The American Conference on Diversity in collaboration with New Jersey City University (NJCU) will hold the 16th Annual Diversity Issues in Higher Education Conference on Friday, November 18 (9:30 am to 3 pm). This year’s theme is “The Charge to Lead Diversity and Inclusion in a Climate of Globalization.”

This full-day conference is the premier event within the tri-state area addressing critical diversity challenges in academia, the community, and the workplace. It is open to students, alumni, faculty, and staff from colleges and universities, corporate diversity leaders, recruiters, career-advancement professionals, educators, nonprofits, government and community leaders, and the general public.

The diversity learning and networking event will take place at NJCU’s Gilligan Student Union Building (Multipurpose Room, 2nd floor) in Jersey City, NJ, and will include dynamic speakers and thought-provoking breakout sessions.

lucidaplummerThe keynote speaker will be Lucida Plummer, Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion at Wyndham Worldwide. 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. Additionally, she led the development and execution of strategic business partnerships that resulted in the creation of a diversity and inclusion business engagement model. She also has a background in Employee Relations and as a Human Resources Generalist across various industries including print media, television, and security services. Ms. Plummer obtained a Master of Science in Human Resource Management from Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, NY and her undergraduate in Psychology from the State University at Albany, Albany, NY.

A response panel discussion will follow Ms. Plummer’s keynote. Panelists will include Pratt Institute Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Helen Matusow-Ayres, CareCentrix Chief Information Officer Tej Anand, and Bergen Community College Dean of Humanities Dr. Beatrice L. Bridglall. 

Conference breakout topics include:

  • PhD Pipeline: Demands of and Paradigms for Diverse Faculty – Speakers will include William Paterson University Associate Dean Dr. Jean Fuller-Stanley and New Jersey City University Associate Professor Dr. Erik Morales.
  • How to Have Difficult Conversations on Diversity – This session will include Joe Santana, President of Joseph Santana, LLC, Enterprise Director of Diversity and Multicultural Relations Carole Lakin, Ramapo Women’s Center Coordinator Ebony Jackson, and The College of New Jersey AVP and Chief Diversity Officer Kerri Thompson Tillett.
  • Building Partnerships with Communities of Color, both Foreign and Domestic – Featuring Berkeley College SVP of Strategic Alliances Dario A. Cortes, Ph.D., PSEG Manager of Diversity & Inclusion, Corporate Citizenship & Culture Melissa Reynolds, and The Institute for Latino Studies, Research and Development Founder and President Dr. Maria Montilla.
  • Immigration Today: Opportunities, Challenges, and Choices – Explore the lived experiences around immigration with panelists Nelson A. Rodriguez, Assistant Director, Upward Bound Project, Montclair State University, Immigration Lawyer Martin Estela, Esq.,  Montclair State Laso Student President Madelyne Montes, NJCU Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology Max Herman, and CareCentrix CIO Tej Anand.
  • Voices of Students: Issues Impacting Campus Client and Increased Student Activism – This panel discussion will feature students from Seton Hall, NJCU, The College of Saint Elizabeth, Victoria Foundation, and other organizations.


The rates, which include breakfast and lunch, are $65 for the general public and $35 for students (ID required at the door).

To register, please click here. For payments by check or purchase order, please visit. 

Interested in exhibiting? Contact Bari Katz at for details. Also, please follow this year’s conference via social media using the hashtag #‎DivHigherEd16.

Special thanks to the 2016 partner committee members: American Conference on Diversity, Berkeley College, Bergen Community College, Bloomfield College, Brookdale Community College, Centenary College, College of St. Elizabeth, Farleigh Dickenson University, Hudson County Community College, Kean University, Montclair State University, NAACP, New Jersey City University (NJCU), New Jersey Institute of Technology, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Rider University, Rutgers: The State University of New Jersey, Saint Peter’s University, Seton Hall University, Stevens Institute of Technology, Stockton College, The College of New Jersey, William Paterson University, Women’s Rights Information Center, and Corporate Partners ADP, BASF, Enterprise, PSEG, and L’Oréal USA.

About the American Conference on Diversity

The American Conference on Diversity is dedicated to building just and inclusive schools, workplaces, and communities through awareness, education, and advocacy. The nonprofit organization 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. Visit to learn more.


Gail Zoppo

Media Relations Consultant

109 Church Street

New Brunswick, NJ 08901