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 Tuesday, February 10, 2009 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


Diversity Summit provides foundation for inclusive community
by Allison Sylvest

The 14th Annual Diversity Summit takes place Feb. 16 and 17 in the UMC. This year’s summit features a wide range of topics that can be applied to everyday life in the workplace, in the classroom and within the greater community.

Themed on Inclusive Excellence and Intergroup Relations, it is aimed at empowering community members to action, creating inclusiveness and support in broadening the reach of our diverse and dynamic CU community. Digital and technological accessibility, and developing inclusive practices in work, instruction and study are among topics to be addressed.

Opening remarks by Chancellor G.P. “Bud” Peterson and Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement Sallye McKee will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Glenn Miller Ballroom.

Jesus Trevino, associate provost for Multicultural Excellence at the University of Denver, will give the first summit presentation on Monday, Feb. 16, from 9:45 to 11 a.m. His keynote address, “Building an Inclusive Campus for the 21st Century: the Case for Improving Intergroup Relations,” will provide innovative strategies for developing strong intergroup connections.

Tuesday’s keynote speaker, Brenda J. Allen, is the associate dean of the University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and professor of communication. Her research and teaching areas are organizational communication, diversity, and critical pedagogy, and she will apply this expertise to address “Inclusive Excellence in Higher Education” on Feb. 17 at 10:30 a.m. in the UMC Glenn Miller Ballroom.

Breakout sessions will sharpen focus on a wide variety of topics applicable to our daily lives, and expand our knowledge of and experience with issues that affect our community, our use of technology, and our communication and connection with students and colleagues.

Most members of the CU-Boulder community actively work to alleviate waste through environmentally friendly practices. Dave Newport, director of the Environmental Center, will explore how pollution is an often-overlooked catalyst for social injustice, impacting indigenous people, developing nations and lower income residents of major cities worldwide in his session, “How Environmental Pollution Creates Social Injustice, and What CU is Doing About It.”

“It’s an old, big, and unnoticed issue,” said Newport. “There is a history of saddling underprivileged populations with waste, destruction of their natural resources and industrial building in and round their communities, which all have dire affects. It’s a global problem but it’s also local. We don’t have to travel far to see the effects in areas such as Commerce City.”

Newport will examine the history of social injustice, its global and local impacts, and outline the ways in which CU-Boulder addresses this issue, both on campus and through programs in local neighborhoods, on Monday, Feb. 16 from 3:15 to 4 p.m. in the UMC Middle Ballroom.

Gil Asakawa, a journalist, editor, author and online content consultant with 30 years of media experience, and a nationally known writer and speaker on Asian American and Japanese American issues and communities, will present a Tuesday workshop, “Technology and Diversity.” Asakawa will provide examples of news and information shared within distinct multicultural communities, and how these rich sources can bring valuable information to the greater community.

“The Internet has opened all kinds of avenues for news and communication,” said Asakawa. “Asian Americans, as well as most other communities, have many websites dedicated to issues and interests that are important to them. The challenge is to take the next step, and bring all of these voices into mainstream media so that they are heard beyond their individual communities.”
Asakawa’s interactive session will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 17 from 9 to 10 a.m. in the UMC Dennis Small Cultural Center, room 457.

Other sessions exploring Disabilities and Digital Accessibility, Developing Skills to Support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer People, Prevention of Sexual Assault, and Inclusiveness and Technology will be presented. Some sessions will be held for speakers of Spanish, and information will be circulated detailing these presentations.

The Annual Diversity Summit is sponsored by the Chancellor’s Advisory Committees, hosted by the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Minority Affairs, with support from the Chancellor’s Committee on Women, the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender issues and the Program Accessibility Committee. A full schedule of events will be available online.

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