"Diversity Starts with Me"

A conference focused on personal stories and experiences of diversity as well as opportunities for self-growth and practical workshops to promote diversity on campus.

Open the accordions below to view the program for each day of the conference.

4:30PM  – 6:00 PM
Rock Painting Event
Dr. Taimur Cleary (in-person)
Art and Design Room #263

Students, faculty, and staff are invited to come and make symbolic paintings of groupings of rocks. Each participant will arrange and select rocks so that they represent a group of people that is important to them. It could be friends, family, fictional characters, etc.

View the flyer


5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Storytime with Latinx Student Union
Story reading for children (in-person)
Lydia M. Olson Library

View the flyer


6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Artist Talk: “Rihla (Journey)”
Sawsan AlSaraf, Multimedia Artist (virtual event)
Co-sponsored with the DeVos Museum.

In her video work and multimedia practice, Sawsan Alsaraf explores the concepts home, identity, belonging, displacement, liberation, pilgrimage, with a focus on abandoned spaces, objects and bodies. Her project “Rihla” represents the personal narrative of Alsaraf’s life stories in diaspora since 1977 - and is also the subject of her artist talk. Her most recent video, “Nur El Qulub” questions the complexity of spiritual truth, transition, and the unknown, dwelling in spaces of discomfort around the meaning of life - and death.

Join us at 6:00 PM via Zoom.

Meeting ID: 925 2075 3659
Passcode: 528488

9:00 AM
Breakfast with Phyllis Braxton-Frierson
Peninsula V, Northern Center

9:30 – 11:30 AM
Keynote I: How Are You Experiencing Cultural Differences? A Conversation To Explore Diversity, Inclusion & Equity on Our Campus

Phyllis Braxton-Frierson, PINK Consulting (in-person)
Ballroom I, Northern Center

On a college campus you are interacting with people who are different from you all the time. Have you ever questioned why some people don’t understand, are unaware or not open to those differences? This workshop will introduce you to a model of Intercultural Development that will answer some of your questions and help you better understand yourself and others. This interactive session will provide opportunities to get shared meaning with terms, exposure to how you might be experiencing cultural differences, and space to ask burning questions without blame or shame.

11:30 AM

Ballroom II, Northern Center

12:00 PM - 12:45 PM
An interactive discussion on the causes and consequences of implicit bias

Dr. Jon Barch, Assistant Professor of Psychological Science, Northern Michigan University
Ballroom II, Northern Center

Implicit bias is a concept from the field of social cognitive psychology that has become widely discussed in popular culture.  Understanding what it is, where it comes from, and how it influences our social judgements is a critical part of explaining many aspects of the social issues surrounding prejudice and discrimination related to gender, race, ethnicity, and other social categorizations.  This session will help attendees understand what implicit cognition is, see the helpful side of this brain function, and explore how it leads to unfair biases in social judgements when mixed with
toxic cultural socialization.

12:50 PM - 1:00 PM
Music by Professors
Drs. Theresa Camilli and Barb Rhyneer
Ballroom II

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Parallel workshop sessions at the Northern Center

Track 1: Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in the University Classroom
Stefani Vargas, Student Equity & Engagement Center, Northern Michigan University
Ballroom I, Northern Center

An introduction to understanding the ways in which historical, structural, and systemic marginalization appears in the instructional setting and best practices for making your classroom an equitable space for all students. This session is designed for faculty and graduate teaching assistants though staff are welcome to attend.

Track 2: International Students at NMU
Dr. Weronika Kusek, Northern Michigan University
Peninsula V, Northern Center

A panel session where international students will share the insights about their cultures as well as insights into their experiences with the American culture. A great opportunity to meet and interact with NMU international students, ask questions about their home-countries, cultures, and experiences in Marquette.

Track 3: Conditions for Dialogue: A Look at Conversation in One Anti Racist Education Classroom
Jaime VanEnkevort, Northern Michigan University
Ballroom II, Northern Center

Paul Barnwell (2014) suggests that conversational competence may be the number one overlooked skill we fail to teach. What does it mean to teach how to have a conversation? How do we measure the quality of a conversation? How do teachers create conditions for productive dialogue? What do we do when things go wrong? In this workshop, with a focus for educators, we will explore and practice strategies used by one white educator in a higher education classroom to create productive spaces for conversation on identity, teaching, and building trust.

In this workshop, with a focus for educators, we will explore and practice strategies used by one white educator in a higher education classroom to create productive spaces for conversation on identity, teaching, and building trust.

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Keynote II: Climate Justice, Gender Equality, & Indigenous Rights
Virtual talk live-stream
Ballroom I, Northern Center

Melina Laboucan-Massimo is an internationally renowned advocate for climate justice, Indigenous sovereignty and women's rights. Melina is Lubicon Cree from Northern Alberta, Canada. She is the Founder of Sacred Earth Solar, co-founder and Just Transition Director at Indigenous Climate Action and a Climate Fellow at the David Suzuki Foundation. She is the Host of a new TV series called Power to the People which profiles renewable energy in Indigenous communities. Melina holds a Master’s degree in Indigenous Governance at the University of Victoria with a focus on Renewable Energy. As a part of her Master’s thesis Melina implemented a 20.8 kW solar project in her home community of Little Buffalo which powers the health center in the heart of the tar sands. In 2021, Melina was named one of the 26 Climate Champions in Canada by the Canada Climate Law Initiative.

Join us at 3:00 PM via Zoom.

Meeting ID: 949 3351 3035
Passcode: 648286