doubting concept.
I see you: Social Action Stories Makes Justice Visible Impact Tales from the School and the Community
Kevin Cordi, Assistant Professor of Education/National Advisory Board for Learning for Justice (formerly Teaching Tolerance), Ohio University Lancaster
This active workshop uses voices from storyteller activists, educational reformers, and community organizers. These voices speak out against hate. It contains powerful stories by the concerned teacher, the caring neighbor, and the vigilant social advocate of injustice. Participants hear accounts of single actions and whole movements that happen because of deep listening and directed objectives. The storytellers chronicled share about the unexpected. These rich narratives provide participants with advice when injustice may appear.
These stories teach us about moving forward, moving toward equity about issues that we might not understand. They are guideposts to promoting our social change. For example, one story involves a true account of an African American woman walking into a museum when a school group of young male teens parades by wearing MAGA hats. This symbol is known to promote inequity. We will discuss the reactions and what we do with moments when we can speak out. Do we? We will learn how to deeply listen and know when to address issues of equity. The workshop will use these stories as participants engage in exercises to help the reader mirror active listening, taking action, or promoting change. These actions or exercises are developed because of active work studying non-violence and working with groups in cultural awareness. They are developed with a team of activists and educators. Participants will find a usable guide filled with testimony and oral narratives from ordinary people doing extraordinary social actions to promote change. These stories and activities will serve as reflective points so attendees can view other stories that can possibly be used to advance social action.
Technology Microaggressions: How to Overcome Class-Based Bias
Sarah Mollette, Assistant Professor & Online Learning Librarian, Marshall University; Dr. Kelli Johnson, Associate University Librarian and Head of Access Services & Research and Instruction Services, Marshall University; Dr. Feon M. Smith-Branch, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator for Adult and Continuing Education, Marshall University
Before COVID-19, we may all have been a little guilty of underestimating or making assumptions about our students’ access to the necessary devices, internet access, and technological know-how required for them to be successful in an online learning environment. Now that we know better let’s take a moment to review the research surrounding first-generation, non-traditional, low-income, and/or internet-desert students and how to build our online courses with them in mind. Specifically, we will look at best practices, implementable tips, and what NOT to do to ensure our students are not overlooked -or worse, micro-assaulted- based on their invisible socioeconomic identities. Instructors should bring a recent copy of their syllabi to examine for instances of class-based assumptions that need to be addressed.
Attendees will define microaggressions, including class-based microaggressions
Attendees will examine class-based microaggressions in their organizations
Attendees will identify class-based assumptions in their courses
Attendees will propose corrections to any found class-based assumptions on their syllabi.
Thursday, September 23/Day 4
Schoolin’ Life: Using Experience as Education to Create Sister Circles in High Schools
Kalyn Banks Coghill, Adjunct Faculty, Virginia Commonwealth University; Christina Tillery, Virginia Commonwealth University
Sister Circles are support groups centered on common experiences that foster sisterhood. Historically, schools have isolated girls in their search for individuality, independence, and leadership. Sister Circles has provided spaces for girls to explore their identity, connect with their peers and mentors, and develop leadership skills. Sister Circles are to be inclusive of any student that identifies as a woman or non-binary. Participants will learn the importance of Sister Circles and how to conduct successful Sister Circles in the school environment.
Furthermore, participants will engage in a Sister Circle activity. This workshop is designed to prepare participants to organize Sister Circles in their community. The workshop will leave participants feeling confident to host their own Sister Circle and will have supplemental materials to guide them.
The Resilience Mindset
Kelly George, Founder/CEO Real Resilience, LLC
According to the United Nations, we may now be looking at an impending international mental health crisis resulting from the pandemic. In this workshop, I will invite participants to learn how to cultivate daily mindfulness practices and increase emotional intelligence. Learning how to rebuild an equitable and just world will take all of us. To authentically address diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in our communities, schools, and workspaces, we need to learn how to stay present and witness ourselves, our families, and our communities. Post pandemic prep looks like planning to be present and exercising our emotional intelligence to heal our communities and hold compassion for ourselves and those around us.
Student Perspectives: Social Justice, Diversity, & Inclusion
Moderator: Veella Grooms, Director of Diversity & Inclusion, and Testing Services, Mountwest Community & Technical College
In 2020, students from across the world and from all walks of life protested the killing of George Floyd while during a global pandemic. Students expressed grief, anger, fear, despair, and even shame. But, through it all, they never gave up hope. They believed their generation could somehow make a difference. On campuses across the country, student leaders emerged and engaged in thoughtful and deliberate civil discussions on issues surrounding race. Join us for a conversation with student leaders from across our region as they discuss social justice, diversity, equity and inclusion, and the impact the political and social events of the past year had on their lives.
An insider/outsider perspective on diversity, equity, and inclusion: From Presence to Inclusion
Dr. Georgiana Logan, Assistant Professor/Research Associate, Marshall University; Dr. Kristen Allen-Watts-The University of Alabama at Birmingham; Antione Martin-Great Lakes Bay Health Centers; Dashauna Ballard- Alabama Department of Public Health Jacinta Logan-Wellness HIV Services
Racial and ethnic minorities are drastically underrepresented in health professions careers and academia. The case for diversity recruitment was first made public in 2004 by the Institute of Medicine national report entitled The Nation’s Compelling Interest: Ensuring Diversity in the Health Care Workforce, highlighting the under-representation of minorities within healthcare professions and academia. Women of color are entering the workforce in greater numbers than ever before, bringing diverse ideas and experiences with them. Current research supports the notion that diversity in health professions and academia improves the quality of education for all, which, in turn, improves everyone’s ability to interact with others from different cultural and social backgrounds. Many healthcare and academic institutions recognize the importance of having diversity within their respective organizations.
These efforts are commonly expressed within the organization’s mission and vision statements. However, the mission and vision statements reflect a top-down approach. Those in power aim to recruit diverse individuals to address the lack of invisibility of underrepresented populations. While this approach has successfully recruited minorities, specifically women of color, retaining these individuals has been challenging. Diversity recruitment practices primarily aim at increasing diversity instead of fostering an inclusive environment. Organizations must recognize that diversity and inclusion lie on opposite ends of the recruitment spectrum. Structural and behavioral factors are key predictors of creating, developing, and sustaining a diverse workforce and positive organizational climate. Thus, a bottom-up approach across the organizational structure potentially offers substantial promises to building diverse and inclusive organizations. “In inclusive organizations, people of all identities and many cultures can fully be themselves, while also contributing to the larger collective, as valued and full members.” Therefore, this presentation will focus on offering strategies and solutions to successfully develop, ensure, and sustain inclusive environments for minorities, specifically women of color.
Friday, September 24/Day 5
Conference Keynote Address: Underlying Conditions: Black Women and Girl-Identified People and Corona
Dr. Elaine Richardson, Professor of Literacy Studies, College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University
Dr. Richardson will share her work in progress on a new one-woman show, “Underlying Conditions.” This work uses storytelling, monologues, and original song compositions based on news stories, to illuminate how a gender lens on Black women and girls influences probabilities and specificities in a range of outcomes: zip codes, exposure to environmental harm, quality of schooling/education, quality of healthcare, domestic violence, and precarious labor. The pandemic (COVID-19) exposed already existing underlying conditions and crises in our society. This work challenges violence against Black women and girls and government-sanctioned “at-riskiness.” It demonstrates the gaps between ideals of diversity and the reality of how some lives still do not matter.
Panel Discussion: Race, Profiling, and Social Unrest: How we Engage in Today’s World
Moderator: Dr. Teresa McKenzie, Office for University Accessibility, Student Accessibility Services, University College & Veterans Services Coordinator, Ohio University Southern
In October of 1963, James Baldwin began a dialogue with a group of teachers by announcing, “Let’s begin by saying that we’re living through a very dangerous time.” Fifty-eight years later, we are still living in an unsafe and tumultuous time. Our communities are experiencing an extraordinary period of unrest, uncertainty, and volatility. Two unexpected events in 2020 catalyzed this moment.
First, the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately killed black and brown Americans and exposed a broader range of inequalities that persist in communities of color. Second, the rise in Anti-Asian violence and the killing of unarmed black men and women by police has created an extremely challenging time for communities and law enforcement agencies throughout the country.
Messages of hate and discrimination have escalated. The question now is how we can capitalize on this rare instance of racial reckoning? How do we as a nation move forward to realize a more just society?