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We look forward to welcoming you to the

2023 Diversity Conference
on March 22nd

Session 1: 9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

How Do I Support Them When I Don’t Know Who They Are? First-Generation CollegeStudents Share the “What,” “Why,” and “How” Behind Identifying and Supporting Their Needs Throughout Their College Experience

Presented by: Deanna Fields, Centennial Scholars Program and Shaun Mooney, Reddix Center for First-Generation Students

A first-generation college student is often defined as one whose parent or guardian did not obtain a four-year education. However, JMU’s new Reddix Center for First-Generation Students welcomes any student with limited prior exposure to or knowledge of the college experience. The question is… how are we to know who those students are or how to best serve them? Join us for an interactive panel discussion with first-gen students whom you just might already know!

Exploring Joy Culturally

Presented by: Gail Napora, Talent Development

Interacting with one another to learn more about each other increases our understanding and acceptance of different beliefs, habits, and behaviors. The more inter-group interactions we can have, the greater the opportunities for inclusion in the moment and in the future. Using the book The Aesthetics of Joy by Ingrid Fetell Lee as the framework around which we will interact, you will learn 10 aesthetics of joy and share at your own joys in three areas: personally, culturally, and JMU-lly. Come to this highly interactive session prepared to share your joys and learn about others’.

The Cage of Oppression & Intersectionality: A Model to Create Real Change in Social Justice

Presented by: Leah Kyaio, With Respect LLC

This learning experience offers an engaging experience about the system of oppression through the visual model of The Cage of Oppression as the “30,000-foot view” allowing us to understand the Culture of Power and the systemic impact of the -isms. We immerse ourselves into the learning as we explore the impact of our unique experiences within The Cage, our Intersectionality. This adventure provides insight to others’ experiences, moving “other” to “one another” as we understand the opportunity we have to be and seek allies. We explore the integrated power of language and how we can influence change. Join us for this powerful opportunity to support respect, belonging, and real change.

Implicit Biases: We All Have Them, So What Do We Do? Research-Informed Practical Strategies for Recognizing and Transforming Biases

Presented by: Tiara Brown and Joshua Pulos, Educational Foundations and Exceptionalities Department

The majority of the teaching population are white females—in stark contrast to the student body at large who is far more diverse than homogenous. Implicit biases are hidden beliefs that everyone holds—judges, teachers, etc.—and it is imperative we address their impact upon our pedagogical practice. This process of self-reflection and contemplation can be uncomfortable, but it is necessary to advance teaching practices in support of our students. This presentation will explore ways in which implicit bias seeps into the fabric of our everyday lives and provide participants with research-informed practical strategies to recognize and address those biases.

Creating Access through Recognition of Prior Learning

Presented by: Daniel Robinson and Virginia Trovato, Adult Degree Program

A cornerstone of adult education and degree completion programs is awarding college credit for knowledge students possess that was acquired outside of the collegiate system. This can take the form of military or corporate training, MOOCs, on-the-job experience, certifications, etc. There are various ways to demonstrate this knowledge, like portfolios or standardized tests. We will make the case that Credit for Prior Learning programs are essential to creating access and equity in higher education for adult and non-traditional students. We will discuss the scholarship of CPL, as well as practical tools and best practices used across Higher Ed. We will discuss future aspirations CPL at JMU.

Creating Culturally Responsive Partnerships

Presented by: Brenna Matlock and Tiffany Brutus, Office of Research and Scholarship

Researchers and academics in the Global South have identified issues of inequity related to North-South research partnerships. As JMU engages with the global community it is important that faculty understand these power imbalances and take actionable steps in their partnership development and methodologies to address these issues. This session will focus predominantly on perspectives from African scholars.

The JMU Campus Climate Study: Recommendations from the LGBTQ Employee Advocacy Working Group

Presented by: Christine M. Robinson, Department of Justice Studies; Matthew Hunsberger, Dean of Students office; Kristen Kelley, Learning Centers; Jameaka Parham, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression; Logan Zeigler, James Madison Center for Civic Engagement

The members of the JMU SOGIE Advisory Board’s Working Group on LGBTQ Employee Advocacy will give a presentation on our efforts to improve the campus climate for LGBTQ employees at JMU, focusing on our recommendations to JMU’s Climate Study Response and Implementation Team. We will also highlight the actions that JMU has taken over the last three years to improve the campus climate (diversity, equity, and inclusion in policies, practices and programs) for LGBTQ employees. We will invite conversation with participants about additional recommendations and opportunities at JMU to collaborate and advance these efforts.

Presentation format: Virtual only. Attendees will be required to bring laptop or mobile device if accessing session while at Festival, room space and wifi will be available. Attendees may access from location of their choice.

Walking a New Path: An Inclusive Campus History Tour

Presented by: Ruthie Bosch, Educational Foundations and Exceptionalities Department; Meg Mulrooney, History & Academic Affairs; Carole Nash, School of Integrated Sciences; Karen Risch Mott, Development 

The JMU Campus History Committee (CHC) was charged to develop ways the institutional history conveyed to the campus community can be more inclusive, accurate, and relevant. Renaming buildings was just one phase of a multi-pronged effort. In this presentation, the panelists will discuss the design and implementation of a Campus History Walking Tour, which highlights the impact that faculty, students and staff of color have had throughout the history of JMU, During the session, participants will have an opportunity to learn about the tour, provide feedback, and reflect on how these previously untold stories and the power of inclusive history can be applied in their roles on campus.

Creating a Culture of Inclusion

Presented by: Sheri Bender, Pulse HR Solutions, LLC

Traditional diversity training programs often focus on the treatment of women and minorities. However, differences arise from many other traits as well, including age, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, physical abilities, educational background, whether someone has children, even being a faculty member versus being a custodian. These traits or “profiles” cause people to make inaccurate assumptions, create separation, and treat people unfairly. The goal of diversity training is to promote an inclusive work environment and bring awareness to individual perceptions.

Embracing Religious Diversity Throughout the JMU Community and Beyond

Presented by: Donica Hadley, Early, Elementary, and Reading Education College of Education

When we think of diversity, people rarely think of religious diversity. It is important to acknowledge the religious diversity within the community. Many times, we hear misconceptions about particular groups because of how the media portrays them. But have we ever had a chance to ask people directly about these misconceptions? For instance, you might see people wearing different types of clothes and wonder, “Why?” This session will give this opportunity to participants to share their beliefs, traditions, and more about their religions. People will be encouraged to think outside the box and understand other religious groups.

Session 2: 10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

From Awareness to Action: The JMU Haynes Scholars Program as a Model for Fostering a Sense of Belonging through Discipline-Based Residential Learning Communities

Presented by: Laura Taalman, Elizabeth Arnold, Department of Mathematics & Statistics & Tripp Purks, Residence Life

Learn how JMU Residential Learning Communities can be used as a tool to create community and a sense of belonging for students from marginalized groups. The directors and mentors of the Haynes Scholars RLC will discuss the process of creating such a community, and students from the Haynes program will share their experiences. In addition, a representative from JMU Office of Residence Life will offer guidance and provide details about the process of setting up an RLC at JMU. Participants will have small-group discussions about new RLC possibilities for their own disciplines.  

Benefits of Postsecondary University Experience for Young Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Presented by: Laura Desportes Bowman, Learning Technology and Leadership Education Department; Nancy Barbour, Faculty Emeritus; Sarah Eggleston, Honors College 

Presenters will describe the history of university programs for young adults with developmental disabilities and the impact on their quality of life. We will describe research on Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) since its start in 2010, the history of our Friday morning program since its start in 2014, and our vision for what such a program might look like at JMU. Our public school partners will join us to describe the impact on program participants as well as to share with attendees specific aspects of their JMU experience that have been meaningful to them. Presenters will describe the organic evolution of the program and benefits.

Disability on the Page and at the Podium

Presented by: Susannah Nevison, Department of English, Sweet Briar College and Molly McCully Brown, Department of English, Old Dominion University

Join two disabled writers and professors in discussing the practice and significance of centering disabled writers, thinkers and scholars on university syllabi. Learn about the particular joys, difficulties, and challenges of leading discussions of these texts, alongside a discussion of what it means to teach from the vantage point of disability. The presenters will also address issues surrounding disclosure, visibility and invisibility passing, and the complications of context switching inside academia

Making Downtown Harrisonburg More Accessible: Awareness, Inclusion and Access

Presented by: Samantha Harmon, Engagement Fellow; Nick Swartz, JMU School of Professional and Continuing Education; Andrea Dono, Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance

Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance (HDR) is partnering with JMU’s School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE) to kick off a new pilot program: Making Downtown More Accessible: Awareness, Inclusion, and Access. It is intended to help make downtown Harrisonburg more accessible and welcoming to all, specifically focusing on people with disabilities. The overarching goal is to launch (or prepare to launch) a pilot program, that invites businesses to participate in using our training materials for staff and implement several best practices (of their choosing).

Supporting Inclusive Teaching in Divisive Times

Presented by: College of Education’s Diversity Council

Across the country, teachers and students from culturally, ethnically, and linguistically diverse backgrounds are under attack. Since January 2021, bills have been introduced in 42 states to restrict the teaching of critical race theory or limit the discussion of racism and sexism. In Virginia, Executive Order 1 was issued restricting access to equity practices; yet, teachers are still required and evaluated on their use of culturally responsive teaching and equitable practices. This presentation will highlight evidence to move forward with the important use of equity-focused teaching and provide an advocacy toolkit for participants to use to defend this work.

30+30: Awareness to Action Inclusive Future Tour

Presented by: Malika Cater-Hoyt, Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Art Dean. Access & Inclusion

30+30: Awareness to Action Inclusive Future Tour will feature thought leaders (co-champion/s) leading public updates to demonstrate current levels of DEI activity, celebrate the champions involved, and invite information exchange toward continuous improvement; amplifying the power of our community’s collective intelligence, expertise and skill
30+30: Awareness to Action Inclusive Future Tour will occur over several sessions and is designed to highlight the status of each TFRE recommendation and where appropriate, connect each recommendation to a Climate Survey theme/s. Participants will learn the details of the tour and how the tour will assist in the future of DEI iniatives at JMU.

Academic and Student Affairs collaborative DEI engagement

Presented by: Narketta Sparkman-Key, Inclusive Strategies and Equity Initiatives for Academic Affairs; Learning, Technology & Leadership Education; Brent Lewis, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Student Affairs

A joint Student Affairs and Academic Affairs session dedicated to the work in our areas and how data informs our impact.

Collective Accountability for Care in Action 

Presented by: Daisy L. Breneman, University Advising and Justice Studies

Particularly given the challenges of the last few years, more and more conversations are happening about care. However, often they are framed in terms of the individual (“self care”). Disability scholar Margaret Price, among others, have instead proposed collective approaches to care, where the community takes responsibility for ensuring individuals have what they need to thrive. In this interactive workshop, participants will explore collective accountability for care, focusing on specific actions, ideas, and means of accountability we can use in our various communities to make sure that people have access to inclusive, meaningful, and authentic pathways to care.

Presentation format: Offered in-person and virtually, select preference at registration.

How the Student Leadership Center Responded to the SJI Student Staff Inclusion Training

Presented by: Gabriel Driver, Student Leadership Center

The Student Leadership Center at JMU aims to help all students become better leaders. Last fall, the SJI Council held a training to challenging each department to create inclusive spaces in your role. We invite you to see how we've responded to that challenge and how we intend to advance inclusion at JMU.

Session 3: 2:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

“I’ve never seen this before! Is this disability accommodation request reasonable?”

Presented by: Lori Hostetler, College of Education and ODS Faculty Liaison; Valerie L. Schoolcraft, Office of Disability Services

Have you ever received an Access Plan and thought, “that accommodation may be difficult with some of my course objectives”? Or have you wondered what to do when an accommodation doesn’t seem appropriate for a clinical or field experience? This session identifies what to do when you think an accommodation approved by ODS might not be reasonable in a particular context. Join a faculty member and the ODS Director to move from basic awareness of accommodations to taking action to evaluate more complex concerns and to engage the collaborative process to explore potentially reasonable alternatives. Audience: Faculty, AUHs, and leaders of learning experiences.

If you want to go far, go together: the General Education Program's new Equity Tag

Presented by: Elizabeth Brown, General Education, Mathematics & Statistics; Claire Lyons, Department of Psychology; Sarah Brooks, General Education, School of Art, Design, and Art History

The General Education Program’s Equity Tag initiative supports students who want to enroll in courses that address Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice, and/or Accessibility in an intentional way. A wide range of student and faculty groups contributed to the creation of the tag, which is applied by section at the request of the instructor, pending review. The goals of this session are: to raise awareness of the Equity Tag’s origins, features and purpose; to invite participants’ further conversation with the General Education Program; and to understand the Tag process as a case study for meaningful change at scale.

Leveraging book club sessions to amplify cutting-edge research findings and diversify classroom curriculum and community advocacy. Applying insights from the CFI book read, “Inflamed: Deep Medicine and the Anatomy of Injustice.” to the health sciences teaching and advocacy work. 

Presented by: Catherine Zeman, CHBS Health Sciences; Iulia Fratila, Health Sciences; JaNiece Woodson, Health in Color and Health Sciences Major; Sherri Wilson, Health Sciences 

What are the physiological costs of inequity, domination/control and environmental destruction precisely? How do these costs translate into economic suffering and missed opportunities? Why do health equity scholars use systems approaches to understand these issues? How can a book club session be used to improve and enhance teaching case studies and community advocacy work in these areas? Join this session to answer these questions and learn about the recent CFI book club session focusing on, “Inflamed: Deep Medicine and the Anatomy of Injustice”.

Working Collaboratively as a College of Education to Move from Awareness to Action to Build Stronger Communities

Presented by: Oris Griffin, Dean's Office College of Education; Bryan Zugelder, Academic Affairs and Partnerships and Learning, Technology, and Leadership Education; Joy Myers, Grow Your Own; Amanda Sawyer, Middle, Secondary, and Math Education

College of Education Faculty will share information about community outreach programs that make a difference in the University, Harrisonburg City, Rockingham county, and beyond. Come learn about our new Upward bound, Trio and Grow Your Own Programs and hear about the second year of our Doctoral Fellows Program.

Adaptive & Inclusive Leadership for DEIJ

Presented by: Rebeca S. Barge, Center for Multicultural Student Services

The presentation will integrate two leadership frameworks—adaptive and inclusive—and suggest how they can guide practice with respect to campus-wide diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) initiatives. Many institutions are unable to fully grapple with pervasive histories of inequities. Connecting inclusive and adaptive leadership into a joint framework provides leaders with tools to respond to crisis and loss in identifying root causes of social injustices and create holding environments to help people feel safe, included, and a part of the unknown solution. The integration of the two provides the comprehensive lens needed to sustain leadership responses and action.

LITERALLY MOVING from Awareness to Action: CS-L Coordinates Housing for New Neighbors & Neighbors Experiencing Homelessness

Presented by: Misty Newman, Community Service Learning; Church World Service, Community Partner; Christie Kilby, Philosophy & Religion; Nate Riddle, Open Doors; Kailey Garrett and Tara Dugan, JMU students

JMU is a college, not an Airbnb, right? JMU is also an anchor in this community, right? Join us to learn how Community Service-Learning (CS-L) helped coordinate efforts to meet housing needs with two different local non-profits. We'll share ways we were able to think outside of the box and use our resources to address community-identified needs. We will also talk about how we were able to work collaboratively with various campus and community experts and still engage students with the work even a semester later. Hopefully, this helps you consider other community-identified needs YOU can take ACTION with next!

Maintaining Health and Wellness with a Mental Health Condition

Presented by: Wendy Bundy, Virginia Department of Corrections, HR/Employee Health and Wellness Team

This session will discuss common health and wellness issues like maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough sleep, making good food choices, tailoring those food choices based on medical needs (including mental health needs) and finding ways to exercise and embrace mindfulness. It will also incorporate how what peer support is and how it can be helpful during this in order to stay both physically and mentally healthy. The majority of this presentation will focus on sharing techniques/ideas related to this topic including those that are evidence based and various other resources available to support health and wellness within the workplace.

Task Force Recommendation/Climate Study Initiative Update

Presented by: Malika Carter-Hoyt, Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Art Dean, Access & Inclusion

JMU embarked on two major initiatives for the University. Come hear an update and progress report on both initiatives and engage with JMU's inaugural Vice President for DEI, Dr. Malika Carter-Hoyt.

Exploring Student DEI Knowledge Through "We Are JMU: An Introduction to Inclusion"

Presented by: Jordan "JT" Todd, Center for Multicultural Student Services

How has the Center for Multicultural Student Services (CMSS) continued to educate incoming JMU students on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) while navigating our volatile social and political context? Come join representatives from CMSS to learn about the history of We Are JMU: An Introduction to Inclusion, review preliminary assessment results from this year's program, and discuss evidence-informed recommendations to improve DEI awareness and education for incoming students within your area in the community.

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