20th Annual WSU Diversity Conference

Diversity 20 Years Later: Opportunity? Obstacle? Or something else altogether? 

Free and open to the public

Opening Night at WSU Davis

Panel & Discussion with Previous Diversity Conference Chairs
Thursday, October 4, 2018
WSU Davis, D3 Ballrooms | map | directions | parking
5:30 - 8 p.m. 

The Weber State University Diversity Conference has become a signature event for the university, but not without the early efforts created by WSU faculty and staff, especially with Forrest Crawford, Ruby Licona, Sandra Powell, Maria Parrilla de Kokal, and Barry Gomberg. The pre-conference aims to share the stories of these individuals, what their early efforts looked like 20 years ago, obstacles and opportunities they faced when organizing this conference, and the directions they see the conference going moving forward.

Panel members include:


Forrest Crawford, PhD.
Professor of Teacher Education

Sandra Powell, PhD.
Associate Professor Emerita of Business Administration

Ruby Licona
Associate Professor Emerita of Library Science

Maria Parrilla de Kokal
Professor of Psychology

Barry Gomberg, J.D.
Executive Director of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity



Second Day at WSU Ogden

Friday, October 5, 2018 | Shepherd Union | map | directions & parking

Timeline Gallery Exhibition & Breakfast Mixer

  • Fire Place Lounge & Union Gallery
  • 8:30 - 9:20 a.m.
  • First come first serve


Keynote: Jane Elliot

  • SU Ballrooms B&C
  • 12:30 -1:20 p.m.

Snacks and Discussion

  • Fireplace Lounge
  • 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
  • First come first serve


Keynote: Jane Elliot

Ms. Elliott is convinced that Viktor Hugo was right when he told us that nothing can stop an idea whose time has come. The idea of one race, the HUMAN race, is an idea whose time has come, and we'd all better be prepared to pass it on.

Jane Elliott received her teaching degree from the University of Northern Iowa. Chosen as one of Peter Jennings' ABC-TV's "Person of the Week," Jane is the adapter of the "Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes" discrimination experiment. The sensitizing exercise, in which participants are labeled inferior or superior based on the color of their eyes, began in a third-grade classroom in all-white, all-Christian Riceville, Iowa, immediately after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It has been repeated with dramatic results with children and adults throughout the country. Those who have been through this exercise have said it is an emotionally significant and life-changing experience. This ground breaking exercise is the pinnacle of all other diversity programming in the country today.

Several television documentaries have covered her work, among them ABC's "The Eye of the Storm," which won the Peabody Award; "A Class Divided," which dealt with the long-term impact of the exercise and Ms. Elliott's work with adults and was broadcast nationally on PBS's Frontline series;, "The Eye of the Beholder," which also dealt with adults and their reactions to discrimination and was produced by Florida Public Television.

"The Angry Eye" is a dynamic and provocative documentary, showcasing Jane Elliott's world famous Blue-Eyed/Brown-Eyed exercise in discrimination. The tables are turned on white American College students as they are forced to experience the same kind of racist treatment African Americans and other minorities have been receiving for years. In the documentary, students' reactions are intercut with Elliott's observations. The film is disturbing; both for the participants and for the viewers, who are made to confront their own prejudices.

Jane Elliott is a recipient of the National Mental Health Association Award for Excellence in Education. She has been a guest lecturer at numerous colleges and universities and has been a guest on a wide variety of television shows including The Today Show, Tonight with Johnny Carson, Donahue, and the Oprah Winfrey show. She is hailed as the leader in diversity training - a veteran presenter who has addressed groups ranging from colleges and universities, to civil service organizations, elementary schools, corporations and businesses.





Workshops are open to everyone. Just show up!


→Professional Memberships: Empowering Students for the Future

Presenters: Jean Norman, Japheth Pleasant, Raymond Lucas, Briana Whatcott, Jennifer Guzman, Danya Gil
Room 316

This panel will discuss the value of student-focused professional organizations of color such as the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists.  Research (Dawson, 2016a, 2016b, 2018) indicates that students benefit from belonging to student chapters of professional organizations before they graduate. Many students of are likely to land professional jobs in which they are among a handful or even the only person of color in their office. Professional organizations of color, such as the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists, address this issue with unique networking opportunities. Members of Weber State University’s NABJ and NAHJ chapters discuss the benefits of belonging to professional organizations of color while in college. 

→English Language Learners, Identity and Text Engagement

Presenter: David R. Byrd
Room 321

Learning in a culture that is not your own can challenge students as they are developing their identity. In years past, the idea of considering students’ identities in conjunction with classroom learning was almost unheard of. Today educators need to become more aware of how to integrate students’ identities into the learning space. Fortunately, much of identity manifests through social interaction setting, where teachers can play a significant role in acknowledging identities from various cultures into the classes. In this interactive session, the presenter and participants will discuss key theoretical issues in ELL identity development and create at least one activity that can aid English language learners as they interact with a text.

→Shared Ground:  An Interdisciplinary Perspective on Barriers to Immigrants in Higher Ed
Presenters: Dan Jones and Erik Stern
Room 312

When cultures mix, artists often bridge the gap by inventing new forms of expression. Shared Ground celebrated this universal theme through music and dance and by artistically incorporating the voices of under-represented WSU students into the performance project. At this delicate moment in U.S. history these topics take on a special urgency. The workshop will introduce this project and use the student voices from the project as a departure point for discussions on the student experience at Weber State, and explores ways faculty and staff be sensitive to these issues.


→Troubling Inclusion with the Makings of Protest: a Methodological Inquiry in Making Diversity and Inclusion Accountable

Presenter: Agustin (Tino) Diaz
Room 316

Campuses adopt inclusion but rarely reflect on its implementation, while softening their diversity initiatives. This presentation seeks to address how embracing and engaging student protest and queering educator autonomy become tools for reshaping campus for social justice and making inclusion accountable to the institution as well as on behalf of student communities.

→Opportunity, Obstacle, and/or Something Else Entirely: Diversity from a Student Perspective

Presenters: Panelists will include students from COMM 3820 (Persuasion), an upper division course in the Department of Communication. These students are Communication majors, many of whom are in their third or fourth year at Weber State University.
Room 321

This workshop offers attendees the opportunity to hear from students about diversity and their perspective on whether it is an obstacle, an opportunity, or something else entirely. Students from COMM 3820 (Persuasion) will present persuasive speeches about their perspective on diversity, thereafter welcoming discussion about the speeches among panelists and audience members.

→Toxic Stress from Deportation Threat: Testimonios Reveal Pervasive Effects on Mixed-Status Families

Presenter: Jennifer Green
Room 312

The toxic stress associated with the threat of deportation is not a new facet of daily life for undocumented immigrants in the United States. An upsurge in anti-immigrant rhetoric and policy has contributed to increased anxiety and fear regarding apprehension, detention, and deportation. Data from a qualitative study of mixed-status immigrant families will be presented through the stories (testimonios) of immigrant parents and young adult Dreamers. Their testimonios reveal conflicted feelings about life in America and the relentless strain of living with fear and uncertainty. A portrait emerges of life in small-town America during these troublesome times of mass deportations and family separation. The testimonios, explored through a LatCrit lens, reveal the human side of immigration policy and compel us to contemplate the lived reality of immigrant families with American dreams. 


→Diversity ≠ Inclusivity: Recognizing Privilege and Embracing Growth

Presenters: Bobbi Van Gilder and Roni Jackson-Kerr
Room 316

Although many efforts have been made in the last 20 years to increase diversity in institutions, we continue to live in a society that uses whiteness to exclude non-white people. Doing anti-racism is an ongoing exercise and requires that we redefine our goals. Diversity is the presence of difference within a given setting, whereas inclusion is about individuals with different identities feeling and being included, valued, engaged, and welcomed within a given setting. As such, this workshop will teach audience members/participants to recognize how power and privilege affect our lives. During this session, we will discuss some best practices in working for equality and inclusion. And, audience members will have the opportunity to put these skills into practice during an interactive workshop.

→Diversity in and of Teaching: Exploring and Improving College Education for all

Presenters: Alexander L. Lancaster, Robin Haislett
Room 321

This workshop offers attendees the opportunity to hear from and engage with faculty members on the connections between diversity and pedagogy, as well as how diversity might be taught within existing course structures. Two faculty members will share how they have integrated elements of diversity in their courses.

→A Diverse Community, a great opportunity to Overcome Language Barriers

Presenter: Ingrid Osequera
Room 312

This is a dynamic class that overviews cultural competence. We will discussing legal requirements and national standards for language access. Also, how to enhance language access to the communities.



Andrea Hernández | andreahernandez2@weber.edu | 801-626-6957

WSUSA Family Friendly  Student Fees Used Here  ASL Interpreted  Matter of Fact

Weber State University, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, ensure equal access to all university functions, activities, and programs for individuals with disabilities. Please contact Andrea Hernández at andreahernandez2@weber.edu at least one week prior to this event to request accommodations in relation to a disability.