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Home / 2009 Diversity Conference / Program

Sharing the Dream

Ninth Annual Cultural Diversity Conference
Building Community Through Diversity

September 17, 2009

See Also the Full Schedule

11:30 am - 12:30 pm Educational Session

Public Relations: A Partner in the Pursuit of Diversity and Inclusion

Seymour College Union, Room 119

Presenters: Ms. Karen S. Olson, APR, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at The College at Brockport; Ms. Jeanette Colby, Calendar Editor for University Communications at the University of Rochester; Mr. David Grome, Senior Account Executive for Public Relations and Public Affairs at Eric Mower and Associates; and Ms. Sybil L. Miller, Division Director, Communications at the American Red Cross Blood Services

Presentation Abstract: A diverse panel of public relations practitioners—in terms of ethnicity, age, gender, experience and current job positions—will candidly share their personal experiences, positive and negative, while discussing the challenges and rewards of helping organizations become more inclusive. The panel will also discuss the value of building relationships with diverse audiences and opportunities within the public relations profession for people of diverse backgrounds. Questions and dialogue will be encouraged.

Migrant Farm workers: An Invisible Population Feeding the Nation

Seymour College Union, Gallery

Presenters: Ms. Sally Fox, Coordinator of the National PASS Center at BOCES Geneseo Migrant Center

Presentation Abstract: Few people give much thought to where the food on our tables comes from. Migrant farm workers in all 50 states play a significant role in making this the best-fed nation on Earth. Learn about those who plant, tend, harvest, and process the bounty of the land—where they are from, how they live, the challenges they face, and what is being done to serve them.

Achieving the Dream: Child Soldiers’ Struggle for a Better Life

Seymour College Union, Room 220-221

Presenters: Dr. Melchor C. de Guzman, Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at The College at Brockport; and Ms. Dianne Frances A. de Guzman, a graduate student in the Communication and Development Studies Program at Ohio University

Presentation Abstract: This session includes a presentation on the experiences of child soldiers in Africa, specifically the country of Sudan. Child soldiers encounter many difficulties amidst violent conflict. The session reflects on how these individuals were able to overcome their situation and achieve success in the US. These findings will be valuable for caseworkers and educators who work or will work in conflict situations.

Democracy and the Role of Offices of Diversity

Seymour College Union, Room 228

Presenters: Dr. Stephan Hiroshi Gilchrist, Director of Institutional Diversity at Wells College

Presentation Abstract: This session will address the following questions: What are the links between a strong democracy, and diversity and inclusion? What is the role of the Office of Diversity in strengthening democracy? What skills and knowledge do we need? How do we create democratic practices on our campuses?

Cultural Storytelling through Music and Dance

Hartwell Hall, Theater

Presenters: Mr. Kevin S. Warner, Visiting Associate Professor of Dance and Director of the Interdisciplinary Arts for Children Program at The College at Brockport; and Dr. Natalie Sarrazin, Assistant Professor of Music at The College at Brockport, teaching courses in music in the Department of Theatre and Interdisciplinary Arts for Children Program

Presentation Abstract: The arts are the embodiment of a people, but how do the arts express the essence of a people? What stories do they tell? Whose stories are they, and how are they different from the stories of others? This experiential session will illustrate how the music and dances of a culture can inform us about its people in a specific place and time in history. Participants will make music and reconstruct simple folk dances together, and discuss the nuances of their origin, structure, aesthetics and meaning. No previous experience is necessary. All are welcome!

Hard to Remember, Harder to Forget: Diverse Voices of Female Resistance

Seymour College Union, Room B116

Presenters: Dr. Barbara LeSavoy, Director of Women and Gender Studies at The College at Brockport

Presentation Abstract: "Whose legacies of resistance are remembered; whose are not?" Women’s lives as a product of public memory are reproduced within dominant structures of society, yet they are similarly constrained within constructs of national memory per what majority cultures deem significant. This session reveals several diverse stories about women’s educational life challenges. The retelling/analysis of these stories considers the merit of personal standpoints in locating feminist thought and in advancing race/gender equality outcomes in an educational context.

Equality and Equity for Indigenous Peoples: Leadership in Local and Global Issues

Hartwell Hall, Room 11

Presenters: Ms. Christine Zinni, Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at The College at Brockport, Consultant for the New York Folk-Arts Program, and Videographer for Native American organizations in the region; Ms. Rebecca Gonella and Mr. Christopher Binnert, students at The College at Brockport; and Mr. Barry White, from the Seneca Nation, Turtle Clan, a Lecturer in American Studies at The State University of New York at Buffalo

Presentation Abstract: This presentation will revolve around some of the issues faced by Native Americans in their struggles for equal rights, access, and political justice. Barry White will describe some of the dualities Native Americans face as they aspire to connect the world of the academy with their community of origin. Two Native students will present research they conducted on the current Iroquois connection with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and stereotypical representations of Native peoples in high school curriculum.

We Have Choices—People with Disabilities Living Their Lives

Seymour College Union, Room 114

Presenters: Mr. Allen Fontaine, Grassroots Presenter at the Self-Advocacy Association of New York State, Inc.; and Ms. Lyn Zyla, Regional Coordinator for the Self-Advocacy Association of New York State in the Finger Lakes Region

Presentation Abstract: This workshop outlines the lives of eight individuals with disabilities and how they made real choices to live and work as everyone else in their community. The presenters will show eight ways they are choosing to be valued members of community life. They believe that all people with disabilities can live a full and robust life in one, if not all, of these eight areas.

1:45 - 2:45 pm Educational Sessions

Unskilled Labor? You try it.

Seymour College Union, Room 119

Presenters: Mr. Tom Rivers, News Reporter for The Daily News in Batavia, NY

Presentation Abstract: In 2008, Tom Rivers tried several jobs at local farms. He planted onions; milked cows; harvested cabbage; and picked cherries, cucumbers, apples and other fruits and vegetables. He wrote about the physical rigors of the jobs in a 16-part series for the newspaper, a project that was recognized by the New York State Agricultural Society and North American Agricultural Journalists. He won seven writing awards from the Associated Press, the Friend of Agriculture award from the Orleans County Farm Bureau, and a "Golden Pitchfork " from the New York State Agricultural Society.

Learning to Live: A Qualitative Enquiry on the Victims of Acid Attack: Coping with Change

Seymour College Union, Room 114

Presenters: Ms. Rehnuma Karim is currently pursuing her PhD in Recreation and Leisure Studies at Penn State University. The title of her dissertation is "Learning to Live: A Qualitative Inquiry on the Female Victims of Acid Attack in Bangladesh."

Presentation Abstract: This presentation focuses on one particular form of a non-normative life event—the acid attack in Bangladesh—and explores the different coping techniques used by the survivors who are living abroad. Three such brave women developed the courage to build their lives in US. Coping through leisure activity has been identified as one such significant mechanism that helped these young women to integrate in a foreign culture. Therefore, the presentation will shed some light on the different types of leisure pursuits that helped them to live normal lives again despite all the adversities and challenges they encountered.

Building Community: Bridging the Underrepresented with the Majority Represented

Edwards Hall, Room 103

Presenters: Dr. Gretchel Hathaway Tyson, Senior Director of Campus Diversity and Affirmative Action, and Ms. Karen Ferrer-Muniz, ABD, Director of Multicultural Affairs, Union College, Schenectady, NY

Presentation Abstract: This workshop provides new techniques to facilitate programs for your students, their peers and student mentors that will reach the "minority" or historically underrepresented friends without marginalizing the majority of the student population. In addition, some campus administrators expect programs to target students only with little attention paid to faculty, administrator and staff needs. This workshop provides creative ways to extend programming to all members of the campus community. This "hands-on" session is guaranteed to provide attendees with a new way of defining, teaching and leading diversity initiatives among students and their peers.

Are We on the Same Page? Exploring the Emotions of English Language Learners

Seymour College Union, Room 220-221

Presenters: Dr. Jie Zhang, Assistant Professor in the Department of Education and Human Development at The College at Brockport; Ms. Carole Pelttari, Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Education and Human Development at the College at Brockport, is working toward an EdD in Curriculum and Instruction, Literacy at Northern Illinois University; and Mr. Jonathan M. Whiteside, undergraduate student at The College at Brockport, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Adolescent Inclusive Education with Middle School Extension, with a focus in social studies

Presentation Abstract: The population in the United States has become more diverse, but statistics attest to the fact that few teachers have adequate training to work with English language learners. The purpose of this presentation is to explore ways to experience the mixed emotions encountered by English language learners and thus realize the complexity they face daily. Hands-on activities for English-only speakers will help us to better understand our fellow citizens and thus become better equipped to “share the dream” with them.

Fulfillment of the Dream-Why Same-Sex Marriage Should Matter in America

Session Cancelled; Replaced by Broadening "the Dream" — Acknowledging Gender Diversity

Broadening "the Dream" — Acknowledging Gender Diversity

Edwards Hall, Room 106

Presenters: Dr. Barbara LeSavoy, Director of Women and Gender Studies, The College at Brockport; Ms. Ayana Weekley, Presidential Fellow, The College at Brockport

Presentation Abstract: This session will address the persistent discrimination, harassment, and violence that transgendered individuals face in public spaces. Using the film "Toilet Training" to begin the conversation, attendees will discuss the reality of social spaces that limit or deny basic freedoms to people who transgress gender norms. Topics addressed include legal questions of equal access, the health effects of restricted access, and the social consequences of experiencing pervasive discrimination in bathrooms and other gendered spaces. Participants will be encouraged to consider how gender "difference" affects the lives of their peers in very real and, seemingly, "routine" ways.

Reconstruction: The First Legal American Diversity Initiative

Seymour College Union, Room B116

Presenters: Mr. Kevin Antoine, JD, Chief Diversity Officer at SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Presentation Abstract: This session will discuss the history of Reconstruction after the US Civil War and its impact and influence on present day diversity efforts in employment and higher education in the United States.