Diversity Forum: Embracing Our Past to Chart Our Future

We are pleased to welcome a number of visitors who will be with us throughout the day and who represent some of the most talented researchers, scholars, and thought leaders nationwide on issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Register here for the annual Diversity Forum, to be held Friday, October 12, 2012 at Union South’s Varsity Hall from 9 a.m. until 4:30. View the day’s schedule. Read about the concurrent sessions we have planned for the day below.


Keynote Speaker Lani Guinier

Civil Rights Attorney and First Tenured Black Woman Professor at Harvard 

Read Lani Guinier’s full biography.

Concurrent Sessions

Session 1: Speaking Aloud about Religion at a Public University

Professor Charles L. Cohen, Director of the Lubar Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions (LISAR), will speak about the importance of increasing discussion about religion as an element of campus life and describe some of LISAR’s activities in that regard. He will be joined by some of the Institute’s student fellows, who will provide their perspectives on how they experience religion on campus.

Session 2: What Defines Native American Student Success? Recommendations from the 2012 Report on Access to Success (A2S) for Native American Students

In 2009, the University of Wisconsin System joined the Access to Success (A2S) for Native American Students initiative began by the National Education Trust. As part of the A2S initiative, each UW System school was asked to “define what success looks like for Native American Students” and to “develop a plan to engage in partnerships with the Tribal Nations, Tribal Colleges and DPI to better serve Native American students.” This session will discuss the UW-Madison Task Force Report on Access to Success (A2S) for Native American Students, including a definition and plan for American Indian/Alaska Native student success.

Dean Gary Sandefur, Letters and Science
Prof. Rand Valentine, American Indian Studies and Linguistics
Janice Rice, Sr. Academic Librarian, College Library
Melissa Greendeer, Student Services Coordinator, American Indian Student Academic Services, Center for Academic Excellence
David O’Connor, Education Consultant, American Indian Studies, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Aaron Bird Bear, Sr. Student Services Coordinator, School of Education

Session 3: From Idea to Reality: A New Faculty Diversity Experiment at UW-Madison

How do we turn faculty diversity into a reality, not merely an idea? What tools are legal, ethical, and produce practical results? Vice Provosts Damon Williams and Steve Stern have partnered on an experiment to respond to these questions, and whose practical results have been surprising. Join the discussion to learn more.

Steve Stern, Vice Provost for Faculty & Staff
Damon Williams, Vice Provost & Chief Diversity Officer.

Session 4: Enhancing Workforce Diversity at UW-Madison Through HR Design

Learn how the Diverse Workforce Team of the HR Design project worked to embed diversity-enhancing principles into the design of a new Human Resources system for our campus.

Phil O’Leary
Bonnie Sundial
Ladera Barnes
Jenn Sheridan (in absentia)

Session 5: Making the Grade: Creating and Sustaining Living and Learning Environments Inclusive of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and qQueer Communities

In this session, participants will explore and reflect on our shared commitment for inclusive environments for LGBTQ members of the UW community. Participants will become familiar with data-driven and best practices as well as engage in dialogue how to ensure those practices are durable and sustainable. Come learn about the work of the LGBT Campus Center and the social justice, cross-movement ally hood model from which the Center operates.

Gabe Javier, Assistant Dean of Students and Director, LGBT Campus Center