Diversity, Learning, and Student Success 2017: Conference Highlights

Thursday, March 16, 7:00-8:15 p.m. 

Welcome and Opening Remarks
Tia Brown McNair, Vice President, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success and Lynn Pasquerella, President—both of AAC&U

Civility, Free Speech, and the American College Campus: Action Required
Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director, PEN America

As the current political environment poses serious concerns regarding equity, inclusion, civil rights, and personal safety across all aspects of society, what must higher education do to nurture and support the voices of all in examining and advancing truth and reconciliation? This keynote address will examine some of the most pressing contemporary issues facing higher education regarding campus free speech speech including hate speech, Title IX, safespaces, trigger warnings and microaggressions.  Ms. Nossel will describe PEN America’s Principles on Campus Free Speech and how they might apply across all types of institutions.    

Friday, March 17, 8:00 a.m.- 9:30 a.m.  

Poster Sessions and Reception

Friday, March 17; 9:45 a.m.- 10:45 a.m.  

Righting History Now! The Voices of First-Generation Students of Color 
Felix Braffith, Director, Student Success and College Access and TRiO Students and Staff Members—all of The Evergreen State College

How do historical and institutional racism affect success for students of color on your campus? Whose responsibility is it to ensure that these students’ voices and lived experiences are affirmed? What is the impact on their success and the future of our institutions in particular and society at large if these questions go unanswered? Felix Braffith and TRiO staff members will share strategies and frameworks rooted in social justice, cultural identity, and student voice as a means to achieve high levels of success with first-generation students of color. The voices of TRiO students will enrich the plenary through a format beyond that of a traditional panel; students will embrace the art of storytelling in a presentation centered on excerpts and themes from the student anthology Righting History Now! 

Friday, March 17; 5:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m.  

Poster Sessions and Reception

Join with colleagues to share and discuss campus models and strategies that are proving effective in advancing practices that support students’ academic and career goals.  The posters in this session will be different from those shown in the morning session

Saturday, March 18, 11:15 a.m.- 12:15 p.m.  

Taking Meaningful, Strategic, and Collective Action When the Stakes are High
Becky Wai-Ling Packard, Director, Weissman Center for Leadership, and Professor of Psychology and Education,Entrepreneurship, Organizations, and Society Program, Mount Holyoke  

How do higher education institutions demonstrate that they are going beyond the rhetoric of inclusion and engaging in meaningful action? Importantly, how does this happen when the stakes are so high to “get it right”? This plenary will foreground the challenges facing students who bring a diverse set of identities to our campuses, as well as the barriers and possibilities facing faculty, staff, and administrators who have difficulty finding spaces where they can learn and practice ways to support students. Professor Packard will highlight practical strategies to engage in daily actions with student and colleagues, and to invest in co-creating the campuses where all voices are included and valued in ensuring high-quality education for all students.