2018 Diversity Issues in Higher Education Conference
Held Friday, November 16 (9 am to 3 pm)
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Our 2017 Host Institution was Berkeley College and featured keynote speaker Dr. Wes Bellamy, Vice Mayor of Charlottesville, VA.
Dr. Bellamy witnessed firsthand the tragic events of August 12th – and he continues to address racial issues in the current climate of hate in the community. Dr. Bellamy is the youngest individual to ever be elected to the Charlottesville City Council. Originally from Atlanta, Dr. Bellamy moved to Charlottesville in September 2009 after graduating from South Carolina State. In 2011, he was encouraged by community leaders and school personnel to pursue a career as a teacher, and he has spent the last six years teaching and sponsoring several clubs at Albemarle High School. Dr. Bellamy earned his Master’s Degree in Education Administration in 2014 and his Doctoral Degree at Virginia State University in 2017. Dr. Bellamy was appointed to the Commonwealth of Virginia State Board of Education in 2016, a post in which he served for nearly a year. Dr. Bellamy’s primary focus is on improving the lives of those who lack resources and positive role models in their lives. He strives to do this by sponsoring community days and coat drives and empowering as many youth as possible. Dr. Bellamy serves as President of the national award-winning 100 Black Men of Central VA (UVA chapter), Co-Chair of the Charlottesville Alliance for Black Male Achievement, and is an African American Teaching Fellow. He currently serves on the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority Board and the Charlottesville Police Citizens Advisory Panel.
KEYNOTE PANEL DISCUSSION including Ramapough Lunaape Chief Dwaine Perry, Eileen Gale Kugler, author of Innovative Voices in Education, International Association of Chiefs of Police Vice President Paul Cell, Kavita Mehra, Executive Director of Sakhi for South Asian Women, and Mary Chayko, Professor/Director of Interdisciplinary Studies, Rutgers University School of Communication and Information. This discussion will be moderated by James Harris, Past President of the New Jersey State Conference NAACP.
BREAKOUT SESSIONS Legacy of Activism and Resistance: Tools & Strategies – Participants will include Chloe Bland, PhD, Assistant Professor at College of Saint Elizabeth, Alan Richter, PhD, President of QED Consulting and Global Diversity & Inclusion Benchmarks co-author, Cheryl Evans, PhD, retired Professor Emeritus of Teacher Education from Bloomfield College, and People’s Organization for Progress. Moderator: Seton Hall’s Dr. Forrest M. Pritchett, Faculty Mentor and Freshman Studies Program Director of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership ProgramS
How Do We Create Inclusive Environments? – Participants will include Diana Wilcox, Chaplain at Montclair State University and Rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Bloomfield and Glen Ridge, Chandri Barat, Executive Director at Barat Foundation, and Kirsten Richert, Principal Consultant at Richert Innovation Consulting, LLC. Moderator: Esmilda Abreu, PhD, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Title IX Coordinator at Pratt Institute.
Transforming Traditional Activism: Allyship & Solidarity – Participants will include International Association of Chiefs of Police Vice President Paul Cell, Jazmin A. Peralta, Assistant Director of Special Projects for Equity and Inclusion at Pratt Institute, and Kathy Buck, Vice President for Student Life at the College of Saint Elizabeth. Moderator: Jennifer Jones, PhD, Director at New Jersey City University.
Our Voices…Our Issues: Seton Hall’s Dr. Forrest M. Pritchett, Faculty Mentor and Freshman Studies Program Director, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Program, will facilitate a student discussion on issues impacting campus climate and increased student activism and will include students from College of Saint Elizabeth, Seton Hall, Stockton University, Rutgers, and other institutions.
“This annual conference unites NJ’s higher education sector to address diversity challenges and successful programs across the state,” says American Conference on Diversity President & CEO Elizabeth Williams-Riley. “Each year the students, educators, and professionals who attend this event carry forward the powerful lessons learned to influence change on their campus, in their workplaces, and in communities they serve.”
Our 2016 Host Institution was New Jersey City University! The conference theme: “The Charge to Lead Diversity & Inclusion in a Climate of Globalization”
Keynote speaker Lucida Plummer, former Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion at Wyndham Worldwide (left), brought diversity front and center with her thought-provoking presentation. Ms. Plummer leads the global Diversity & Inclusion strategy for Wyndham Worldwide. In this role, she provides leadership and guidance and collaborates with the executive leadership team, Wyndham’s business units, HR leadership, diversity council members, associate business groups (ABGs), associates and external business partners in the execution of key diversity and inclusion initiatives. She also works across business units to identify strategic opportunities and partnerships in alignment with key diverse populations, internally and externally, to further enhance Wyndham’s reputation as an employer of choice and a diversity leader. Ms. Plummer joined Wyndham from MetLife, where she most recently served as Head, Global Diversity & Inclusion Business Partnerships. There she was directly accountable for restructuring 30 US diversity networks with over 5,000 members and launching global women’s business networks in over 20 countries.
The 2015 Conference was hosted by Ramapo College and was titled “Diversity in Action: Moving Beyond Words.” The keynote speaker was Dr. Christopher Catching (right)
Dr. Catching is a native of Newark, NJ. He entered Montclair State University (NJ) in the summer of 1995 through the Educational Opportunity Program, a program for first-generation, lower-income college students. Dr. Catching earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Montclair State University and continued his education at New York University, where he earned a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration. He started his career serving as Coordinator for Greek Leadership Development at Seton Hall University and continued his career at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-New Brunswick campus, where he served for nearly a decade in several roles including Assistant Dean for Multicultural Engagement and as an adjunct faculty teaching courses in sociology of education and women’s and gender studies. He earned a Doctorate of Education from Rutgers University in 2008. His doctoral research examined the racialized experiences of high achieving black male students in the U.S. educational system.
The 2014 Conference was hosted by Kean University and addressed “The Changing Face of Diversity: Poverty, Education, Immigration, and Race.”
The 2013 Conference was hosted by Montclair State University and the theme focused on access to technology, the digital divide, and preparing students for success in a global world.
Our 2012 Conference, “Who Has the Access C.O.D.E.? Positioning a Generation for the Best Careers, Opportunities and Diversity through Education,” was held at Saint Peter’s University.
If your institution would like to be a part of the Planning Committee for the next conference, contact us.
The Diversity Issues in Higher Education Conference Program Committee consists of the following colleges, universities, and community partners:
Bergen Community College
Brookdale Community College
College of St. Elizabeth
Georgian Court University
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Montclair State University
New Jersey City University
Rutgers, The State University of NJ
Saint Peter’s University
Seton Hall University
William Paterson University