Diversity Conference to Focus on Citizenship, Democracy

OGDEN, Utah – Weber State University will host its Ninth Annual Diversity Conference, "Diversity, Democracy and Citizenship," on Oct. 4 and 5 with events at the Ogden and Davis campuses.

"We felt this topic was not only important, but also very timely," said Forrest Crawford, assistant to the president for diversity. "It's important to explore the challenges and issues that face a democracy."

The conference will open with a reception on Oct. 4 at 6 p.m. at Weber State University Davis, Room 110-111, 2750 N. University Park Blvd., Layton, featuring a discussion of diversity and democracy in a town meeting format.

On Oct. 5, the conference will shift to the Ogden campus with a presentation at 9 a.m. in the Shepherd Union Building by Pamela Perlich, senior research economist for the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Utah.

Rev. DeForest Soaries, the keynote speaker for this year's conference, will address participants at 12:30 p.m. in the Shepherd Union Atrium. Soaries was the inaugural chairman of the Election Assistance Commission, created by Congress with the 2002 Help America Vote Act as the first federal body to oversee voting issues. Soaries also is senior pastor of the 7,000-member First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, N.J., and formerly served as New Jersey's Secretary of State.

At 10 a.m. and 11:15 a.m., panel sessions will discuss topics such as minority rights under majority rule, student government, demographics and democracy, teaching democracy, immigration and environmentalism. Starting at 9 a.m. there also will be information booths hosted by organizations involved with diversity, democracy or citizenship.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information on the conference, contact the Diversity Office at 801-626-6196.

Conference Schedule:

Thursday, Oct. 4
Weber State University Davis, Room 110-111

6 p.m. Opening Reception

Friday, Oct. 5
Ogden Campus: Shepherd Union Building

9 a.m. Speaker: Pamela Perlich, senior research economist for the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Utah

10 a.m. Concurrent Panel Sessions

  • Student Government
  • Protecting Minority Rights under Majority Rule
  • Grassroots Activism: Environmentalism
  • Demographics and Democracy: Diversity Triumphs
  • Democracies & Theocracies
  • Democracy & Technology

11:15 a.m. Concurrent Panel Sessions

  • The Triumph of Money: Democracy or Oligarchy in America?
  • Teaching Democracy
  • Identity Politics: Diverse Voices in a Democracy
  • New Cultures in Democracy: Immigration
  • Grassroots Activism: A Model of Diversity & Democracy
  • Democracy & Technology

12:30 p.m. Keynote Address: Rev. DeForest B. Soaries

Visit weber.edu/wsutoday for more news about Weber State University.


Forrest Crawford, assistant to the president for diversity
801-626-6338 • fcrawford@weber.edu

Adrienne Gillespie, special student populations counselor
801-395-3514 • adriennegillespie@weber.edu

Travis Clemens, assistant director of Media Relations
801-626-7948 • travisclemens@weber.edu