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Diversity Matters

Breakout session descriptions

EEA Conference

The Green Zone - issues faced by student veterans - University of Northern Iowa

Green Zone Training: Green Zone Training is for faculty, students and staff who wish to learn more about the military affiliated student experience. The session goal is to train members of the UNI community to know more about the issues and concerns faced by military affiliated students and to identify individuals who are available to support these students. These individuals are not expected to be experts who can “solve problems.” They are individuals who can lend a sympathetic ear and help the student veteran identify and connect with the appropriate resources.

Policing in Multicultural Communities – Mark Prosser - Police Chief Storm Lake

Police departments tackle many challenges in contemporary communities’ due to socioeconomic factors, migration, urbanization, and the increasing multicultural composition of communities. Intergroup conflict is not an unavoidable result of historical factors. Rather, it is frequently a uniquely modern occurrence with potentially serious consequences. Preventing, mitigating, and negotiating intergroup conflict in communities must become an integral part of police practice. Our law enforcement has to implement training to develop an understanding of cultural issues; be open and accessible to all groups, offer services in an unbiased manner that respects diversity; foster a sense of trust and rapport with community members; monitor demographic and social trends; strive to prevent intergroup conflict; and demonstrate intercultural respect by example and embrace diversity in the workplace. This session delves deeper into problems and possible solutions with governing multi-cultural communities.

Building the Business Case for Diversity – Chamber of Commerce

There has always been a feeling that business owners should embrace diversity, however, we are learning this “nicety” also equals a more talented workforce.  The New York-based Center for Talent Innovation (CTI), recently conducted a survey, involving more than 40 case studies and 1,800 employee surveys.  The study examined what it termed “two-dimensional diversity”, namely “inherent diversity”– such as gender and race – combined with “acquired diversity” – such as global experience and language skills.

The results demonstrated that publicly traded companies with two-dimensional diversity were 45 per cent more likely than those without to have expanded market share in the past year and 70 per cent more likely to have captured a new market. When teams had one or more members who represented a target end-user, the entire team was as much as 158 per cent more likely to understand that target end-user and innovate accordingly. We can conclude that diversity is a pathway to creativity.

Humanize my Hoodie - Jason Sole

This session is aimed at building awareness on the benefits of mainstreaming socioeconomic inclusion and empowerment of the local communities, especially vulnerable groups, in/through tourism and creative industries. Furthermore, it will discuss the lessons learned from good practices which have proven successful in improving the livelihoods of the communities by creating concrete enterprise opportunities and an inclusive tourism value chain linked to creative industries and the hospitality sector.

Probing Diversity Artistically – Dr. Lena Hill – Iowa

There is an art to every practice, activism included. It's what distinguishes the innovative from the routine, the elegant from the mundane. One thing that can help the "art of activism" is applying an artistic aesthetic tactically, strategically, and organizationally. Throughout history, the most effective political actors have married the arts with campaigns for social change.                

Re-Framing Master Narratives of Dis/ability Through an Affective Lens: Sophia Cruz’s LD Story at her Intersections – David Hernandez - University of Northern Iowa

Learning disabilities (LD) researchers have produced a wealth of knowledge about the cognitive dimensions of this condition, including educational and psychological interventions.  Although there is a robust knowledge base on socioemotional aspects of LDs, there is a significant need to expand this work.  A significant gap in the LD field is the lived experiences of individuals with LD, particularly in regard to their emotional sense-making about having LDs.  This presentation centers on, Sophia Cruz’s understanding of LD and her lived experiences about being labeled with LD at her intersections. Sophia is one of the three case studies from Hernández-Saca’s larger three-year qualitative dissertation study. Interdisciplinary critical ethnographic research methods were used. Sophia’s voice emphasized the hegemony of smartness in her school experiences, the role of disability micro-aggressions in school everyday practices, and the idea that LD is a complex multifaceted construct that can be regarded as a double-edge sword and as having multiple associations. Hernández-Saca ends with a discussion of these findings and identify implications for the socioemotional dimensions of LD and the LD field.

Overcoming Barriers to Effectively Working with Immigrants – Umaru Balde WCA & Lisa Munoz - Hawkeye

The face of America is changing: more than half of Americans under age five are of color, and by 2044 we will be a majority people-of-color nation. But while communities of color are driving growth and becoming a larger share of the population, inequality is on the rise and racial inequities remain wide and persistent. Dismantling racial barriers and ensuring that everyone can participate and reach their full potential are critical for the nation’s prosperity. Equity—just and fair inclusion of all—is essential to growing a strong economy and building vibrant and resilient communities. This issue briefly describes how immigrant inclusion can benefit families, communities, and the economy.

Beyond M/F: Supporting Gender Diversity – Emily Harsch - University of Northern Iowa

It's time to talk about the "T" in LGBTQ. This session explores past and present legal and social issues affecting our transgender and gender non-conforming community members. A brief overview of identity-related terminology will be reviewed, making this session accessible to beginners. Participants should come prepared to reflect upon the barriers to justice for gender diverse people and learn about how to be more inclusive in their own day-to-day lives.

Active Bystander Approach: Inclusive Campus Strategies – Alan Heisterkamp & Center for Violence Prevention

The changing face of America’s demographics is challenging all educational institutions to implement more ways to understand and embrace the notion of diversity and inclusion and to include faculty, staff, students and the community in reaping the benefits of more diverse and inclusive campuses. Through institutional leadership and commitment, faculty and staff development, curriculum innovations, and campus and community partners, institutes of higher education will be better prepared to provide the best possible educational environment for all.

How to Leverage Campus Strategies in the Business World – Liang Wee - Northeast Iowa Community College

Over 50% of children born in the United States are of people of color and it is estimated by the year 2050 there will be no defined ethnic or racial majority. It is in the best interest of our developing workforce to understand how to maximize talent from a multiplicity of diverse talent pools. Cultivating this environment on campus allows for an easier transition to adulthood.

Implicit and Unconscious Bias – Dr. Bev Smith – Waterloo Schools and Felicia Smith Neighborhood Services

Robust diversity programs that include training on unconscious bias can help understand how pervasive bias is in today's society. Cultural diversity training provides eye-opening studies and statistics about the prevalence of unconscious bias and its damaging effects and explores the differences between impact and intent.  Attendees will be introduced to cutting edge research that bears not only on the highly relevant substantive areas of discrimination in areas such as communications, education, voting, health care, immigration, and property. Attendees will learn how implicit bias works and possible remedies.

Examining the Criminal Justice System

It is estimated that more than two million people are incarcerated in the United States, disproportionately for nonviolent drug offenses, and eventually the majority of them are eventually released back into our communities; With the average prison stay in the United States at about two years. More than 700,000 individuals leaving U.S. prisons each year, however our communities continue to struggle with the unique challenges presented by those who presumably have "paid their debt to society", however continue to fave barriers to reentry. Explore the need for prison reform and how systemic governmental policies over the decades have perpetuated a cycle of poverty and crime in the African American community, and why we are presently, perfectly positioned as a people to finally correct decades of racist policies through economic, social, and education empowerment.

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