Annual Diversity Conference is ‘Changing the Conversation’

OGDEN, Utah – “LGBTQ Changing the Conversation” is the theme of Weber State University’s 14th Annual Diversity Conference Oct. 4 and 5 on the Ogden and Davis campuses. 

“This year’s theme highlights the issues, challenges and concerns faced by members of our lesbian, gay, transgendered, bisexual and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) community,” said Forrest Crawford, WSU’s Assistant to the President for Diversity. “Faced with marginalization and reports of emotional and physical abuse throughout our community, the committee was compelled to remind our citizens that WSU remains an open, supportive, accessible and safe environment for all learners.”

The conference begins Oct. 4 at 6 p.m. with a reception at Weber State University Davis Campus, followed by the opening session at 6:30 p.m. David Parker, associate director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Center for Community of Caring Institute at the University of Utah, will focus on being an ally — someone who supports equal civil rights. 

“Stop thinking that the only actions to change or improve a situation have to be large and difficult to do,” Parker said. “Each of us can take every opportunity to shine a light on a positive way of interacting.” 

The conference resumes Oct. 5 with keynote speaker Don Lemon, a CNN news anchor, who will speak at 8:30 a.m. in the Shepherd Union Ballroom B. Lemon is the author of “Transparent,” a memoir about homophobia, racism and “colorism,” a term used to describe prejudice based on skin tone.

A variety of breakout sessions will follow, including such topics as “Deconstructing Gender,” “Coming Out: A Conversation,” “Sexuality, Racism and Oppression” and “LGBT Youth in Crisis: Homelessness.”

“Our goal is not to promote any one agenda, but to educate and foster awareness and tolerance throughout our community both on and off campus,” Crawford said.

All events are free and open to the public.

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14th Annual Diversity Conference “LGBT Changing the Conversation”

Conference Schedule

• Oct. 4: Opening reception 6 p.m. Presentation 6:30 p.m.
Weber State University Davis Campus.

Oct. 5: Keynote 8:30-9:20 a.m.
Shepherd Union Ballroom B

• Oct 5: Concurrent panel sessions

Session 1, 9:30-10:20 a.m.
  •  “Beyond the Division: Religion, Sexual Identity and Business Part 1” Shepherd Union Ballroom B
  •  “Deconstructing Gender” Shepherd Union Room 316
  •  “Coming Out: A Conversation” Shepherd Union Room 321

Session 2, 10:30-11:20 a.m.
  • “Beyond the Division: Religion Sexual Identity and Business Part 2” Shepherd Union Ballroom B
  • “Sexuality, Racism & Oppression” Shepherd Union Room 316
  • “LGBT Youth in Crisis: Homelessness” Shepherd Union Room 321

Session 3, 11:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
  • “LGBTQ Legal Issues” Shepherd Union Ballroom B
  • “QPR Training” Shepherd Union Room 316
  • “Town Hall Meeting” Shepherd Union Room 321

Closing Session, 12:30-1:20 p.m.
  • “Our LGBTQ Friends and Family Members: Replacing Misinformation With Love and Understanding.” Shepherd Union Ballroom B

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Forrest Crawford, assistant to the President for Diversity
801-626-7420 •
Kelsy Peterson, University Communications
801-626-7948 •