Aug 19, 2014
By Shelly Betz
Ohio University Southern Campus in Ironton will host the First Annual Tri-State Conference on Diversity and Inclusion on Friday, Sept. 5. The conference theme, “Reinventing Diversity,” brings together subject matter experts and others who recognize the importance of achieving and embracing diversity throughout our communities and beyond, thereby providing relevant and actionable guidance on matters related to diversity.
The one-day event is a collaborative effort among Ohio University Southern (Ohio University); Marshall University School of Pharmacy (Marshall University); Ashland Community & Technical College; Shawnee State University; Mountwest Community & Technical College; Morehead State University-Ashland (Morehead State University); and Lindsey Wilson College. Future conferences will be hosted by each partnering higher education institution involved.
According to Dr. Shari Clarke, vice provost for diversity and inclusion at Ohio University, this year’s event marks the beginning of something special. “The planning for this conference has been a labor of pure dedication to diversity. We had the impetus for this conference three years ago in an effort to enhance knowledge of diversity throughout the region. The committee has worked diligently to bring this idea to fruition. We are excited about the opportunities to further the understanding of and commitment to diversity and inclusion by those who participate in this conference,” she said.
Through interactive workshops and discussions, this year’s conference attendees will obtain a working definition for “diversity and inclusion,” increase self-awareness about aspects within their own culture, and further their level of understanding about ways in which inclusion practices influence and enhance the workplace and society.
“We are very excited about working with our area schools to bring awareness to issues regarding diversity and inclusion throughout our region. This has never been done before in our area and the planning committee members recognize that we are all doing something far greater than our individual parts to make a difference,” said Robert Pleasant, 2014 conference chair and director of enrollment and student services and coordinator of diversity and inclusion at Ohio University Southern.
The conference features a keynote address by Howard J. Ross, an author and nationally recognized expert on diversity, leadership, and organizational transformation. Additionally, breakout sessions will be offered covering such topics as: Developing a More Conscious and Conscientious Campus and Work Community; Effective Mental Health Support for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Higher Education; Interfaith Dialogue; Culture and Rural Appalachian Women; and Reflections from a Black, Appalachian, Transgender Man.
The cost is $35 per person; $15 for secondary and post-secondary students. Registration fees include a continental breakfast, keynote speaker, breakout sessions, lunch, and a certificate of cultural competency. Continuing education units and University Credit will also be offered to participants.
To register or for more information, visit www.tristatediversityandinclusion.com or call Robert Pleasant at 740-533-4608.