Diversity Forum History

Several hundred participants break into smaller groups for discussion during “A Campus Conversation About Diversity and Inclusion,” a campus-wide forum for students, faculty and staff held in Union South’s Varsity Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Jan. 20, 2015. The event was facilitated by Chancellor Rebecca Blank; Lori Berquam, vice provost for student life and dean of students; and Patrick Sims, interim vice provost and chief diversity officer to encourage thoughts, concerns and creative solutions to issues related to equity, diversity and inclusion. (Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison)

For 20 years, the UW–Madison campus has held annual all-campus and community forums to discuss, share and learn about contemporary issues on diversity and inclusion. With a more than 50-year history of creating and promoting initiatives designed to make the University a more globally inclusive institution to prepare leaders for a changing world and conduct cutting edge research, the Annual Diversity Forum has become the premiere training and working session for diversity and inclusion topics. Now hosted by the Office of the Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer with more than 1,000 participants from the community and other campuses in attendance, one of the key components of the Forum in recent years has become the Community Forum Panel. Engaging speakers, presentations and round tables including topics ranging from integrated teaching and learning to police relations and the resurgence of traditional and emergence of new grassroots community advocacy groups have become a tradition.

Past keynote speakers have included:

  • Dr. Robin DiAngelo, best-selling author of “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism”
  • Austin Channing Brown, best-selling author of “I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness”
  • John Quiñones, longtime ABC News correspondent and creator and host of the “What Would You Do?” hidden camera television series
  • Talithia Williams, Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College
  • Walter Echo-Hawk is a Native American attorney, tribal judge, author, activist, and law professor
  • Rabia Chaudry, a wife, mother, attorney, President of the Safe Nation Collaborative
  • Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Clarence Page
  • Rebecca Ryan, entrepreneur, author, founder and co-owner of Next Generation Consulting
  • Columbia University Professor and Micro-Agressions Expert Derald Wing Sue
  • Lani Guinier, Civil Rights Attorney and First Tenured Black Woman Professor at Harvard

Other enhancements achieved with the partnership of co-sponsors have included an expansion of the Forum from one day to a second day of additional workshops and speakers, the inclusion of late night sessions to include our second- and third-shift employees, and a fledgling evening line up of sessions coordinated by and for students.

Each year our staff puts on an amazing symposium for campus faculty and staff members, as well as students. This forum provides an engaging day of speakers, presentations and round tables at which campus diversity efforts are explored.

Diversity Forum 2020

Poster for the 2020 UW–Madison Diversity Forum featuring illustrated picket signs with the title, "The Pandemic Effect: Exposing Racism & Inequities" written on them.

The 2020 Diversity Forum, “The Pandemic Effect: Exposing Racism & Inequities,” was held as a virtual conference due to the COVID-19 pandemic on October 27 & 28, 2020.

Find the digital program, video replays of sessions, and resources shared during the two-day conference on our Diversity Forum 2020 Videos & Resources page.

Diversity Forum 2019

Poster advertising the 2019 Diversity Forum

The two-day conference-style event, “Building Bridges to a Better Future: Opportunities Through Access and Exposure,” featured John Quiñones, longtime ABC News correspondent and creator and host of the “What Would You Do?” hidden camera television series.

  • Video: Programming from day one of the Diversity Forum is available for viewing online at go.wisc.edu/diversityforumlive
  • Join the conversation: See the hashtag #UWDiversityForum for what was shared by participants.

Here is a summary of the discussions, panels and breakout sessions from the 2019 Forum:

Day One, Tues. Nov. 5

More than 1,300 Registrants attended this year's Forum.s line up
The 2019 Diversity Forum set a new attendance record with more than 1,300 registered participants and standing-room only crowds. Photo by Ingrid Laas.

Panel Discussion

Should I Say Something? Exploring the Barriers Around Responding to Incidents and Bias

  • Pia Kinney James, Retired Police Officer, Madison Police Department
  • Gabe Javier, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Identity and Inclusion, Student Affairs
  • Cleda Wang, Assistant Director of Residence Life for Inclusion, University Housing

Breakout Sessions

Building Equity and Inclusion in Public Schools

  • John B. Diamond, Kellner Family Distinguished Chair in Urban Education, School of Education
  • Nichelle Nichols, Executive Director, Office of Equity, Partnerships and Engagement, Madison Metropolitan School District
  • David O’Connor, American Indian Studies Consultant, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
  • Dom Ricks, Principal of Kromrey Middle School, Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District

Navigating Difficult Discussions: An Interactive Session on Ethical Conversations

  • Aaminah Long, Coordinator of Inclusion Education, Center for the First Year Experience

Town Hall Discussion
The Discomfort of Public Discourse: Confronting the Legacies of White Supremacy

  • Kathy Cramer, Professor of Political Science and the Natalie C. Holton Chair of Letters & Science
  • Kacie Lucchini Butcher, Director of the UW–Madison Public History Project
  • David Mahoney, Dane County Sheriff
  • Annette Miller, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, EQT By Design
  • Patrick J. Sims, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Diversity & Inclusion

Day Two, Wed. Nov. 6

Diversity Forum breakout session participants ask questions.
Breakout session participants ask questions and report on their small group work. Photo by Ingrid Laas.

Breakout Session 1

Reclaiming First Nations’ Truth

  • Jessie Conaway, Faculty Associate for Native Nations Partnerships at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, Co-Chair of the Native Nations — UW Working Group
  • Brian D. McInnes, Associate Professor of Civil Society and Community Studies, School of Human Ecology
  • Omar Poler, Coordinator, American Indian Curriculum Services, School of Education
  • Michael Williams, Co-President of Fiscal Relations, Wunk Sheek
  • Danielle Yancey, Director, Native American Center for Health Professions, School of Medicine and Public Health

Intro to LGBTQ+ Identities & Inclusive Practices

  • Tiffany Lee, Crossroads Coordinator, Gender and Sexuality Campus Center
  • Jelani Riveria, Program Coordinator, Gender and Sexuality Campus Center

Supporting the Wellness and Mental Health of Graduate Students

  • James L. Keck, Professor, Department of Biomolecular Chemistry, Associate Dean for Basic Research Training
  • Ellen Marks, Associate Psychologist, University Health Services
  • Lori Reesor, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
  • Britney N. Washington, Graduate Research Associate in Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Timothy Yip, Doctoral Student, Mead Witter School of Music
  • Britt Marie Zeidler, Founder and Co-Director, Graduate and Professional Students with Disabilities Initiative

Breakout Session 2

A man gives a presentation before a large seated audience in a theater
Session leader the Rev. Alex Gee discusses the different experiences based on race and economics in the Greater Madison area. Photo by Ingrid Laas.

A Stronger Madison for All: Racial disparities in Madison and Wisconsin and the divergent realities they’ve created

  • Alex Gee Jr., President and Founder, Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development

Is Age Just a Number? Combatting Generational Stereotypes

  • Sherry Boeger, Director and Consultant, UW–Madison Employee Assistance Office
  • Luis Piñero, Senior Special Assistant for Workforce Equity, Diversity Education and Outreach, Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement
  • Letissa Reid, Equal Opportunity Investigation Program Coordinator, Office of Compliance
  • Kristen M. Seguin, Assistant Director of Human Resources, School of Medicine and Public Health

Mass Shootings and Social Media Discourses

  • Dhavan Shah, Maier-Bascom Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Breakout Session 3

Creating an Inclusive Environment for Non-Apparent Disabilities

  • A woman at a podium speaks to a large, seated audience
    Closing workshop presenter Annette Miller, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, EQT By Design. Photo by Ingrid Laas.

    Gwynette Hall, Accessible Learning Technology Manager, McBurney Disability Resource Center

  • Heather Stelljes, Access Consultant, McBurney Disability Resource Center

Yo Soy Un Pueblo Unido: Investing in Latinx Talent

  • Tania Ibarra, Finance Chair, Latino Professional Association of Greater Madison
  • Nicole Sandoval, President, Latino Professional Association of Greater Madison

Deconstructing Social Justice Myths

  • Caitlyn LoMonte, Assistant Director for Social Justice Programs, Multicultural Student Center

What Will You Do? Equity in Action Workshop

  • Annette Miller, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, EQT By Design


Questions? Contact please email us at events@cdo.wisc.edu.

Video of programming from day one of the Diversity Forum is available for viewing at go.wisc.edu/diversityforumlive.

Digital copies of handouts, presentations and other materials used in the Diversity Forum will be made available after the Forum concludes at go.wisc.edu/diversityforum.

Past Breakout Sessions

Examples of well-received breakout sessions at the 2019 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.

2019 Diversity Forum resources

Keynote Address | A 20/20 Vision for America: Building Bridges, Not Walls

Difficult Conversations: Navigating Social Identity and Positionality Marquee Theater

Reclaiming First Nations’ Truth

Is Age Just a Number? Combatting Generational Stereotypes

Mass Shootings and Social Media Discourses

Creating an Inclusive Environment for Non-Apparent Disabilities

Deconstructing Social Justice Myths

Diversity Forum 2018

Poster for the 2018 UW–Madison Diversity Forum


Keynote Address:


The college experience thrives on relationships. Administrators, staff, and faculty frequently make tough decisions that have an incredible impact on our students’ lives. But, how can our institutional data be used effectively to cultivate an inclusive campus community? In this talk, Dr. Talithia Williams will explore the changing culture of higher education and discuss effective techniques for recruiting and retaining students and faculty from underrepresented communities. She will discuss her personal journey as a woman of color in STEM and examine current benchmarks shown to be effective in retaining underrepresented students in STEM. Using data to capture the many facets of the problem, she will highlight best practices embraced by institutions that have had success in these areas.

Talithia Williams headshot
Talithia Williams

Talithia Williams, Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College

Williams is an American statistician and mathematician who researches the spatiotemporal structure of data and is an advocate for engaging more people from underrepresented groups in STEM fields. She received her Ph.D. from Rice University and was the first black woman to achieve tenure at Harvey Mudd College. She is a co-host on the television series “NOVA Wonders” on PBS.

Watch Williams’ popular TEDTalk “Own Your Body’s Data” below.

*Day 1 of the Diversity Forum was streamed on the web with live captioning (https://vc.ics.uwex.edu/DiversityForum2018). 

**November 26: Our UW Training was held for 2nd & 3rd Shift Employees.



Sarah Mangelsdorf headshot
Sarah Mangelsdorf

Sarah C. Mangelsdorf, Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs

Sarah C. Mangelsdorf serves as the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs and is the chief operating officer and deputy to the chancellor in the academic leadership and administrative management at UW–Madison. Prior to being named provost in 2014, Mangelsdorf was the Dean of the Judd A. and Majorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University.


Patrick Sims headshot
Patrick Sims

Patrick J. Sims, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion

Sims has served as Chief Diversity Officer for UW–Madison since 2013 and leads the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement, which operates some of the most celebrated and longstanding equity and inclusion efforts in the country and spearheads many of UW–Madison’s efforts to improve campus climate and identify and address inequities and biases at the university. In 2018 he was named Deputy Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion and Elzie Higginbottom Vice Provost. Sims is also a professor in the Department of Theatre and Drama, where in 2004 he founded the Theatre for Cultural and Social Awareness, an interdisciplinary service-learning and outreach effort.


Roberta Hill headshot
Roberta Hill

Roberta Hill, Professor of English and American Indian Studies

Hill is a professor of English and American Indian Studies and is affiliated with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. An Oneida poet and fiction writer, she has published four books of poetry, including most recently “Cicadas: New and Selected Poetry” (2013). Her poems and stories have appeared in The Southern Review, Northwest Review, American Poetry Review, The Nation, North American Review, The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry and elsewhere.


Panel Discussion:


What can predominantly white institutions like UW–Madison do to transform STEM educational settings into more welcoming and inclusive environments for students and faculty from underrepresented groups?

  • Thomas Browne, Senior Assistant Dean at the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
  • Molly Carnes, Co-Director of Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute, Director of Center for Women’s Health Research
  • Sherri A. Charleston, Assistant Vice Provost in the Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement
  • Kent Mok, Posse Scholar, Hilldale Research Fellow for the Wisconsin Institute of Medical Research
  • Miona Grae Short, Research Assistant at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics


Rebecca Blank headshot
Rebecca Blank


Blank is an internationally respected economist now in her 5th year as chancellor of UW–Madison. Prior to her appointment as chancellor, she spent time in Washington, D.C., working in three different administrations. Most recently, she served as deputy secretary and acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce under President Obama.



Introducing the honorees of the 2018 Outstanding Women of Color Awards. Awards will be presented at a reception in the spring.


cover art for "America to Me" series

The multipart documentary series “America to Me” by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Steve James (Hoop Dreams, Life Itself) grapples with issues of race and equity in the Chicago-area’s Oak Park and River Forest High School through the lives of its students and teachers. The episode being screened, “There Is No Pain That Compares to the Struggle,” explores a wide range of issues, including microaggressions by teachers and referees, restorative classroom practices, racial segregation within the school and administrative roadblocks to change.


Following the documentary screening there will be a Q&A with two alumni who were featured in the series, Jessica Stovall and Adam Levin, moderated by School of Education professor Erica Halverson. They will discuss what it was like to be part of the documentary, their work for equity in the school system and their time at UW–Madison.


Town Hall Discussion:


Deaths now outnumber births among the white population in 26 U.S. states, demographers at UW–Madison’s Applied Population Lab have found, signaling what could be a faster-than-expected transition to a future in which whites are no longer a majority of the American population. This trend has come to be known by a few names in mass media, including the “browning of America” and the transition to a “majority minority country.” We will explore the facts of the demographic changes taking place in the U.S., and how those changes are being processed and reacted to in American media, culture and politics.

  • Karen Menéndez Coller, Executive Director of Centro Hispano of Dane County
  • Kathleen Culver, Assistant Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication, Director of the Center for Journalism Ethics
  • Gail C. Groy, Partner at Axley law firm
  • Sarah Kemp, Applied Population Laboratory Researcher, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
  • Benjamin Marquez, Professor of American Politics, Director of Chicano/Latino Studies Program




Option A:


The challenged relationships that exist between police and marginalized groups have been shaped over many years. In this session participants will discuss the role of police in a free society and within the criminal justice system, learn about the philosophy and practice of community policing and identify current challenges that exist in cultivating police-community trust. UW Police Chief Kristen Roman will share various initiatives underway nationally and within the UW–Madison Police Department that endeavor to address existing barriers, engage in relationship building and promote procedural justice and legitimacy in policing.

Presenter: Kristen Roman, Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief of UW-Madison University Police Department

Option B:


Many educators have good intentions about inclusion for all students but lack the tools and understanding to support transgender students and colleagues effectively. In this session participants will gain familiarity with key terms and concepts, common barriers that trans people face, and important resilience factors that they can easily build into their everyday practices. Participants will begin to practice concrete ways of supporting trans individuals while building a broadly gender-inclusive environment for everyone.

Presenter: Davey Shlasko, Director of Think Again Training, Lecturer in Gender and Women’s Studies

Option C:


This session will examine the intersection of alcohol prevention and social justice and strategies to create a more inclusive environment. For years UW–Madison has been focusing its work on reducing high-risk drinking among the high-risk drinking population. Data show that students of color are some of the university’s lowest-risk drinkers. Knowing this, UW–Madison decided to investigate the impact of its alcohol culture on students of color through the Color of Drinking Survey in 2015 and 2017. Findings from both surveys will be discussed in this session.

Presenter: Reonda Washington, Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Prevention Coordinator

Washington is Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist at University Health Services. Her work involves helping students make healthy choices around alcohol, researching alcohol culture, collaborating with campus partners to build capacity, implementing alcohol prevention programs and data analysis. She has been a member of the UHS Healthy Campus staff since 2013. She is currently examining how the UW–Madison alcohol culture impacts students of color, working with Greek Life on alcohol risk reduction, researching why students go to detox and collaborating with Housing and UW Police on programming for high-risk students.


Option A:


In 2015, UW–Madison was one of 27 institutions of higher education that participated in the Association of American Universities Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Assault Climate Survey. The survey found that more than one in four (27.6 percent) UW–Madison undergraduate female students reported experiencing sexual assault and misconduct. In the spring semester of 2019, UW will participate again in the climate survey and expects to share the results in the fall of 2019. This breakout session will review the 2015 findings and share work done on the recommendations, including UHS’ efforts to expand prevention efforts and bystander training, strategies to respond to graduate and professional student needs, an increase in the availability of confidential victim advocacy services on campus and plans for implementing the 2019 survey.

Option B:


Professional staff of the Multicultural Student Center offer reflections on the establishment of cultural centers at UW, and how those centers complement the work and priorities of the MSC itself and have a positive impact on campus climate. The Black Cultural Center, Amer­i­can Indian Stu­dent and Cul­tural Cen­ter, APIDA Cultural Center and Latinx Cultural Center serve as spaces for students to organize, gather in community and have their experiences centered in the wider narrative of being a Wisconsin Badger. Panelists will discuss national, Big Ten and campus data and research that support the efficacy of cultural centers and their experiences organizing communities of color.


Option C:


Industry Room

This panel of local and state leaders from the National Alliance on Mental Illness will help participants learn about mental illness and what the campus community should know to be better peers and advocates for people living with mental illness in housing, classrooms and workplaces. This session will provide ways to improve the quality of life and promote recovery for people with mental illnesses.

  • Jessica L. Gruneich, Executive Director of NAMI Wisconsin
  • Kenia Link, Outreach Coordinator of NAMI UW–Madison
  • Chrisanna Manders, Associate Director of NAMI Wisconsin
  • Kristen Roman, past board member of both NAMI Dane County and Journey Mental Health Center, Chief of University Police


Option A:


What can men do to make sure we are part of moving society forward toward greater social justice and equity? How can men use their lived experiences as fuel to challenge the status quo? An open discussion — with some leading questions — examining how traditional models of masculinity have been the source of oppression and violence, and have impeded male-identifying people from fully experiencing their own and others’ humanness. This session will begin a conversation about how to liberate ourselves from the myths of masculinity.

  • Stephen Montagna, Learning Communities Facilitator at Learning Communities for Institutional Change & Excellence
  • Raymond Neal, Learning Communities Facilitator at Learning Communities for Institutional Change & Excellence


Option B:


Facilities Planning and Management often receives requests to retrofit campus restroom facilities as gender-inclusive restroom facilities. In October 2017 UW–Madison established a task force to provide guidance and policy recommendations to FPM with these efforts. In this workshop, members of the task force will discuss their committee’s charge, review the first round of recommendations and give a status update of the implementation. With phase two of the task force beginning this fall, panelists will also discuss current efforts to develop a campus-wide usage policy to address the need for providing safe, accessible and convenient restroom facilities.

  • Gary Brown, Director of Campus Planning and Landscape Architecture
  • Katherine Charek Briggs, Assistant Director of the Gender and Sexuality Campus Center
  • Kelly Krein, Assistant Director of Staff and Programs and Campus Organizer


Option C:


The Center for Educational Opportunity provides an array of services that support academic achievement, retention and graduation among undergraduates who are first-generation college students, students who meet federal income guidelines and students with disabilities. Journey through the last 25 years of CeO’s impact and stories of student success. Participants will be inspired to find ways to partner with CeO as it moves ahead into the next quarter-century.

Presenter:  Claudia Mosley, Director of the Center for Educational Opportunity


Option A:


This session will provide an overview of campus policies on the prevention of hostile and intimidating behavior, how to prevent it and how to address it when it happens. Participants will have the opportunity to work on cases to help them understand what hostile and intimidating behavior looks like and what to do when they experience or see it.

  • Michael Bernard-Donals, Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff
  • Patrick Sheehan, Director of Talent Acquisition and Retention

Option B:


Fifth Quarter Room

In this workshop participants will start identifying their internal landscapes and ways to change them. The group will mediate, practice breathing techniques, talk and stretch their bodies and imaginations regarding what’s possible.

Presenter:  Esty Dinur, Director of Marketing and Communications, Wisconsin Union

Dinur is a longtime student and practitioner of spiritual traditions. She has been leading meditations at various spaces in Madison and California and she initiated and led the first-ever meditation room and meditation workshops at the national convention of Veterans for Peace.


This year’s Annual Diversity Forum was a two-day event offering keynote speakers, break-out session,  a Campus/Community Townhall Forum and second-day training workshops. See resources that were shared for both days below.

Resources from Day 1, November 7

Keynote Speaker Walter Echo-Hawk speaks at the DDEEA Diversity Forum 2017
(Photo © Andy Manis)

As a Native American rights attorney since 1973, Walter Echo-Hawk worked at the epicenter of a great social movement alongside visionary tribal leaders, visited tribes in indigenous habitats throughout North America, and was instrumental in the passage of landmark laws, including the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (1990) and the American Indian Religious Freedom Act Amendments (1994).  Echo-Hawk litigated in many of the epic struggles and has written extensively about the rise of modern Indian nations as a Native American author with first-hand experience, such as his groundbreaking book, In the Courts of the Conqueror: The 10 Worst Indian Law Cases Ever Decided (2010) .  Echo-Hawk also signed copies of his book In the Light of Justice: The Rise of Human Rights in Native America and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Books by Walter Echo-Hawk: Book cover for In the Courts of the ConquerorBook cover for In the Light of Justice

Breakout Session Resources:

*Campus Climate Survey Task Force Report

*Start from Within Meditation Workshop (PDF)

*Undocumented and Uncertain: A Town Hall Discussion on Wisconsin Dreamers:  

How U.S. immigration laws and rules have changed through history

Key Facts About Immigrants Enrolled in DACA 

Key Facts About U.S. Lawful Immigrants

Trump’s merit-based immigration system: Who would get in?


Resources from Day 2, November 8

Cultural Competency Workshops for Mental Health Specialists, Student Service Professionals & Advisors

Dr. Sarah Van Orman speaks at the Nov. 8 Diversity Forum
(Photo © Andy Manis)

As the Director of UW-Madison Health for nearly a decade, the Day 2 featured keynote Dr. Sarah Van Orman helped UW–Madison navigate some of the toughest issues around: student mental health, high-risk drinking, sexual assault and outbreaks of meningitis and norovirus. Van Orman is board-certified in both internal and pediatric medicine and she received her medical degree from Mayo Medical School.

Resources from the keynote presentation,  “Practitioners at the Intersections of Health and Educational Disparities: Achieving Equity on Campus,”  by Dr. Sarah Van Orman:  Download PDF

Five young people sit at a table speaking as part of a panel discussion
(Photo © Andy Manis)

 Simone Collins, Associate Director for Campus Based Services at University Health Services Mental Health, moderated a panel of diverse students discussing the challenges of navigating systems and institutions to overcome  feeling excluded or marginalized. Students shared their challenges in the classroom and suggest what they need from professionals.   

Workshop Training Session Resources:


Recovery from Effects of Childhood Trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) to be Successful in Life and in the Classroom:  Download PDF

Adjusting to UW-Madison’s Campus Life No Matter Where You’re From:  Download PDF

Remaining Accountable to Marginalized Student Populations: Addressing Bias Incidents and Creating an Inclusive Campus Community:  Download PDF


Diversity Forum 2016 – ALL INclusive: Our Diversity Commitment in Practice

rabia-chaudryKeynote Speaker: Rabia Chaudry, a wife, mother, attorney, President of the Safe Nation Collaborative and a National Security Fellow at the New America Foundation.

This year’s keynote speaker is Rabia Chaudry, a wife, mother, attorney, President of the Safe Nation Collaborative and a National Security Fellow at the New America Foundation, who is a civically engaged legal practitioner on federal immigration law, with experience in civil liberties and national security. Chaudry’s work with the New America Foundation focuses on the empowerment of and inclusion of American Muslim communities in the national security realm providing cultural competency training to law enforcement, correctional and homeland security officials and providing national security and vulnerability training to Muslim communities and institutions.

Rabia received her Juris Doctorate from the George Mason School of Law and practiced immigration and civil rights law for over a decade before moving into the CVE policy sphere.

Rabia is a 2016 Aspen Ideas Scholar, Fellow of the Truman National Security Project, a Fellow of the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute, and a Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute. She is the public advocate of Adnan Syed, the wrongfully convicted man at the center of the most popular podcast in history, “Serial”, and is the co-producer and co-host of the podcast “Undisclosed”, with over 70 million downloads.  Rabia is a frequent public speaker on CVE, civil rights, faith & gender. Her writing appears in dozens of outlets and her book, “Adnan’s Story” will be published in September 2016.



Diversity Forum 2015 – Call to Action: Taking Our Diversity Work into Broader, Deeper & More Inclusive Waters

clarence-pageKeynote Speaker:
 Clarence Page, Pulitzer-winning columnist
Clarence Page, the Pulitzer-winning columnist who was the keynote speaker at the UW-Madison Diversity Forum 2015 held November 3-4 at Union South, is someone who has seen it all, as much a reflection of his occupation as it is of his years. Page is not an “in-your-face” kind of speaker. Rather he is someone who uses the twist of a phrase to drive a point home, sometimes so subtly that the full depth and meaning of what he has said takes a moment to full appreciate. In addressing diversity, he recounted his own first discovery of segregation when he went to visit relatives in Alabama as a youth. His recounting of the episode reveals a type of loss of innocence as he came abruptly against the forces of segregation.
Program: Here

Diversity Forum 2014 – Pulse 2014: Diversity

Keynote Speakers:

Rebecca Ryan, entrepreneur, author, founder and co-owner of Next Generation Consulting

rabecca-ryanRebecca Ryan is the author of ReGENERATION: A Manifesto for America’s Future Leaders (2013) and Live First, Work Second: Getting Inside the Head of the Next Generation (2007). As founder of Next Generation Consulting, Ryan leads the team that best-selling author Richard Florida calls, “One of the most reliable sources for leaders who want to attract and retain the next generation of creative workers.

Ryan is the Resident Futurist at the Alliance for Innovation and a Senior Fellow at CEOs for Cities. She serves on the board of the World Academy for Entrepreneurship & Enterprise (WAE2) and has also been named:

  • Top 100 Most Influential People, Accounting Today
  • Communicator of the Year, Women in Communication
  • Woman of Influence, Business Journal of Greater Milwaukee
  • Entrepreneur of the Year, U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Peter Aranda, Executive Director and CEO of The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management

Peter Aranda speaks at a podium
Peter Aranda, Executive Director and CEO of The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, a non-profit alliance that includes some of the country’s best business schools, major corporations and sought-after MBA candidates spoke to Diversity Forum participants on Monday afternoon.

Major General Marcia Anderson, Acting Assistant Chief and Deputy Chief, Army Reserve

A woman in a blue army uniform speaks at a podiumMajor General Marcia Anderson,  Acting Assistant Chief and Deputy Chief, Army Reserve, has served since 1 October 2011, as the senior advisor to the Chief, Army Reserve on policies and programs for the USAR including force structure, Congressional budget and appropriations process, development of manpower and personnel policies, as well as Department of The Army and Department of Defense Matters.

Program: Here

Diversity Forum 2013 – Diversity & Educational Achievement: A Wisconsin Agenda

Keynote Speaker(s):

Professor Sylvia Hurtado, University of California, Los Angeles

Morning keynote speaker Sylvia Hurtado spoke on the impact campus climate has on student success and development in higher education. As a professor and director of the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA in the Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences, Hurtado also has been the Director of the Center for the Study of Higher and Post-secondary Education at the University of Michigan and was named by Black Issues In Higher Education among the top 15 influential faculty whose work has had an impact on the academy. Hurtado recognized UW-Madison for being actively engaged in learning and training on diversity through the UCLA-based HERI before it was a hot topic.

Professor Derald Wing Sue, Columbia University

Afternoon keynote speaker Derald Wing Sue, a pioneer in the field of multicultural psychology, multicultural education, multicultural counseling and therapy, and the psychology of racism/antiracism, spoke about the impact of ‘micro-aggressions,’ or the small infractions of disrespect, that people inflict on one another both consciously and unconsciously. Derald Wing Sue is Professor of Counseling Psychology and Education in the Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Teachers College and the School of Social Work, Columbia University.

He was the Co-Founder and first President of the Asian American Psychological Association, past presidents of the Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues and the Society of Counseling Psychology. Described as a pioneer in the field of multicultural psychology, multicultural education, multicultural counseling and therapy, and the psychology of racism/antiracism, he has done extensive multicultural research and writing in psychology and education long before the academic community perceived it favorably, and his theories and concepts have paved the way for a generation of younger scholars interested in issues of minority mental health and multicultural psychology. He is the author of several books, including Counseling the Culturally Diverse: Theory and Practice, Overcoming our Racism, and Understanding Abnormal Behavior.

Katherine Lipper, J.D., EducationCounsel LLC.

Kathryn Lipper
Attorney Katherine Lipper, J.D.


Katherine E. Lipper is a policy and legal advisor at EducationCounsel. A former seventh grade English and reading teacher, she focuses on the issues of access and diversity in elementary, secondary, and higher education.







Program: Here

*Coming December 13, 2017: Our UW  Diversity Training for 2nd & 3rd Shift Employees

Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 11 p.m. to Thursday, Dec. 14 at 1 a.m.,  Gordon Events and Dining Center, Concerto Room

Foreign Language announcement poster


Diversity Forum 2012 – Embracing Our Past to Chart Our Future

Keynote Speaker:

guinier-l-photo-high-res-headshot-2006Lani Guinier, Civil Rights Attorney and First Tenured Black Woman Professor at Harvard

In 1998, Lani Guinier became the first black woman to be appointed to a tenured professorship at Harvard Law School. Before joining the faculty at Harvard, she was a tenured professor for ten years at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. During the 1980s, she was head of the voting rights project at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and served in the Civil Rights Division during the Carter administration as special assistant to then-Assistant Attorney General Drew S. Days. Guinier came to public attention when she was nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1993 to head the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, only to have her name withdrawn without a confirmation hearing. Guinier turned that incident into a powerful personal and political memoir, Lift Every Voice: Turning a Civil Rights Setback into a New Vision of Social Justice. Dean of Yale Law School Anthony Kronman calls Lift Every Voice a “moving personal testimony, a story of dignity and principle and hope, from which every reader can take heart.”

While a member of the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Guinier investigated the experience of women in law school, leading to the publication of a book, Becoming Gentlemen: Women, Law School and Institutional Change. She and her co-authors found that women were not graduating with top honors, although women and men came to the school with virtually identical credentials. The author of many articles and op-ed pieces on democratic theory, political representation, educational equity, and issues of race and gender, Guinier has written The Tyranny of the Majority (Free Press, 1994) about issues of political representation; Who’s Qualified? (Beacon Press, 2001) written with Susan Sturm about moving beyond affirmative action to reconsider the ways in which colleges admit all students; and The Miner’s Canary (Harvard Press, 2002), written with Gerald Torres about the experience of people of color as a warning or “canary” signaling larger institutional inequities.

A graduate of Radcliffe College of Harvard University and Yale Law School, Guinier has received numerous awards, including the 1995 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award from the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession; the Champion of Democracy Award from the National Women’s Political Caucus; the Rosa Parks Award from the American Association for Affirmative Action; the Harvey Levin Teaching Award, given to her by the 1994 graduating class at the University of Pennsylvania; and the 2002 Sacks-Freund Teaching Award from Harvard Law School. She is the recipient of 11 honorary degrees from schools which include Smith College, Spelman College, Swarthmore College, and the University of the District of Columbia.

Program: Here