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Home / 2010 Diversity Conference / Program

Looking Back, Moving Forward

Tenth Annual Cultural Diversity Conference
Building Community Through Diversity

September 16, 2010

See Also the Full Schedule

10:45 am - 11:45 am Educational Sessions

Citizenship: A Global Perspective

Seymour College Union Rm 119

Presenters: Ms. Rehnuma Karim is a faculty member in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies. Her research interest is on gender and leisure, youth-at-risk, community development, and leisure constraints.

Mr. Quazi M. Ahmed is the Lead Consultant and CEO of FutureLeaders--the leading professional services firm in Bangladesh involved in human resource development through leadership training programs. He consults for UN agencies such as ILO, UNDP, UNIFEM and for private sector companies  such as DHL, Ericsson, Standard Chartered Bank and the like.

Moderator: Alyssia Pflazer

Abstract: This session will be a discussion on citizenship between two focus groups, one located in the US, and the other in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The discussion will be facilitated through Skype and participants from both sides of the world will have opportunities to ask question and offer comments. The program will be concluded with a summarization of key points and findings voiced during the discussion.

Rediscovering Deaf Voices in Literature

Seymour College Union Rm B116

Presenter: Ms. Pamela Conley is an associate professor at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Ms. Conley received her BA in English and Education from Gallaudet University, MS in Deaf Education from the University of Rochester, and MA in English Literature from The College at Brockport. Ms. Joan Naturale received her master’s degree in Deaf Education from Western Maryland College and a master’s degree in Library and Information Science at the University of Rhode Island. She has worked in the field of deaf education since 1984.

Moderator: Evan Hill

Abstract: Since the international deaf community’s cultural landscape is constantly changing, a deaf faculty and deaf librarian have identified and collected new deaf autobiographies and biographies for a course entitled Deaf Literature. The librarian has created approximately 10 bibliographies bringing together a unique collection of print and other types of sources as well as artifacts by and about individuals from various countries and ethnicities. Students in deaf literature select a source from these bibliographies to prepare their oral/signed presentations. The results have been intriguing. Through oral/signed presentations, the international deaf community’s colorful tapestry and common threads are observed.

How to Be the Best at Everything: The Gendering and Embodiment of Girl/Boy Advice

Edwards Hall Rm 105

Presenter: Dr. Barbara LeSavoy is the director of the Department of Women and Gender Studies at The College at Brockport. Dr. LeSavoy's research interests include intersectionality and educational equity/success, women's lives as feminist standpoint, and social construction of sex and gender identities.

Moderator: Dan Bogano

Abstract: Boys are Dangerous. Girls are Daring. Step inside any children’s bookstore and brace yourself for a resurging gender divide. A glance at the shelves is a step back in time with a slightly modern twist: Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys make way for opposing girl/boy advice books on “How be the Best at Everything.” Imprinted on hardback bindings are nostalgic 1950s action images — a small-waisted girl with long blonde hair and full skirt ice-skating; a muscled-boy with cropped black hair and swimsuit cannon-balling into water. It’s Dick and Jane all over again, with white and middle class jumping off the covers. Dangerous although hardly daring, these books evoke a sense of 1950s complacency, an era of supposed sexual simplicity with a good dose of heteronormativity that went with it.

Girls play with dolls and grow up to like boys. Boys play with trucks and grow up to want girls. Fast forward to adult moms and dads parenting 2.5 kids in suburban settings; where twin beds and marvelous kitchen appliances morph sex and gender realities. It’s a white middle class, able-bodied utopia where baseball and hop scotch meet rosy cheeks and apple pie.

Beyond the Tip of the Iceberg: Gaining True Cultural Competency

Edwards Hall Rm 104

Presenter: Ms. Katy Pezzimenti is the resident director of McLean Hall at The College at Brockport. She earned a MS in College Student Personnel Administration from Canisius College in 2009.

Moderator: Zachary Vangalder

Abstract: What does it truly mean to be culturally competent? What are the real meanings of the terms “diversity” and “culture,” beyond just the tip of the iceberg — what we can see and hear? Through an experiential activity and discussion, this session will begin the process of gaining a true understanding of terms, and leave participants equipped to "move forward” and continue their growth beyond this session.

This session seeks to move students beyond the “food, fun, and fabrics” understanding of diversity and move toward an understanding of what diversity and culture really is, and how to move toward greater inclusion and understanding.

There are many opportunities on campus and in the community to increase cultural competence and gain experience working with others, but often times students will assert that they don’t know what these opportunities are, or how they can get involved. Student participants will leave with a tangible list of activities, action items, and next steps to continue on their journey to cultural competence.

"Is Bugs Bunny a Racist?"

Hartwell Dance Theater

Presenter: Mr. Dan Askey is a senior counselor with the Arthur O. Eve Opportunity for Higher Education Program at The College at Brockport.

Moderator: Nicholas Connelly

Abstract: Racism impacts all of us regardless of our backgrounds. We can often be exposed to it in very subtle ways. The four cartoons to be shown during the workshop were created during the 40s and 50s. They were considered “kid friendly” and perfectly acceptable by the standards and values of the time. The third cartoon was created during WWII and is propaganda in nature. All four cartoons are currently banned from American television. The following questions will be discussed during the workshop:

  1. Should we judge racism by the standards of the era, or by current standards and values?
  2. If we are raised by certain standards, is it wrong to continue to believe in them?
  3. As a society, should we openly acknowledge past biases or should we not be allowed to learn and grow from our past?
  4. Is it ok to laugh at negativity?
  5. How can we encourage a society raised with these standards to grow to accept new standards?

The TC3-SUNY Cortland Coalition: Building Student Communities of Color

Seymour College Union Rm 114

Presenters: Ms. Noelle Chaddock Paley, MA, ABD, is the interim director of multicultural life and adjunct professor of Africana studies and philosophy at SUNY Cortland and was appointed to the Multicultural Life Office in June 2009. She holds a BS in Human Development and a MA in Philosophy, Interpretation and Culture from Binghamton University. She is currently a doctoral candidate in Philosophy, Interpretation and Culture at Binghamton University. One of the projects Ms. Paley co-facilitated was the TC3-SUNY Cortland Coalition. Through the coalition, she has seen growth and leadership development in the students.

Mr. Seth A. Thompson, MSEd, director of multicultural services at Tompkins Cortland Community College is currently pursuing his doctorate in Educational Leadership and Management at Capella University. He is the director of multicultural affairs and has held various student affairs positions during his professional career. Mr. Thompson holds an associate degree in Liberal Arts from SUNY Canton, a bachelor’s degree in History, and a MS in Education from SUNY Potsdam. His areas of professional expertise include intercultural communication, advisement, team building, and event planning.

Moderator: Latasha Craig

Abstract: Students from Tompkins Cortland Community College and SUNY Cortland have been working together to build a student community of color. Historically the two institutions, in particular their students of color, have had a rivalry that kept students from taping into a larger community. The tragedy in this separation is two-fold: first, it caused students who were already feeling marginalized and isolated to further isolate by not building a strong inter-institutional community; and second, a vast majority of TC3 students transfer to SUNY Cortland and some report never losing the sense that they don't "fit into" SUNY Cortland's student community of color. This coalition has come together to break down the barriers, reap the benefits of a larger student community of color, and re-imagine who TC3 and SUNY Cortland Student's of color are and who we can be. Students will share their triumphs in overcoming myths, building bridges of understanding, defining positive relationships, and achieving academic excellence through the rich diversity that exists in our AALANA students in both institutions.

Contemporary Native Issues in Western New York State

Seymour College Union Rm 220-221

Presenter: Ms. Agnes Williams is the Founding Mother and Advisor and the coordinator of the Indigenous Women’s Initiative. She has a master’s degree in Social Work from Syracuse University. She is the clinical advisor at Native American Community Services, Buffalo.

Moderator: William Sees

Abstract: This session will revolve around several local contemporary Native American issues that are part of a larger national debate. It will be primarily based on a presentation by Agnes Williams on the work of Indigenous Women's Network (IWN) to call attention to environmental issues and that of self determination on the Cattaurgus Reservation. It will also include presentations by two Native students from the Cattauragus from Dr. Zinni's Native American Women's class. Created in 1985, IWN supports the self determination, public education and advocacy, the revitalization of our languages and culture, the elimination of all forms of oppression, the attainment of self sufficiency and the protection of Mother Earth for future generations of Indigenous women, families, communities and Nations in the Americas and Pacific Basin. IWN Mission Statement.

1:15 - 2:15 pm Educational Sessions

Challenges of Communicating with a Global Audience

Seymour College Union Rm 220-221

Presenters: Mr. David Kassnoff created Eastman Kodak Company’s award-winning e-magazine, which the Public Relations Society of American (PRSA) recognized with a Silver Anvil Award of Excellence in 2006. He became manager of community affairs at Kodak in 2007.

Mr. Leighton Jones is director of disaster and emergency services at the Greater Rochester Red Cross and Finger Lakes Region, which includes management responsibility for disaster, military, financial assistance and international services.

Ms. Alyssa Weir is an account manager at Text 100, a global public relations agency, where she develops creative communications campaigns and strategies for clients.

Ms. Karen S. Olson is accredited in public relations and an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at The College at Brockport, where she teaches courses in public relations and writing and serves as faculty advisor for the Brockport Public Relations Club.

Moderator: Nicholas Connelly

Abstract: The Diversity Committee of the Rochester Chapter of Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) has brought together a panel of people from different types of organizations to candidly discuss the challenges of communicating with today’s increasingly complex global audience. This topic has been a focus of national and international PRSA efforts for many years.

For several decades, PRSA has focused on the importance of multicultural communications and diversity. PRSA’s National Diversity Committee advances the goal of a broad approach to diversity initiatives, including the development of activities, programs, resources, and alliances related to ethnic diversity, multicultural communications, sexual orientation and disabilities. By actively involving members who represent a range of backgrounds, it is also a resource for diversity knowledge, education, and awareness while providing professional development and support to communication professionals of diverse race, age, disabilities, gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity. 

Farm Hands: Hard Work and Hard Lessons from Western New York Farms

Seymour College Union Rm 114

Presenter: Mr. Tom Rivers is the author of Farm Hands: Hard Work and hard Lessons from Western New York Fields, a 168–page book that includes 1,010 pictures from his experiences working at 13 farms in 2008. The book is adapted from a series in The Daily News of Batavia that earned Rivers an Honorary “Golden Pitchfork” from the New York State Agricultural Society. The series also was recognized by the North American Agricultural Journalists and the Associated Columbia Journalism School for in-depth, human-interest reporting.

Moderator: Ebony Griffith

Abstract: Tom Rivers wanted to know why so few local residents were willing to do grueling field work needed to harvest fruits and vegetables. Rivers, a reporter for The Daily News of Batavia, worked at 13 farms in Genesee and Orleans counties in 2008, and wrote about his experiences for the newspaper, a series that won state and national awards. Rivers adapted that series in Farm Hands: Hard Work and hard Lessons from Western New York Fields, and uses the book and oral presentation to introduce people to some of the estimated 5,000 migrant workers who come to local farms. Rivers shares photos and stories from the field, describing the physical strength and will power needed to get the job done. He also shares stories of random acts of kindness by the workers from Mexico, Jamaica, and Haiti. Participants will develop a greater appreciation for the work needed to harvest fruits and veggies, and also milk cows. Rivers also will share his personal transformation over seven months, losing 40 pounds and going from a sedentary lifestyle to a marathon runner. Rivers compares running a marathon to cabbage cutting and declares the farm work much harder.

Health Disparities: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?

Edwards Hall Rm 106

Presenter: Dr. Karen Bibbins is an educator/therapist who works with the Center for Senior Independence. She has more than 20 years experience as both a clinician and educator, and has a background in therapeutic recreation.

Moderator: Debra Joseph-McEwen

Abstract: "In Sickness and in Wealth” is a documentary from the California Newsreel series titled: Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? Participants will watch part of this film followed by a 30 minute small group discussion to explore examples of health disparities and pathways by which social conditions affect physiology. What are the connections between healthy bodies and healthy bank accounts? In Louisville, KY, the issues faced by a CEO, a lab supervisor, a janitor, and a welfare mother bring into sharp relief:

  1. How socio-economic status shapes opportunities to lead healthy lives. 
  2. How people of color face an additional burden.
  3. How solutions, public health officials believe, lie not in more pills but in better social policies.

Coming Home: Supporting Our Veterans

Seymour College Union Rm 119

Presenter: Mr. Gerard K. Meuchner, vice president and director of communications and public affairs for Eastman Kodak Company, has worldwide responsibility for internal and external communications, government affairs and executive speechwriting. He also has served as director of corporate media relations for Kodak, founding member of the financial news service of Bloomberg News, and as a reporter for Thomson Financial Network, the Institutional Investor, and the Troy Record.

Moderator: George Kelly

Abstract: Recognizing veterans and their families as a constituency deserving respect and recognition, corporations have worked to create environments that reach out to veterans. In the corporate world, veterans are viewed as an asset, and play an important role in the company’s community and leadership processes. This workshop will address how some of these same supports can be provided on the College campus.

Teaching Race and Racism

Hartwell Dance Theater

Presenters: Ms. Cynthia Blosenhauer is a graduate student at The College at Brockport. She currently has an undergraduate degree in English and a teaching certificate. She is working toward a master’s degree in American History.

Ms. Alana Cross is a graduate student who earned a bachelor’s degree in History from SUNY Oswego and is currently working on a master’s degree in Early American History.

Mr. Robert Hazen is a graduate student at The College at Brockport and is working toward a master’s degree in History.

Krysten Collier was born on June 24, 1987 in Hudson, NY. In 2005, she graduated from Chittenango High School in Chittenago, New York. In 2009, she earned a Bachelor's Degree in History and Secondary Education from The College at Brockport. She is currently earning a Master's Degree in History from The College at Brockport. After her degree is complete, she will most likely pursue a teaching career.

Moderator: Meredith Roman

Abstract: This panel was developed out of a graduate seminar which interrogated how the biological myth and social reality of “race” has influenced the development of modern societies and identities. It contemplates how and why race and racism have been elided from the mainstream teaching and writing of modern world history, and explores the developments, people, and events which are illuminated because of their inclusion in the historical record.

Panelists will address how film, literature, and current events like the recent earthquake in Haiti provide useful tools for teaching the history of racism, and for promoting an understanding of the existence of white privilege.

The Balancing Act of Black Graduate Students

Seymour College Union Rm B116

Presenter: Dr. Addrian Conyers is a criminal justice professor at The College at Brockport. He received his PhD in Sociology from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. His research areas are deviance/criminology, social psychology, and race relations.

Moderator: Adrienne Collier

Abstract: This research examines the identity management of 20 black graduate students working toward their graduate degrees. The findings show that black graduate students are marginalized in the academic setting because of their race, and in their community, because of their academic achievements. The participants share how they balance the two worlds in order to be successful and accepted in both environments.

7:30 pm Evening Concert (ticketed separately)

Bossa Nova in Portuguese

Tower Fine Arts Mainstage

If Latin rhythms get to you... If the chic cocktail lounge atmosphere of Mad Men seduces you... If the sunny beaches of Rio de Janeiro beckon to you... you can blame it on the bossa nova. The Bossa Nova in Portuguese ensemble swings the smooth, soothing sound that first came to prominence in Brazil during the 1950s and 60s and has won fans in each successive generation.

Tickets: $15/$10 Seniors, Alumni, Faculty and Staff/$8 Students
Click here for information on purchasing tickets.