New Brunswick, NJ – The American Conference on Diversity will hold the 13th Annual “Diversity Issues in Higher Education” statewide conference at Montclair State University on November 8. This information-rich event, titled “Bridging the Digital Divide: Equity, Education, and Technology in the Global Marketplace,” will address critical issues for higher-education administrators, faculty, staff, students, diversity and inclusion leaders, career-advancement professionals, and recruiters and will include the following:

Morning Plenary & Panel Discussion “Unchartered Land: Technology, Possibilities and Challenges” and the panel discussion with Brian Tangora (President of the North Jersey Regional Chamber of Commerce) and Dr. Steve Dranoff (The Respect Project) will be moderated by James Harris (NAACP NJ).

Our vocabulary is sprinkled with new words and old ones that have new meanings:  Internet, iPads, iPods, Droids, Androids, GPS, HDTV, and so on. Electronic devices get smaller in size as their capacity for global content and delivery of education explodes. Access to these data devices expands the divide between the haves and the have nots. How can technology foster social justice? What role do social media play? What are the pros and cons of our digital life style? How can we promote sustainability when these devices have a built-in obsolescence? What can we individually and collectively do to narrow the digital divide?

4 Workshop Breakout Sessions

     Access, Technology and Gender, moderated by Teri Corso (College of Saint Elizabeth) with panelists Marge Kelly (Consultant, IT Senior Executive, and Women’s Advocate), Kit Nugent (85 Broads), and Michael Qaissaunee (Chair of the Engineering and Technology Department, Brookdale Community College)

Technology fuels the power that leads to global decision-making changes across all sectors of societies. The silence of the female voice in these power-conversations is deafening. Why are women not entering the fields of computer science, and why – when they get there – do they not rise to the executive levels? Join the conversation as representatives from business, higher education, and the government discuss this critical issue.

     Human Trafficking and Digital Access, moderated by Dr. Esmilda Abreu-Hornbostel (Montclair State University) with panelists Dr. Nicole Bryan (Asst. Professor of Management, Montclair School of Business) and Maybelle Jadotte-Clairvil (Private-Sector Liaison, New Jersey Office of Homeland Security & Preparedness)

This workshop aims to look at how technology and other disruptive innovations can assist in creating personal and social safety. It will focus on homeland security and personal preparedness. This workshop will also discuss the role technology plays in crime prevention. As well as addressing the issue of human trafficking for children and other marginalized groups such as homeless transgender youth. With the help of a grant from Microsoft, Montclair State researchers hope to play a pivotal role in bringing an end to the online sex trafficking of children.

Creating the Ideal Classroom: How Students Learn with Tech Access, moderated by Dr. Jennifer Jones (New Jersey City University) with panelists AJ Kelton (Director of Emerging Instructional Technology, Montclair State University), Brian Friedlander (Associate Professor of Education at the College of St. Elizabeth), and Dr. Edina Renfro-Michel (Associate Professor, Counseling and Educational Leadership)

Technology is part of our everyday learning experience, from pre-K through advanced degrees. Not everyone, however, is so wired about the wired classroom and some educators question if technology really provides a richer experience for teaching all students. This workshop will examine learning preferences and how technology is used in the classroom and its impact on education programs. It will provide information about technology use for special education populations and individuals with disabilities. The presenters will discuss emerging issues and inequities regarding technology use and creating an ideal environment for a diverse population of learners.

     It’s Not All Sunshine and Roses: The Underbelly of Technology, moderated by Charlie Williams (Kean University) with panelists Dean Shannon Gary (Montclair State University), David Lichtenberg (legal firm of Jackson Lewis), and Claudia Guevara (Student, Montclair State University)

The ease and convenience of technology-based activities, such as electronic data and email transactions and communications, social media usage, networking, have all become tools that we have come to rely upon. There are many positive and important uses of technology; however, there are aspects of technology use that yields negative behaviors and actions, including online or cyber bullying, obscene/threatening behaviors, and more. Technology users must be mindful of their actions as it relates to their public, personal, and professional image. The negative consequences associated with the use of technology can and do impact employment and college admission opportunities; and in some cases, employee discipline or student conduct or judicial actions.

Afternoon Keynote Panel & Spoken Word Performance Moderated by Montclair State’s Dr. Abreu-Hornbostel and Sailume Walo-Roberts, the panelists will include Andrea Strongwater (Artist, “The Lost Synagogues of Europe”) and Steve McCarthy (School of Communication and Media, Montclair State University) with a spoken word performance by Chris Rodriguez (Speaking Through Silence) titled “Digital Narratives and Digital Storytelling: How Technology Helps Preserve the Past and Share Stories.”

Can technology enhance our ability to communicate stories and information?  Ms. Strongwater describes her use of technology and digital aids in researching and creating the story of the “Lost Synagogues of Europe.” She will help us understand the importance of integrating the human story into the use of technology so that together the story of European Jewish life before the holocaust can emerge. “Where We Once Gathered: The Lost Synagogues of Europe” is a collection of vibrant paintings depicting synagogues that were eradicated before and during WWII. She will also have a book signing, video, and a special invitation to see the art work at the conference.

The conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at MSU’s Student Center Building, 1 Normal Ave. Montclair, NJ. Registration rates are $65, including breakfast and lunch, and $35 for students. To register, please visit

Companies that are interested in showcasing their efforts and are seeking opportunities to connect with college students are welcomed to support this event as an exhibitor. There is a registration fee for all exhibitors. This is for educational and/or recruitment purposes, not selling. For inquiries and additional information, please call the Montclair State University Office of Equity and Diversity at 973-655-5114 or email Conference Committee Host Organizer, Dr. Abreu-Hornbostel at

About the American Conference on Diversity

The programs, services, and initiatives of the American Conference on Diversity are among the most important work focused on creating a more inclusive society. It is the unfinished business of living in a highly diverse nation: educating and empowering our next generation of leaders; enhancing our workplaces; and helping to create inclusive communities. The American Conference on Diversity, which has been serving schools, organizations, workplaces, and communities in New Jersey since 1948, builds on a historic mission and creates programs and activities relevant and vital to 21st Century life. It is a journey we can all take together. The American Conference on Diversity operates Regional Community Networks covering all of New Jersey. Visit to learn more.


Gail Zoppo

Media Relations Consultant

109 Church Street

New Brunswick, NJ 08901