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2014 EIUnity Diversity Conference 

Friday, February 7, 2014


Confronting the "ISM" 

9:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.

Conference at a Glance:

8:30 - 9:00 a.m. - Registration

3rd Floor Lounge, University Union


Time          Event       




 10:00 a.m.-Noon


  2-4:00 p.m. 


Safe Zone Training


Phase I - Casey Room


Phase II - Oakland Room

9:00 a.m.

Multicultural Issues in Counseling

Presenters:   Angi Parker & Lindsay Wilson, Counseling Center

Multicultural Issues in Counseling will identify barriers that may prevent a person

from entering into counseling and ways they may be addressed. Also, will address

other multi-cultural stigmas and issues that may arise in counseling sessions.


Making Sexual Orientation Relevant: Messages about Sexual Orientation

During Ordinary Interactions

Presenters: Clinton Brown, Student/Undergraduate Honor’s Thesis, Dr. Shirley Bell,

Faculty Advisor & Dr. Richard Jones, Faculty Advisor

This study explores the communicative practices people utilize to construct and inter-

pret messages concerning sexual orientation in everyday interpersonal interactions

and how it becomes relevant during the interaction. The study’s data draw on the re-

sults from self-report questionnaires administered to Eastern Illinois students (N=574)

during the Fall of 2012 and findings from in-depth interview data (N=6) conducted

during the same time period. The integration of both data sets offers evidence concern-

ing the ways in which members of a non-dominant cultural community are constrained

by dominant cultural values and norms.


Culturally Responsive Teaching in the College Classroom

Presenter: Dr. Catherine L. Polydore, Assistant Professor of CSD

Recent research suggests that a gap persists in the utility of culturally responsive

pedagogy (CRP) at the tertiary level. This interactive workshop will present the concept

of CRP, facilitate the reflection on current practices, and provide concrete examples of

how CRP can be applied in a variety of college classrooms.


Taking Diversity One Step Further: A Pluralist Perspective and Insights from

the Gulen Movement

Presenter: Omer Topaloglu, Assistant Professor of Marketing

We are fortunate enough to witness that the diverse makeup of our society has been

acknowledged by many. This presentation attempts to encourage stretching the

boundaries a little more, argues for proactively engaging with diversity, not settling

with apathetic tolerance, but embracing the differences, and concludes with a

contemporary example of pluralism.




10:00 a.m.

Using LGBT Literature to Promote Diversity in the English Language Arts


Presenter: Teresita M. Hunt, Assistant Professor

Using lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) literature in the English

Language Arts classroom can help teacher candidates and in-service teachers explore

LGBT topics to dispel stereotypes, biases, and negative attitudes that exist. This will

be an interactive session in which participants can address these issues.


Vulnerability Issues in Disasters

Presenter: Bill Lovekamp, Associate Professor of Sociology

(No Abstract Provided)


The American Debt to African American Struggles

Presenter:       Michael Loudon, Professor of English

African American struggles have moved the reality of American experience ever closer

to the ideals of America by creating an economic foundation, a political integrity, a

cultural synthesis and a spiritual redemption grounded in African humanism. Their

struggles for freedom continue to sustain all Americans in their quest for freedom.


Perceptions of Campus by Students Who Self-Identify as Having a Disability

Presenter: Cynthia Nichols, Director, Office of Civil Rights and Diversity

How EIU students, who self-identify as having a disability, view interactions among

students and perceive campus accommodations and services for persons with dis-

abilities will be presented. Responses from the fall 2013 climate survey will be shared,

as well as longitudinal data collected from students and other sources of information.


11:00 a.m.

Understanding Poverty: A Look at Haiti and Understanding Students of Low

Socioeconomic Status

Presenter: Corey Gifford, Assistant Director, Counseling Center                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

This presentation will encourage you to open your mind to the different ways that

people live in the world. We will be looking at severe poverty in Haiti to help us under-

stand the limited resources that students have when they are from low socio economic



T-Time: Transgender 101

Presenters: Ben Wilburn, President, EIU Pride & Mol Ferris, EIU Pride

Join us for a cup of “T” as we offer a brief overview of the transgender spectrum and

touch on topics from trans* health issues to what it means to be trans* in college. We

will speak from experience on how to integrate progressive programming on campus to

promote inclusivity.


Debt Doesn’t Care Who You Are!: Showing Students How to Become Debt Free

Presenter: Ja’Net Adams, Professional Speaker, EMACK                                                                    Consulting

Debt doesn’t care what race, what ethnicity, what gender you are! Debt has an impact

on lives no matter the background and students are currently being affected the most

by debt. With the student loan debt now passing $1 trillion dollars students all over the

country are suffering financially and have not even walked across the stage yet! This

session will show students how to avoid common financial pitfalls in and after college

so that they can become debt free and live the life they always dreamed of.


NPHC Greek Organizations: Moving Beyond the Step Routines

Presenter: Dr. Shawn Peoples, Associate Director of Student Standards

The Divine 9 organizations of the National Pan-Hellenic Council were founded during a

time when African-Americans were struggling for equality.  These organizations pro-

vided an opportunity for college students to come together to unite and provide a

supportive space for equality.  However, many people associate the organizations with

stepping and strolling. Have the goals and objectives of these organizations changed? 

Do they still have a prominent place on our campuses and in our communities?  This

workshop will provide for open dialogue regarding the status of the organizations and

their relevance today.


12:00 p.m.

LUNCHEON/Multi-Cultural Jeopardy

Grand Ballroom 

2:00 p.m.

Making Excellence Inclusive: Addressing Equity for Academic Achievement

Presenters: Bonnie Irwin, Debra A Reid, Richard Jones, Christiane K Eydt-Beebe,

Jeannie Ludlow & Felix Kumah-Abiwu

Making Excellence Inclusive (MEI) is a national initiative with 4 major components:

1) focusing on student intellectual and social development; 2) cross-campus

collaboration in support of enhanced student learning; 3) attention to cultural

differences learners bring to their educational experiences; 4) creating a welcoming

community that engages diversity in support of student learning. A group of faculty

from the College of Arts and Humanities will share in this session their approach to

MEI and invite those in attendance to share strategies to truly make excellence

inclusive on EIU’s campus.

Religion and Spirituality Among African American Students

Presenter: Dr. Andrew Robinson, Faculty

Religion and spirituality have historically been and continue to be central to African

Americans. This presentation will discuss the influence of campus ministry for African

American students. Behavior, coping, and academics are key concepts considered.

Through the Eyes of the Oppressed

Presenter: Black Graduate Student Association

In this session, the Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA) will show a film that

highlights Jane Elliott's controversial "Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes Experiment".  In the film,

Jane Elliott exposes prejudice and bigotry for what it is, an irrational class system

based upon purely arbitrary factors. In response to the assassination of Martin Luther

King, Jr. over forty years ago, Jane Elliott devised the controversial and startling,

"Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes" exercise. This exercise labels participants as inferior or

superior based solely upon the color of their eyes and exposes them to the experience

of being a minority.  

EIU Students’ Perception of Campus Climate

Presenters: Cynthia Nichols, Director, Office of Civil Rights and Diversity, Caridad

Brito, Professor of Psychology & Willie Black, Heather Dragoo, Jennifer Muser, Office of

Civil Rights and Diversity

EIU students’ perceptions of other students’ attitudes and behaviors affecting campus

climate will be presented. Responses from the fall 2013 climate survey will be shared,

in the context of longitudinal data collected from students since 2001. Attendees will be

given the opportunity to discuss and explore these attitudes.



3:00 p.m.

Think Tanks (What Would You Do?)

Charleston-Mattoon Room  

Please join us for the EIUnity Diversity Conference
Deadline Date for Registration: Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Register here