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Diversity conference on-campus explores equity, inclusion, self-awareness for marginalized communities
LA GRANDE, Ore. – In its 12th year, the Celebrate, Educate, Appreciate Diversity (CEAD) Conference has become a signature event at Eastern Oregon University. This half-day conference will be held on Saturday, May 6, in Quinn Coliseum.
It is an opportunity for students, faculty, staff, and community members across Oregon to explore critical issues around diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. The conference outcomes are focused on a shared understanding of DEIB, self-awareness, reflection, and building allies and community.
Check-in and continental breakfast begin at 8:30 a.m., with opening remarks at 9 a.m. Following the opening remarks will be a session presented by the Tri-Cities Diversity & Inclusion Council team, Naima Chambers and Lynn Carlson, that focuses on the basics of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Additionally, it will provide a foundational understanding and common language in preparation for engaging in DEI work to address systemic inequities, improve the life outcomes of those who have been historically marginalized, and create a culture of inclusion and belonging for.
“It’s my first year working as ASEOU’s Director for Diversity and Equity along with planning a conference of this scale. It’s a challenge, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to apply my knowledge and experience,” says Grace Shirk, ASEOU’s current Director for Diversity & Equity. “I am incredibly excited to help bring this project to fruition; I hope that this conference is able to introduce students to new ideas and perspectives and helps them find ways to model equity and inclusion within their own spaces. I look forward to the process and can’t wait for everyone to participate!”
The second session will be a Dialogues on Diversity workshop that will provide tools that help participants gain greater awareness of emerging cultural and demographic trends. Participants will learn how to talk about and understand each other’s differences, and more importantly, how to understand and talk about their own multiple identities. Additionally, participants will acquire the tools to engage in open and honest dialogue with the goal of recognizing our differences and life experience as beneficial community building, relational trust, and problem-solving. By appreciating and understanding our differences, we increase our abilities to overcome challenges and build more just systems in a better world.
Additionally, the session is a critical tool for building a stronger base of understanding for those who may not fully understand the complexity of DEI and what it takes to embrace and develop innovative solutions to equity challenges.
“This is my third CEAD conference here at Eastern and every year I am amazed by how impacted students are by the experience”, EOU Student Council for Multicultural Affairs Coordinator, Daisy Elliott said. “I am incredibly excited to be a part of planning this learning opportunity for 2023. This year we are hoping to lay foundations on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion- we hope to see you all there.”
The CEAD Conference invites attendees to gain a greater awareness and understanding of power, privilege, biases, and stereotypes, as well as a broader understanding of differences in groups, backgrounds, cultures, practices, and worldviews. The thoughtful and informative dialogue also challenges multiple perspectives and fosters understanding. After the conference ends at 2:30 p.m., attendees can request to receive a diversity training certificate to add to their professional portfolios.
EOU’s CEAD conference is brought to you by the Student Council for Multicultural Affairs, the Center for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging, and other campus partners. Online registration is open until April 28.
“We are excited about this year’s conference as it will lay a foundation for exploring diversity, equity & inclusion in identity, self-awareness, reflection, and embracing the complexity of equity choices. As we continue to grow our equity lens, we hope to center the lived experiences of those who are most marginalized and impacted by systemic inequities, in order to address barriers faced and consider ways of redesigning our learning spaces for all students to succeed no matter who they are or where they come from,” Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging, Bennie Moses-Mesubed said.
This year, the CEAD Conference is free for EOU students. There is a fee for non-EOU students ($10), EOU faculty & staff ($35), and community members ($50). Feel free to email the DEIB office at firstname.lastname@example.org or SCMA at email@example.com, if you have questions or need more information.
To Register for the conference, visit eou.edu/mc/programs-services/cead-conference.
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