CALL FOR PROPOSALS: UW–Madison Diversity Forum — Oct. 27 & 28, 2020

Update April 6, 2020: The selection process for Diversity Forum breakout proposals has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants can expect to hear about the status of their proposal in May.


UW–Madison Diversity Forum banner graphic. A woman speaks into a microphone surrounded by attendees of the Diversity Forum. The words "Diversity Forum" are superimposed on the graphic.

The Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement is pleased to announce a call for proposals for breakout sessions at the annual UW–Madison Diversity Forum, to be held on October 27 & 28, 2020 at Union South.

An event with 20 years of history on the UW–Madison campus, the Diversity Forum is the university’s premier two-day conference focused on the most pressing issues facing Americans today. The event is free and open to the entire community.

The goal of the Diversity Forum is to update attendees with the latest knowledge and research in the diversity and inclusion fields, educate them about perspectives and best practices for equity and social justice, and activate attendees so they go on to make positive changes in the world.

This year we are excited that Robin DiAngelo, author of the widely acclaimed bestseller “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism,” will provide the keynote address.

Breakout Proposals Due March 11

We are seeking proposals for 75-minute breakout sessions for the second day of the Diversity Forum. Breakout sessions can take the form of workshops, panel discussions or lectures. Presenters will have the opportunity to share their insights and findings with a diverse and highly engaged group of more than 1,000 attendees at the conference.

Successful proposals will meet some or all of the following criteria:

  • Align with the Forum’s mission to update, educate and activate attendees
  • Provide an interdisciplinary perspective on the latest research and best practices in diversity, equity and inclusion with practical applications for a broad audience
  • Respond to or build upon the keynote address and theme of the 2020 conference
  • Help increase attendees’ understanding of matters of specific importance to people from historically marginalized or underrepresented groups
  • Provide a relevant contextual starting point for discussion, self-learning or interactive work among attendees

To submit your proposal, please complete this form by March 11. You will be notified in April if your proposal has been selected.

Submit Proposal

Past Breakout Sessions

Examples of well-received breakout sessions at recent Diversity Forums include:

  • “Reclaiming First Nations’ Truth” — A panel of Native educators and allies explored the work being done, on campus and elsewhere, to resurface the history of First Nations and their continuing sovereignty as nations and cultures.
  • “A Stronger Madison for All: Racial Disparities in Madison and Wisconsin” — This lecture by the Rev. Alex Gee Jr., Ph.D., explored how the Justified Anger initiative is addressing racial disparities in Madison by creating a movement that coordinates leadership, vision, policy and strategy to identify the gaps in services and areas of need and implement a long-term strategy to improve the lives of African Americans in Dane County by eradicating racial disparities.
  • “Creating an Inclusive Environment for Non-Apparent Disabilities” — Staff and students from UW’s McBurney Disability Resource discussed the experiences of students with non-apparent disabilities to shed light on different supports, resources and strategies to consider when creating an inclusive environment.
  • “Trans/Forming Allyship: Inclusive Practices to Support Transgender People and Gender Diversity” — This workshop, facilitated by Davey Shlasko, director of Think Again Training, helped participants learn concrete ways of supporting trans individuals while building a broadly gender-inclusive environment for everyone.
  • “Our Place on Campus: Cultural Centers at UW–Madison” — In this panel discussion, professional staff and students from the UW–Madison Multicultural Student Center offered reflections on the establishment of UW’s cultural centers and how those centers have a positive impact on campus climate.

For further information on past Diversity Forums and breakouts: