Event Will Celebrate Diversity, Inclusion

April 16th, 2013 | Categories: Uncategorized

Bryan Hains

SUNY Oneonta will host “Feast for the Soul,” a day of speakers, discussions and other activities aimed at celebrating diverse cultures and examining the obstacles facing underrepresented groups, on Thursday, April 18.

The event is the culmination of “Through Each of Our Voices: Narratives on Diversity, Inclusion and Community,” a yearlong series of activities supported by a $10,000 Explorations in Diversity and Academic Excellence grant from the State University of New York’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Dr. Bryan Hains of the University of Kentucky, who has been working with faculty, staff and students on a cultural immersion project since last fall, will present the keynote address, titled “Cultural Exploration and Competence: An Evolutionary Process,” at 6:30 p.m. in Room 132 of the Human Ecology Building.

Throughout the day, three special guests will give presentations on topics related to diversity and inclusion:
• Perry Ground, a Turtle Clan member of the Onondaga Nation of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy, will present “Native American Identity: Ever Changing” at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. in the Center for Multicultural Experiences;
• Mat Harby, director of the Southern Tier Special Education Parent Center at the Family Resource Network, Inc., will present “Disability? Making Education Work for ALL Abilities: Past, Present, and Future” at 2:30 p.m. in Room 144 of the Human Ecology Building; and
• Duke Fisher of Learning Laboratories, a Bainbridge, N.Y.-based organization offering mediation, conflict management, mentoring and group training, will present “Hate and Anti Bias Acts: Can Restorative Justice Work?” at 4 p.m. in Room 144 of the Human Ecology Building.

The day’s activities will also include a cultural immersion gallery exhibit, panel discussions on two topics—“That’s so Gay: Understanding the Impact of Language on our Students” and “Doing Race? Why It Still Matters”— a film screening and discussion of “Adam” in the Red Dragon Theater, and performances by the college’s West African Dance and Drum Ensemble and Voices of Serenity gospel choir.

Faculty members from the Human Ecology, Elementary Education & Reading, Secondary Education, Africana & Latino Studies, and Educational Psychology, Counseling & Special Education Departments developed “Through Each of Our Voices” with professionals from the Eastern Stream Center on Resources and Training program (ESCORT), the Center for Multicultural Experiences, the College Assistance Migrant Program and the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center. They implemented the project with assistance from the University of Kentucky, the Family Resource Network in Oneonta and the Oneonta City School District.

More information is available from Associate Professor of Human Ecology Karen Joest at (607) 436-2063 or karen.joest@oneonta.edu.