Diversity & Student Services
Within the PWR, diversity is a core value. Diversity and Civic Engagement/Service are well taught, learned, maintained, and continually improved by faculty, administrators, students and the program as a whole. The Program’s Diversity and Student Services Committee plans events to teach and celebrate diversity, such as our annual Undergraduate Diversity Conference held each spring. The conference promotes dialogue on diversity issues, enhances openness and respect in the campus climate, and showcases student writings on diversity-related topics. We encourage all faculty to develop courses with diversity foci and incorporate diversity within all of our course offerings. The PWR offers lower-division courses with diverse reading themes from language and gender to multi-cultural rhetorics, and poverty. Additionally, PWR upper-division course topics encompass a wide range of diversity topics: queer rhetorics, women writers, rhetoric of faith, spirituality, immigration, cross-cultural writing and film, feminism and motherhood, race, class, gender and more.
What does it mean to talk about “diversity” in a city like Boulder?
What kinds of alliances promote equity and inclusion for all members of our community?
On Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at CU Boulder, the Diversity and Student Services Committee of the Program for Writing and Rhetoric will hold the 5th Annual Undergraduate Diversity Conference on the theme Alliance. The conference has become a signature CU event to promote dialogue on diversity issues, to enhance openness and respect on campus, and to showcase PWR student writings on diversity-related topics. Between 150-200 people, including immigrant workers, students, faculty, staff, and members of the community, are expected to attend this event held in room 235 of the University Memorial Center (UMC). The conference begins at 8:30 a.m. with a special welcome & warm-up activity led by award-winning CU Theater & Dance Instructor, Nii Armah Sowah, director of 1,000 Voices Project. Food, dialogues and events continue until 2:00.
In addition to round-table dialogues with simultaneous translation, keynote speaker Tony Garcia will speak on his 28 years of experience with Su Teatro, Colorado’s largest and oldest Chicano theater troupe. In response to the conference theme, Alliance, the specially selected student presentations cover diversity issues ranging from the local to the international.
For more information: James.F.Walker@colorado.edu.
2013 Undergraduate Diversity Conference
How does inclusion work? What fosters an inclusive dynamic? What are dynamic approaches to broadening inclusive practices in your community, school, culture, or nation?
On Thursday, February 21, 2013, the Program for Writing and Rhetoric at CU Boulder presented "Dynamics of Inclusion", the Fourth Annual Undergraduate Conference on Diversity. From a welcome guided by Nii Armah Sowah, international food, special student presentations, the CU Dialogues Project, and a performance by Motus Playback, it was an event not to be missed!
The conference organizers hoped to promote dialogue on diversity issues, to enhance openness and respect in the campus's climate, while we discussed various diversity-related topics. The purpose of this conference was to have broad impact on the CU campus and greater community by encouraging collaboration between departments, faculty, students and employees of the university as well as the larger community. The Undergraduate Diversity Conference aligns with CU's strategic plan for diversity in its role as a crucial forum for the CU and Boulder community to bring together students, staff and faculty members from every discipline across the CU campus to discuss various topics pertaining to diversity. By developing an inclusive forum, the conference has the potential to address the critical needs of higher education by creating an inclusive environment for underrepresented populations. The outcomes from the conference were the integration of themes of diversity in the classrooms across campus, the critical communication between faculty, students and employees, and the expansion of the inclusion and critical knowledge of diverse faculty, students, underrepresented groups, and community members.
Student presentations this year included:
- Mobilizing Inclusion by Elom Amouzou
- Memory Work (1271 words) by Kathleen Childs
- Diagnosis Gay: The use of MRI brain scans to identify sexual orientaion by Kelly Finnegan
- Princess Politics: The Postmodern Movement to Immobilization by Morgan Lowe
- Acceptance and Atheism: Why Can't We All Just Get Along by Amedee Martella
- Dynamics of Inclusion: Extremes Are No Longer an Option by Gerardo Lopez Perez
2012 Undergraduate Diversity Conference
On Thursday March 1, 2012 at CU Boulder, the Diversity and Student Services Committee of the Program for Writing and Rhetoric held an undergraduate diversity conference titled Normalizing Inclusion. The conference organizers hope to promote dialogue on diversity issues, to enhance openness and respect in the campus’s climate, and to showcase PWR student writings on diversity-related topics. Approximately 200 people, including immigrant workers, students, faculty, staff, and members of the community attended this half-day event held in the British Studies room of Norlin Library. The conference began at 8:00 a.m. with a welcome from Vicki Leal, Director of P-20 and Diversity Initiatives for CU Academic Affairs.
In addition to the round-table discussion and participant dialogues, our keynote speaker, journalist and author Helen Thorpe, gave a talk about the challenges faced by undocumented high school students in Colorado. Helen Thorpe is the author of Just Like Us, a moving account of the educational struggles of high-achieving, but undocumented Colorado teens. Helen Thorpe’s writing has appeared in numerous national venues, including the New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, Texas Monthly, and The Texas Observer.
In response to the conference theme, Normalizing Inclusion, the student presentations covered diversity issues ranging from the local to the international. The student presentations were:
- Imagining Privilege by Elom Amouzou
- The Curious Case of Shirley Sherrod: Racist Vigilante or Tolerant Emancipator? by Wisdom Amouzou
- Completing the Singled Stories by Belise Kabahizi
- Normalizing Inclusion: The Standard English Myth by Abigail Lane
- Access to Nature by Kaitlyn Merriman and Topher Downham
- Courage and Inclusion by Keegan McCaffrey and Nick Jordan
2011 Undergraduate Diversity Conference
On Thursday February 10, 2011 at CU Boulder, the Diversity and Student Services Committee of the Program for Writing and Rhetoric held an undergraduate diversity conference entitled From Conflict to Concord. The conference organizers hope to promote dialogue on diversity issues, to help enhance openness and tolerance in the campus’s climate, and to showcase PWR student writings on diversity-related topics. Approximately 150 people, including immigrant workers, students, faculty, staff, and visitors attended this half-day event held in the British Studies room of Norlin Library. The conference began at 8:00 a.m. with a welcome from Assistant Professor Alphonse Keasley of Ethnic Studies, who is also Assistant Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs.
In addition to round-table discussion with the workers, keynote speaker Kirsten Wilson, presented "'Niwot’s Arrow': a history of race and class in Boulder." Wilson uses original theater and community storytelling to gain perspective on complicated questions and facilitate dialogue on critical issues. Her work creates empathetic engagement across difference, moving beyond the sound bytes that polarize us as communities. “Rocks Karma Arrows,” Wilson's multimedia theater performance exploring Boulder history through the lens of race and class, was an official event of Boulder's 2009 Sesquicentennial. Wilson was awarded a part-time artist in residency at Colorado University’s ATLAS (Alliance for Technology, Learning, and Society) to produce the work and was designated an “ATLAS Innovator" from The Center for Media, Arts and Performance at CU. The CU student presentations were:
- The Importance of Mutual Understanding by Akihiro Yamaguchi
- Muslim Female Students and Western Discourse by Elizabeth Bogen
- Winged Word by Garbrielle Friesen
- Tuition Equity for Undocumented Immigrants in Colorado by Kasey Schelling
- A Train Ride in India by Adria Roblee-Hertzmark
2010 Undergraduate Diversity Conference
On February 18, 2010, the Diversity and Student Services Committee of the Program for Writing and Rhetoric held an undergraduate diversity conference entitled: Strangers in a Strange Land. Approximately 150 people attended this half-day event held in the British Studies room of Norlin Library. Among the attendees were students, faculty, and staff, including 28 immigrant workers. The program included round-table discussion and dialogues among the participants, a talk by keynote speaker Professor Patricia Limerick, Center of the American West, selected PWR student papers on the issue of immigration and diversity, and guest speakers from VOICE (Voices of Immigrant Children for Education) facilitated and interpreted by Pilar Prostko. The student presentations were:
- The Differences in Educational Practices in the USA and Kazakhstan by Aizhan Akayeva
- The Personality of Personality: My Experience Bridging the Gap of Time by Joseph Chehouri
- Exploiting Apartheid in "District 9" by Jack Darcy
- Cay Tre Trong Gio: Bamboo in the Wind by Toan Ba Le
- Luxury Cruise Homage by Sean McNeely
- Melville Homage by Sean McNeely
- One-Ply Family by Bao Nhi Nguyen
- Tikkun Olam by Brandon Springer
The goals of the conference were to connect and begin a dialogue among the various constituents on campus around the issue of immigration and difference, and to highlight the work of PWR students in promoting this issue.