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JMU 2020 Diversity Conference

Transforming Community Through Diversity and Inclusion


Wednesday, March 18th, at Festival Conference Center

Registration is now open for the Diversity Conference. Please register today for your preferred session and lunch. Registration closes at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, March 16th. We look forward to welcoming you.


For additional conference information please scroll through this page or click on an info button:

Conference Schedule

8:00 – 8:30 a.m.  Check-in & Morning Refreshments

Outer Reception Area and Grand Ballroom

8:30 – 8:55 a.m.  Welcome & Opening Remarks                

Grand Ballroom

9:00 – 10:15 a.m Session 1 – See below for titles and links to descriptions

10:30 – 11:45 a.m. Session 2 – See below for titles and links to descriptions

12:00 – 1:45 p.m. Lunch & Keynote Address

Grand Ballroom


Dr. Janice Underwood

Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer

Office of Governor Ralph S. Northam

Recognition of Awards

Compass Awards

Woman of Distinction Awards

IDEA Grants

Provost Faculty Diversity Curriculum Grants             

2:00 – 3:15 p.m. Session 3 – See below for titles and links to descriptions                                           

3:30 – 4:00 p.m. Wrap-Up Session With Dr. Underwood

Grand Ballroom        


Session Topics and Links to Session Descriptions 

Sessions will be held in various locations throughout the Festival Center and Rose Library. Click on session title for a description of the session and presenter information.

Session 1: 9:15-10:30 a.m.

Understanding Neurodiversity in the Workplace: How Employers can Support and Retain Employees with Neurodiversity

Voices of JMU Faculty with Disabilities

Promising Practices and Interventions for Faculty Diversity Recruitment at UMBC

What Classroom Inclusion and Diversity Activities can Teach us!

Using the Organization Development Process to Create an Inclusive Culture in the Workplace

WOKEish: Building Cultural Competence, Moving from Concept to Action

Cross Racial Mentoring: Moving beyond diversity and inclusion to belonging and co-creation

Reference Letter Writing: Writing About the Individual and Social Considerations

Microaggressions and their Impact on Professional Identity in Higher Education

Sport for All: Developing Your Cultural Competency in the Coaching Context

What's with the WAKE UP?: Transforming Communities and the Necessary Transformation of (White) Selves

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

B(l)ack in the Days

Exploring Joy Culturally

Promising Practices and Interventions for Faculty Diversity Recruitment at UMBC

Inclusive Teaching in the Classrooms: Beyond the Little Red Teaching Toolbox to Socio-cultural Apprenticeship

Rethinking Thinking: Designing for Neurodiversity

Diversity through Internationalization: Fulbright, INU, and More

Breaking the Binary: Supporting Non Mono-Sexual Students and Colleagues

The Experience of Preparing Future Faculty in Harrisonburg

Using Digital Projects to Engage and Transform Communities and Promote Diversity, Access, Inclusion and Justice: A Panel Discussion

Developing Culturally Competent Clinical Faculty

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

Creating Spaces to Combat Imposter Syndrome in Higher Education

Real Talk: Inclusion and the Black Male Student Experience at Madison

Promising Practices and Interventions for Faculty Diversity Recruitment at UMBC

Put Your Oxygen Mask on First: Healing Yourself Before Transforming the Community

Rethinking and Revising your Syllabus with Diversity and Inclusion at the Center

Inclusive Study-Away

Fighting Words: Expanding Awareness and Exploring Bias through Black Poetry

JMU and Rwanda: Understanding University Initiatives in the Land of a Thousand Hills

Keep C.A.L.M. and Check Contrast

An I.D.E.A. to Promote Collaborative Learning within Undergraduate Student Teams

Share Your Story: The Journey towards Culturally Responsive Practice

Conference Site Map

For Festival Conference Center floor plan please use the Diversity Conference Site Map (PDF)


Access and Accommodations

Building Accessibility: Both Festival Conference Center and Rose Library are accessible with automatic doors, elevators between floors, and accessible and gender neutral restrooms. For more information on building accessibility please visit their respective pages: Festival Conference Center, Rose Library.

Accessible Parking: Accessible parking is available in D3 lot near Festival (2 van, 8 total accessible spaces) and the Alumni Drive lot adjacent to the Leeolou Alumni Center (1 van, 5 total accessible spaces). If using Alumni Drive lot enter Festival Center via connection in the Leeolou Alumni Center. Proper accessible permits are required, no JMU permit is required. See JMU Campus map for lot locations.

American Sign Language Interpretation will be provided for the keynote and award presentations during lunch.

Dietary: The lunch buffet has been selected to accommodate common dietary restrictions. Items will be clearly labeled to designate made without gluten, vegetarian or vegan. JMU Special events is managed by Aramark. Aramark relies on our vendor’s allergy warnings and listings. Because we operate a commercial kitchen where ingredient substitutions, recipe revisions and cross-contact with allergens is possible, Aramark cannot guarantee that any food item will be completely free of allergens. If medically necessary, meals made without gluten or made without dairy can be prepared and packaged separately. To request for a packaged meal please email Kim Moubray.

Accommodations:  The Diversity Conference Committee has made every effort to ensure the conference is welcoming and accessible for all presenters and attendees to engage fully. To request an accommodation not listed above kindly contact Lisa Hess at least two weeks in advance.  In all situations, a good faith effort (up until the time of the event) will be made to provide accommodations.

Keynote Speaker

The JMU Diversity Conference is pleased to welcome Dr. Janice Underwood as our 2020 keynote speaker. Dr. Underwood serves as the Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer for the Office of Governor Ralph S. Northam. As the Commonwealth's first diversity officer, she is committed to addressing racial, ethnic, disability, gender-based, and other cultural inequities in formal and informal policies and practices in Virginia state government. 


Meet with Dr. Underwood at 3:30 p.m. for a conference wrap-up conversation.

photo of Dr. Janice Underwood


Non-JMU Guests

Please register using the provided registration link on this page. You will be prompted on how to register as a guest on the registration form.

CEUs are available to non-JMU participants who attend ALL three sessions of the conference (0.6 CEUs will be awarded). There is a $25 certificate processing fee payable to JMU. JMU will follow up with you after the conference for processing CEUs.

Campus visitors are directed to park in D3 or D1 Lot (for locations see Campus Map) between the hours of 7:30 AM and 4:00 PM on March 13.  No parking permits will be necessary. Note that regular enforcement will continue in other parking lots, and guests may receive parking citations if parked in restricted lots. Guests are prohibited from parking in specialty spaces such as Service Vehicle spaces, accessible spaces without proper permit, or expired timed spaces. They are also prohibited from parking in Fire Lanes.


Walk-In Policy

All conference attendees are highly encouraged to register using the link on this page.  Walk-in registration will be allowed starting at 8:00a.m. Session availability cannot be guaranteed.


Inclement Weather Policy

If JMU is closed - Conference will be cancelled.

If JMU opens one hour late - Conference Schedule will be:

9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Check-in & Morning Refreshments

9:35 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks

9:50 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Session 1

11:10 a.m. – 12:15 a.m. Session 2

12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Lunch with Keynote Speaker and Award Ceremony

2:10 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Session 3

3:30 p.m. – Wrap-Up Conversation with Dr. Underwood

If JMU opens two hours late - Conference Schedule will be:

10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Check-in & Morning Refreshments

10:35 a.m.  – 10:50 a.m. - Welcome and Opening Remarks

Session 1 Cancelled

11:00 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. Session 2

12:15 p.m. – 1:55 p.m. Lunch with Keynote Speaker and Award Ceremony

2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Session 3

3:30 p.m. - Wrap-Up Conversation With Dr. Underwood




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