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 Tuesday, February 12, 2008 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


13th Annual Diversity Summit offers a range of perspectives
By Allison Sylvest

For the past 12 years, the annual Diversity Summit, hosted by the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Minority Affairs (CACMA), has presented opportunities for the campus community to enhance their scope of diversity awareness by attending talks, panels, workshops and performances. The 13th annual Diversity Summit, themed "Learning from our past to build a better future," continues that tradition. This year's summit takes place in the UMC Feb. 18 through 20 and includes voices spanning several identities and experiences.

"This is the first year that the Diversity Summit has included all of the chancellor's advisory committees in speaker selection," said Mark Augustin, director of Employee Development and CACMA co-chair.

Judy Poynter, assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and CACMA co-chair, also noted, "This is our first partnership with the Chancellor's Lecture Series in hosting keynote speaker Gerda Klein."

This additional participation reinforces the position that diversity includes ethnicity, gender, age, sexual identity, disability, creed and all other ways in which we identify and express both individuality and belonging. This year's summit highlights perspectives of those singled out and/or persecuted for their religion and ethnicity, sexual identity, and disabilities.

Monday, Feb. 18
A student panel discussion with administrators will address diversity issues relevant to CU students in the UMC Glenn Miller Ballroom from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. The panel will be chaired by senior John Sharza, UCSU director of Diversity Affairs.

From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Ballroom, CU alum Joseph C. Silva, University of California-Davis retired professor and psychologist, will give a talk, "Misunderstanding Psychological Disabilities" which explores how incidents such as the Virginia Tech shooting and the stabbing that occurred on the CU campus impact those with mental disabilities.

Interactive Theatre Project (ITP) actors and Co-Directors Rebecca Brown and Trenton Norman will host a reception from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Ballroom before the ITP presentation, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Each year ITP creates an interactive play based on the theme of the summit, and presents to the audience a unique opportunity to visualize and discuss issues that affect the campus community.

Tuesday, Feb. 19
From 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., CACMA Co-Chairs Mark Augustin and Judy Poynter will welcome the community in UMC Glenn Miller Ballroom.

Opening remarks will be given by Sallye McKee, vice chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement (ODECE), and Chancellor G.P. "Bud" Peterson will introduce Chancellor's Lecture Series speaker Gerda Klein, who will give the summit keynote address. Klein is a Holocaust survivor whose presentation is based on "One Survivor Remembers," a 1995 Emmy- and Academy Award-winning documentary about her life.

From 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in UMC Room 235, Colorado State Senator Jennifer Veiga will address "The Challenges of Diversity in Politics." Veiga was outed during her campaign, and she will share how that experience impacted her personal and professional lives.

Wednesday, Feb. 20
To close the Summit, there will be a slam poetry event from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in UMC 235 featuring internationally acclaimed poet Sonya Renee and nationally recognized poet Andrea Gibson. Both poets are winners of multiple awards and recognitions and provide raw, powerful perspectives on topics such as human rights, gender norms and healing. This event is hosted by the Women's Resource Center.

All members of the campus community are strongly encouraged to attend the Diversity Summit. Supervisors are encouraged to allow staff to use administrative leave or release time to attend one or more of the sessions, and faculty are encouraged to bring their classes. All events are free and open to the public. Additional information about speakers and sessions can be found on the Diversity Summit website.

The 2008 Campus Diversity Summit is organized and funded by CACMA and ODECE, with additional support from the Leeds School of Business, Disability Services, the GLBT Resource Center, Interactive Theater Project, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and the Women's Resource Center.

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