Fourth annual Diversity THINKposium to focus on Microaggressions

Think Posium biggerThe 4th annual Diversity THINKposium will be held Aug. 17 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Friday Center at UNC-Chapel Hill. The THINKposium is meant to be a non-conventional approach to addressing diversity, inspiring action and facilitating the solution-making process. This year theme will be “Microaggressions.”

The day-long program is designed to allow participants to explore and understand the nature and impact of microaggressions in the higher education enterprise. Participants will explore language, behaviors, policies and practices that impact the classroom, workplace and educational experiences for students and faculty/staff at Carolina. The discussions and keynote should help participants reflect on their own practices, understand the concepts and behaviors that perpetuate oppression of marginalized identities, and be part of facilitated conversations to develop capacity and skill to address the issue within their own units and departments.The program will include a keynote and concurrent workshops focusing on responding and positively disrupting microaggressions in teaching/learning and the workplace.

The keynote speake is Dr. Damon A. Williams, senior vice president for Programs, Training and Youth Development for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA).  Williams is a scholar, leader and educator passionate about making organizations inclusive and excellent for all, creating equitable educational outcomes and activating learning, youth development and leadership in ways that are transformative and inspiring of new possibilities. He has authored or co-authored dozens of books, monographs, and articles and, is widely considered one of the nation’s most dynamic and innovative leaders, winning the 2013 National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) Inclusive Excellence Award for Leadership, and serving as invited keynote speaker and thought leader to more than 300 institutions globally.

Prior to joining the BGCA, Williams served for five years as associate vice chancellor, vice provost, chief diversity officer and member of the educational leadership and policy analysis faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he founded the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Educational Achievement (DDEEA), a vertically integrated portfolio divisional infrastructure that includes one of the nation’s largest pre-college to college K-16 scholarship based pipeline development program (1300 students), the world’s only hip-hop urban arts scholarship program learning community (Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives/First Wave), innovative campus-wide partnerships to enhance STEM achievement, leadership development of intercollegiate athletes (Beyond the Game), faculty diversification, research centers (Wei Lab), and a four-city partnership with the National Posse Foundation.

In addition to the keynote speaker, the day will also feature UNC faculty and staff who will share their efforts to address microaggressions within the classroom, clinical settings and in the workplace during the lunch “Diversity in Action” segment.

The THINKposium is free but registration is required to participate. Refreshments and lunch will be provided. Register and save the date, and check back for more information  closer to August. Follow the latest updates and learn more through the Facebook page or the web site.

The Diversity THINKposium is hosted by Diversity and Multicultural Affairs in collaboration with the College of Arts and Sciences and the Center for Faculty Excellence, and financial support and contributions from multiple campus partners.