The Office of Multicultural Affairs will hold its third annual Diversity Conference: Facing Diversity, to celebrate the differences of people from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. Saturday in the BPSC.
“The Office of Multicultural Affairs is committed to advancing Stephen F. Austin State University’s commitment to diversity and multiculturalism,” the OMA website said. “To continue our commitment, the Office of Multicultural Affairs presents the Office of Multicultural Affairs Diversity Conference. The Diversity Conference seeks to provide a platform for presenters to share their diversity-related work with conference attendees and engage in vital multicultural dialogue.”
The Diversity Conference is run by the OMA and includes the SFA community to come and speak out about their experiences, good or bad, regarding diversity.
“We have various faculty, staff and students presenting about various topics regarding diversity, multiculturalism and social justice. We also have lunch and keynote speakers,” Veronica Weaver, director of Multicultural Affairs, said. “Students should expect to feel educated and enlightened about various topics regarding diversity. Powerful discussion, activities and lectures will be presented.”
The keynote speaker is Dr. Kwame Badu Antwi-Boasiako, professor and chair of the Department of Government. Antwi-Boasiako has published about diversity before, and once he was invited to speak at the conference, he accepted.
“Basically, the speech would focus on why diversity cannot be avoided, hence the need to embrace it with better understanding,” Antwi-Boasiako said. According to Antwi- Boasiako, he hopes his speech will contribute to the ongoing awareness and importance of diversity at SFA.
“No one event is drastically going to change the minds of people. These events keep the narratives and discussion ongoing. So it’s very important to have such events from time to time so that diversity does not become a one-day wonder,” Antwi-Boasiako said. “There is strength in diversity, and together, we build.”
Additionally, the event will have a Facing Diversity Museum, which will include submissions from around campus of artwork, video/audio or writing.
First-, second- and third-place prizes will be given out during the closing ceremonies, according to the OMA website.
Weaver hopes that the event can bring out a positive transformation around campus and will give people a chance to learn others’ viewpoints and be able to share their own opinion.
Students and faculty can pre-register to attend the event, which will include a three- course lunch and a free T-shirt to the first 100 students who register. Same day registration is also available from 8-9 a.m. but will not include the lunch.
“The Diversity Conference seeks to provide a platform for presenters, the SFA and Nacogdoches community, and share their diversity-related work with conference attendees and engage in vital multicultural dialogue,” Weaver said.