Diversity Conference to Focus on Cultural Competency

OGDEN, Utah - Are you culturally competent?

In a global society, no one can escape the need - or the opportunity - to learn about other cultures. As a result, educational programs, from preschool to graduate school, are emphasizing the importance of cultural competence.

Leadership and cultural competence are the focus of Weber State University’s 4th Annual Diversity Conference to be held 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., October 25, in the Shepherd Union Ballroom.

 “At WSU, we’re producing society’s next generation of leaders,” said Forrest Crawford, assistant to the president for diversity at WSU. “To succeed, whether at work, at home or in volunteer organizations, they must be willing to relate to different cultural views and perspectives with respect and sensitivity.”

 Crawford says sensitivity to these issues needs to extend beyond the workplace and carry over into personal relationships as well.

 The keynote speaker for this year’s conference is author and educator Johnnetta Cole, who will address cultural competency as it relates to leadership. In  1987, Cole became the first African American president of Spelman College in Georgia. The historically black college experienced tremendous increases in recognition and stature during her tenure. She also gained notoriety for her remarkable fundraising efforts on behalf of the institution.

 Trained as an anthropologist, Cole has served on numerous corporate boards, including being the first woman to serve on the board of Coca-Cola Enterprises.

 The conference will also feature a presentation and workshop led by Daniel Hernandez who serves as a consultant to public and private organizations on issues such as cultural competency and diversity issues in local, national and global settings.

 Afternoon workshops at the conference will address cultural competency issues as they relate to specific professions, such as health care and law enforcement. A roundtable discussion facilitated by Hernandez will conclude the day’s events.

 WSU’s Diversity Planning Committee, chaired by Sandra Powell, organized this year’s conference. Sponsors of the event include Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, The Management Training Corporation, Ultra Dent and United Parcel Service, along with numerous WSU departments, colleges and organizations. Johnnetta Cole appears through DPK and Associates, Inc.

 The conference and workshops are open to the public free of charge. Those attending the conference are encouraged to park in the Dee Events Center parking lot and ride a free shuttle to campus. For more information call 626-6103.

WSU’s 4th Annual Diversity Conference Schedule

9:00-9:50 a.m. –  Welcome
Dr. Forrest Crawford, assistant to the president for diversity,
President Millner, followed by a presentation speech by Dr. Daniel  
(Union Building Ballroom B)

10:00-10:50 a.m. –  Keynote Address by Dr. Johnnetta Cole
(Union Building Ballrooms B & C)

11:00-11:50 a.m. –  Students Reflect on Cultural Competence at WSU:
Where Do We Go From Here?
Student panel discussion
Moderated by Dr. Brenda Marsteller Kowalewski
(Union Building Ballrooms B & C)

12:00-1:30 p.m. –  Lunch Break

 1:30-3:30 p.m. –  Workshops

  “Student Leadership Session”
   Moderated by Dr. Daniel Hernandez
   (Union Building 338-340)

  “Road to Cultural Competence in Healthcare”
   Moderated by Dr. Yasmen Simonian and Judith Pratt, MSN
   (Union Building 325)

  “Law Enforcement Panel”
   Moderator TBA
  (Union Building 347-348)

4:00-5:30 p.m. --  “Cultural Roundtable”
 Facilitated by Dr. Daniel Hernandez
 (Union Building 338-340)


Forrest Crawford, assistant to the president for diversity
(801) 626-7420 · fcrawford@weber.edu

Sandra Powell, Diversity Planning Committee Chair
(801) 626-6103 · spowell@weber.edu


John Kowalewski, director of Media Relations
(801) 626-7212 · jkowalewski@weber.edu