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Note: In honor of the recent loss of Rutgers University Dr. Clement Alexander Price (1945 – 2014), this year’s conference will be dedicated to his legacy. Dr. Price taught history at the Newark campus, where he was a Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor, and was an American Conference on Diversity 2004 Humanitarian Award honoree.

The 14th Annual Statewide “Diversity Issues in Higher Education” conference will be held on November 14 at Kean University. It is the premier event within the tri-state area addressing critical diversity challenges in academia — Poverty, Immigration, Education, and Race.

“I like to say this year’s conference will focus New Jersey’s other PIER,” says American Conference on Diversity President and CEO Elizabeth Williams-Riley. “It will be an interactive event in which we will share best practices of diversity so attendees from both the public and private sectors will walk away with new ideas to make better connections and build bridges.”

Designed for university personnel, students, government leaders, diversity officers, career-advancement professionals, recruiters, and the general public, the conference keynote speaker will be Shirley J. Wilcher, J.D., CAAP. Ms. Wilcher is the Executive Director of the American Association for Access Equity and Diversity and Fund for Leadership Equity, Access and Diversity and a leading authority on equal opportunity and diversity policy.

The keynote will be followed by:

A Panel Discussion moderated by William Paterson University Director of the Office of Employment Equity and Diversity Michelle N. Johnson, Esq. Panelists will include Enterprise Rent-a-Car Multi-Cultural Relations Manager Carol Lakin; BASF Chief Diversity Officer/HR Communications and an American Conference on Diversity Board of Trustees member Patricia Rossman; NJ Division on Civil Rights Director Craig T. Sashihara; NJ Division of Equal Employment Opportunity/ Affirmative Action Director Mamta Patel, Esq.; and Dr. Maureen Murphy, President Brookdale Community College.

4 Workshop Breakout Sessions on:

     Race – Moderated by Montclair State University Director of Equity and DiversityDr. Esmilda Abreu-Hornbostel, this will explore issues of micro-aggressions.

     Immigration – Moderated by Kean University Affirmative Action Programs Director Charlie Williams, Ph.D., session presenters will include Kean World Languages Coordinator Melda Yildiz, Ed.D. and Kean Alumnus and Faith in Diversity’s Carlos Rojas.

     Education – Moderated by New Jersey City University (NJCU) Office of Academic Career Planning and Placement Director Jennifer Jones, Ph.D., the workshop presenters will be NJCU Office of Specialized Services and Supplemental Instruction Director Jennifer Aitkens and NJCU Opportunity Scholarship Program Director Andrew Platizky.

     Poverty – Moderated by College of St. Elizabeth Career Services and Student Employment Director Teri Corso, presenters will include William Paterson University Financial Aid Director Michael Corso and Pathways to Prosperity Coordinator Diana Morrison.

Afternoon Keynote Panel & Exciting Spoken Word Performance Panelist participants will include L’Oréal USA Senior Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion and American Conference on Diversity Board of Trustees member Angela Guy and College of St. Elizabeth Alumna Tyfeh Byers Smith.

The conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Kean University’s STEM Building, 1075 Morris Ave. in Union, NJ. Registration rates are $65, including breakfast and lunch, and $35 for students. To register, please visit http://www.kean.edu/american-conference-diversity. Free, easy-to-access parking is available. Shuttle service will also be provided from NJ Transit Union Station and throughout campus to the conference.

Organizations interested in showcasing their efforts and seeking opportunities to connect with attendees are welcomed to support this event as an exhibitor. Deadline for exhibitor registration: Friday, October 31. For fees and additional information, please call 908-737-3330.

To learn more about “Diversity Issues in Higher Education,” watch Ms. Williams-Riley on Comcast Newsmakers: http://comcastnewsmakers.com/2014/10/03/changing-force-of-diversity-conference.

Special thanks to the statewide conference planning committee: American Conference on Diversity, Bergen Community College, Bloomfield College, Brookdale Community College, College of St. Elizabeth, Drew University, Georgian Court University, Kean University, Monmouth University, Montclair State University, New Jersey City University, Rider University, Rowan University, Rutgers: The State University of New Jersey, Saint Peter’s University, Seton Hall University, William Paterson University, and Corporate Partners BASF, Enterprise, L’Oréal USA, and  PSEG.

About the American Conference on Diversity

The American Conference on Diversity was founded in 1948 as the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Today 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 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 www.AmericanConferenceonDiversity.org to learn more.


Gail Zoppo

Media Relations Consultant

109 Church Street

New Brunswick, NJ 08901