February 24, 2003

Commissions' symposium to examine diversity on campus

By Stephanie Sonnenfeld ssonnen@emory.edu

On Tuesday, March 4, Spelman College President Beverly Tatum will deliver the keynote address for the Universitywide “Diversity as Value Added” symposium.

The symposium is the result of a collaborative effort by the three President’s Commissions —Status of Minorities, Women and LGBT Concerns—and its events will be held over three days, March 3–5. Additionally, more than 30 other campus groups (ranging from Greek social groups to specific schools and departments) are cosponsors of the event.

The purpose of the symposium is to enhance awareness for diversity planning among departments, offices and student organizations on campus, said Jody Usher, planning committee chair for the event.

“We view the symposium and related events as a way to examine and improve the quality of life for Emory’s minority, female, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered members of our community—whether faculty, staff or students,” Usher said.

On Monday, March 3, the symposium will begin offficially with a panel discussion including student, faculty, staff and administrators, running from 5:30–7:30 p.m. in the Cox Hall Ballroom. Panelists will examine Emory’s climate of diversity, with a focus on findings from the Princeton Review that rank Emory high on having a diverse student population, but low on intergroup or cross-cultural involvement among students.

Tatum’s keynote—titled “Why Campus Diversity Matters”— will begin at 1 p.m. the next day, following a lunch reception for all symposium participants at 11:45 a.m. in WHSCAB. Tatum, author of Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria?, is a widely known expert on race relations in the classroom and in the development of racial identity.

Following Tatum’s presentation, participants will break out into discussion groups to tackle Emory-specific topics, including:

• faculty, staff and student recruitment and retention;
• campus climate; diversity education and inclusive curriculum;
• international issues and campus policies.

Findings from these discussions will be presented to the whole group and incorporated into a larger report of the symposium’s findings and recommendations that will be submitted to President Bill Chace.

The final component of the program will be a March 5 showing of Two Towns of Jasper, an award-winning documentary by Whitney Dow and Marco Williams exploring the 1998 death of James Byrd, an African American who was chained to a pickup truck and dragged to death by three white supremacists in Jasper, Texas. Dow and Marco will attend the showing and participate in a discussion following the film. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Harland Cinema in Dobbs Center.

All events are free and open to the public, however reservations are required for the lunch on March 4, which can be directed to Brenda Nix at bnix@emory.edu.






Index Find Help Find Sites Find Jobs Find People Find Events