Critical Conversations

Embracing Diversity & Inclusion

February 29 - March 1

Webster University, Webster Groves Campus

Keynote addresses, student panel discussions, and facilitated dialogue sessions will be planned to create opportunities for those present to share their experiences, research, and emerging trends in creating communities that embrace diversity in ways that welcome and include.

Register Here




Join Us for this Powerful and Insightful Conference

The intention during these two days is to explore ways to move forward on the continuous path of equity, valuing the strength that comes from the diversity of our community.

Webster University has been cited for the economic diversity of the undergraduate student body, recognized for the past 24 years for the diversity of master’s student graduates, and serves a globally diverse population on four continents: North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. From its groundbreaking origin as a women’s college to the mission commitment to global citizenship, Webster enters its second century continuing to advance diversity and inclusion. These critical conversations will strengthen the Webster University community and provide leadership on issues of diversity regionally, nationally, and globally.

Webster University defines diversity and inclusion in the broadest sense — embracing all human differences, while building upon commonalities. Diversity and inclusion is at the very core of our mission, as a worldwide institution that transforms students for global citizenship.

“Just as we established the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement in 2013, with direct reporting lines to the President and Provost, we continue to make diversity and inclusion a top institutional priority. We are proud of the progress we’ve made, yet realize there is still much to do, since work of this nature is never complete. However, we are committed to continued conversations followed by the actions necessary to keep moving forward.”
— Webster University President Beth Stroble, Ph.D.

Featuring Nationally Recognized Leaders in Diversity and Inclusion:

Lee A. Gill

Lee A. Gill

Chief Diversity Officer and Special Assistant to the President for inclusive excellence at Clemson University.


The recognition that Lee Gill’s leadership has received results from a career-long dedication to embracing the needs of diverse student populations.  He will describe how a university community can strategically advance a vision of excellence that includes all.

Adis M. Vila

Adis M. Vila

Senior Fellow for the Institute for Cross Cultural Management at the Florida Institute of Technology


Adis Vila brings career-long firsts to her advocacy for mentoring and intentional methods to assure globally diverse leadership.  With a passion for helping young people, she draws on her own international, education, government, and military experiences to describe inclusive communities.

Julia Serano

Julia Serano

Writer, Performer, Activist & Author

Julia Serano draws on her own personal experiences having been viewed both female and male, and queer and straight, at different points in her life, to highlight how unconscious assumptions and expectations shape how we view other people.

Tahil Sharma

Tahil Sharma

Youth Representative for the Parliament of the World’s Religions to the United Nations

Tahil Sharma addresses the importance of building a culture of respect for religious and non-religious identities, mutually inspiring relationships across religious boundaries, and common action for the common good.

 

 Conference Agenda

Monday, February 29, 2016
Luhr Building
475 E Lockwood Ave
Saint Louis, MO  63119
    
9:15 am–10:30 am
Landscape of Diversity & Inclusion for Regional Higher Education Institutions
Panel Discussion / No Charge    
    
11 am–12:15 pm
African-American Students Shaping Tomorrow
Panel Discussion / No Charge    
    
12:15 pm–1:30 pm
Adis Vila | "Diversity & Inclusion: Global Challenges & Opportunities"
Lunch Keynote (Lunch Included)    
    
1:45 pm–3 pm
Hispanic Point of View
Panel Discussion / No Charge    
    
3:30 pm–5 pm
Alumni Paying It Forward
Panel Discussion / No Charge
    
7 pm–8:30 pm
Lee Gill | Diversity: Inclusive Excellence Beyond the Numbers
Evening Keynote   

Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Luhr Building
475 E Lockwood Ave
Saint Louis, MO  63119
    
9 am–10:30 am
Tahil Sharma | Interfaith Cooperation: Pluralism in the 21st Century
Interactive Session / No Charge    
    
11: am–12:15 pm
Disabilities and Accessibility (f. Aimee Wehmeier)
Panel Discussion / No Charge    
    
12:15 pm–1:30 pm
Julia Serano | I'll See It When I Believe It: On Perception and Gender Entitlement
Lunch Keynote (Lunch Included)    
    
1:45 pm–3 pm
Campus Pride - Safe Zone
Panel Discussion / No Charge   

Register Here

 

Tarlton    Insight   PWC   St. Louis Community Foundation

Conference Planning Committee Members

Nicole Roach, Associate Vice President for Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement
Sanela Bejdic, Webster Staff Alliance Chair
Corey Hawkins, Coordinator - Minority Students
Donavan Outten, Ed.D., Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Extended U. S. Campuses
Dr. Vanessa Davis MA’04, DMGT’15, African-American Alumni Chapter Leader
Student, Alumni & Community Volunteers