Diversity conference set for Sept. 28

July 15, 2018

     The fifth annual Tri-State Conference on Diversity and Inclusion will be Friday, Sept. 28 at Marshall University.
     The theme of this year’s conference, co-sponsored by Ashland Community and Technical College, “Intersectionality: Celebrating the Difference Among Us.” Community leaders, educators, college and high school students, counselors and area residents are invited to the conference to celebrate individuals from different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives and to share dialogue and engage in critical thinking exercises to enhance multicultural awareness.
     This year’s keynote speaker will be Eric Alva, Iraq War veteran and LGBT rights activist.
The first American soldier injured in the Iraq War, Alva was hailed as an American hero, and individuals from Donald Rumsfeld to President George W. Bush visited the Marine veteran during his recovery. While he lost his leg in combat, Alva’s spirit remained strong: Upon retirement, he came out as gay, and went on to play an instrumental role in the repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy on gay, lesbian and bisexual service members, working with members of Congress to end the discriminatory practice.
     A former spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, Alva shares his story of hope and courage, urging audiences to make the world a better place for those who have felt the pain and anguish of hate and discrimination. Drawing on his experience in the battle for equality, he discusses the difficulties faced by gays and lesbians in the military, emphasizing that by doing the right thing, working hard, standing for what you believe in and being true to yourself, any obstacle can be conquered.
     The conference also includes concurrent sessions on diversity and inclusion topics, which will be announced at a later date.
Registration is $40 per person or $15 per student (secondary/post secondary). The fee includes continental breakfast, luncheon, workshops, panel discussion and a Certificate of Cultural Competency. Continuing Education Unit (CEU) and university credits are available for additional fees. To register online, visit tristatediversityandinclusion.com/registration.
     Other cosponsors are Marshall University School of Pharmacy, Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Morehead State University-Ashland/Morehead State University, Mountwest Community and Technical College, Ohio University Southern/Ohio University and Shawnee State University.