September 18, 2020

Diversity Conference

This archived article was written by: Travis Hill

Starving college student? That may be a loaded question because, well, who isn’t? With that in mind, a free breakfast couldn’t get any more enticing to most. And that is only one of the benefits of attending the Diversity Inclusion Conference held Saturday, April 9.
The conference includes breakfast at 9 a.m. followed by a keynote address at 9:30 a.m. featuring Tasha Meyers from the University of Utah. Meyers is the Director of Student Leadership as well as being a member of a statewide diversity coalition. “Clearly passionate about diversity,” notes Evette Allen, Eastern’s director of student life, involvement, and leadership, as well as being in charge of the conference.
After the keynote address and short recess, the first of two breakout sessions begin at 10:30 a.m. and conclude at 11:20 a.m., with the second session spanning from 11:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. Within each session there will be four topics for participants to select from. These topics include veterans, race, gender, substance abuse, LGBT and more, “A plethora of different options,” Allen says
While members of the community are welcome, it should be expected that the conference is geared toward helping and educating students.
“Why should I spend my Saturday doing this? I think it’s definitely something that is really good to have this knowledge when they [students] interact later in life. Whether it’s working later in life or they’re going to school and interacting,” Allen says.
“A lot of people will tell you, ‘We should be diverse’ but how do I actually be diverse in my life?” asks Allen. As rhetorical as the question may be, the event will provide students with answers to questions they may have along with the one that Allen possess.
For those who are interested in attending, Allen says, “I always encourage people to not just go to those sessions where they are most passionate about diversity, but go to the session where they don’t know a lot about that diversity issue so that they can come learn.”
She says, “I can remember someone coming out of a session and saying, ‘Oh I didn’t realize that,’” and that is what the conference is all about: learning and acceptance.
While there is a lot of learning to be done on a Saturday, what is supposed to be a student’s day off, keep in mind one simple fact: free breakfast.

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