Diversity Dialogues

diversity dialoguesDiversity Dialogues is an annual spring event sponsored by the offices of Campus Climate and Diversity, a subdivision of Student Affairs.. This event showcases some of the outstanding work being done at UWL in regards to diversity and inclusion, featuring hourly presentations by faculty, staff and students.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015
UWL Cartwright Center
8:50 a.m. - 3:10 p.m.

 Diversity Dial

8:45-9:45 expanding section
Port      O'Call      Dr. Ann Yehle
Mabuhay ang Eskrima   
  Bolos, balisongs, kris, kampilans, and daggars coupled with a princess who is blind and a hermit whose residence requires a swim through shark infested waters? The aforementioned comprised the rich cultural traditions grounded in the Filipino art of eskrima and are practiced on a regular basis here in the Philippines, California, and Wisconsin? In this session participants will become grounded in the concepts associated with eskrima via a hands-on, visual journey. Participants will also explore how this rich art made its way to Wisconsin. 
Valhalla A Caitlin Dahl, Michelle Nauman, Chad Crawford student panel
Celebrating First Generation Students
First generation college students often face more challenges than those of their non-first generation peers, resulting in lower retention and graduation rates. In order to help this under-represented group of students succeed, it is important to understand their needs. Join us as we raise awareness about first generation students at UW-La Crosse. Participants will learn about the importance of identifying and supporting these students and hear from a panel of students about how being a first generation student has impacted their college experience. 
Valhalla B  Nizam Arain
Affirmative Action on Campus: Myths vs. Realities
Affirmative Action has played an important role in diversifying colleges and universities over the last fifty years, but many mistaken notions still persist about affirmative action in college admissions—myths like quotas, reduced academic standards, and unqualified students being admitted just because of their skin color. This presentation will dispel these myths and explain the reality of how colleges today use affirmative action to bring about fairness and quality education for all students 
11:00-11:55 expanding section
Port O'Call Dr. Victoria Svoboda
Social Class Issues in Higher Education
Social class is not often addressed in diversity dialogues, in part because people have such different perceptions about what it means. Social class is about much more than just money, and is interwoven with other salient college student identities such as race/ethnicity, gender, and first-generation status. In this presentation, I will share various theoretical understandings of class to deepen the dialogue about how social class of origin shapes collegiate experiences. Drawing from my research about social mobility within higher education, I will ask participants to dialogue about the implications of social class for teaching and learning at UWL. 
Valhalla A  OIE Student Panel & Miranda Panzer 
Put yourself in the shoes of an international student at UWL. 
Come join our panel discussion and learn about what is like to be in the shoes of an international student at UW-La Crosse. We will explore academics around the globe, stereotypes, and the student's own personal experiences.
Valhalla B  Dr. Suthakaran Veerasamy
White + Power =Privilege to Define Reality
The recent events in Ferguson once again highlight the discrepancies that exist between people of color and Whites in their perceptions of racism. In a country where people of color and Whites still live segregated lives, how does a person of color communicate her perception of racism without feeling invalidated by a White person? As a means to get a better understanding of the realities of people of color, racism as a consequence of power differential among racial groups will be explored through the use of experiential techniques in this presentation. 
12:05-1:00 expanding section
Port O'Call Silouan Green
*Faculty and Staff Session
Understanding and Addressing the Needs of Student Veterans

 Responding to PTSD - tools for understanding and responding to PTSD including triggers, crisis response, effective dialogue, early intervention and help, and creating a culture of support. Everon LLC publishes The Ladder UPP program and helps counselors, organizations, and businesses integrate with their veteran and peer support programs.
Valhalla A Dr. Gretchen Reinders
Mental Health 101: Let’s Talk
"Imagine getting blamed for having cancer. Mental illness is just as real." In this program, facilitated by UWL Counseling and Testing Center clinicians, UWL students, faculty and staff will learn data specific to our campus about the prevalence of mental health problems. Participants will be stimulated to think of what contributes to and sustains these problems as well as the stigma surrounding them. Common myths related to mental illness will be de-bunked, and participants will be able to ask questions and learn practical skills to help students in distress. Silence breeds stigma. Let’s get talking!
Valhalla B Kyshona Armstrong
Kyshona Armstrong, a music therapist gone rogue, hails from the small town of Irmo, SC (home of Vanna White and the Okra Strut).  She grew up listening to her grandfather’s singing in the gospel choir, aunts and uncles singing old Sam Cooke tunes around the electric guitar amps, and her father practicing the guitar solo from "Hello" by Lionel Richie on repeat. Kyshona has mixed her love of storytelling with the sound of her musical roots.  Soulful, spiritual, at times guttural, Kyshona delivers an open honesty through her voice and lyrics. Her desire when she is performing is to connect with and take the audience on an emotional, soul stirring, musical journey. Her goal is to move a crowd.
1:10-2:05 expanding section
Port O'Call  Colin Burns-Gilbert, Nick Thuot, Ashleigh Williams
Tales from 3 White Kids 
In working at an institution and within a department with many privileged identities, losing sight of Inclusive Excellence can be a reality. Conversations relating to privilege and oppression are imperative to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and students. This presentation will demonstrate ways that three white people keep equity at the forefront of our practice while working in a predominately white environment. 
Valhalla A  Barbara Larsen
Understanding Generational Diversity
The "Flip Flops" are coming! What's all the buzz about "generational gaps" in education or the workplace? Are you grappling with generational gaps in recruiting, retaining, rewarding, managing, or training the generations? Or just plan "communicating better" with others of different generations? Barbara Larsen teaches "Understanding Generational Diversity" in MGT308. She uses an engaging and participative approach to gain a clear understanding of how organizations can gain a better understanding of generational differences and how it is affecting our universities, workplace, customers, and board room. 
Valhalla B  Shaundel Spivey & Nicole Johnson
Parts of Me
 If the LGBT+ community can’t accept me because I am a person of color and People of Color won't accept me because I'm gay, where do I go? This presentation is an introduction to the topic of intersectional identities.  The presenters will focus on the intersection of race and sexual orientation. Following the brief introduction, we will begin a panel discussion that will include people of color in the LGBT+ community. During the panel individuals will share their personal experiences of navigating through White and straight spaces.
2:15-3:10 expanding section
Port O'Call  Dr. Gretchen Newhouse
Careers for “Everybody”
Obesity is one of the most serious health problems in the United States today. Along with physical health risks associated with obesity, there is growing evidence that stigmatizing properties of obesity seriously threaten the social and psychological wellness of people who are significantly overweight. While some research illustrates the general constraints to career development, there is little information to understand the constraints for people who are significantly overweight. This presentation will provide information on the constraints to career development for individuals who are significantly overweight and also valuable information to understand and address these issues to better assist your employees and colleagues. 
Valhalla A  Dr. Nicole Cassidy
Overviews of Various Cultural Views Surrounding Health, Body Size and Body Image
Body image issues, disordered eating, fat shaming and stigmatization are increasingly prevalent issues in our society that impact all individuals and cultures.  This discussion topic will contain an overview of various cultural views surrounding health, body size, and fatness and will also present an alternative framework oriented around size acceptance: Health at Every Size. We will provide opportunities for dialogue regarding beliefs about size and personal and social impact of fat stigma, and explore ways to create a truly healthy campus at UWL
Valhalla B  Dr. Richard Breaux
Intersectionality and Mental Distress on the Other Side of the Lectern
In recent years, a number of college professors have publically disclosed about their personal struggles with episodic and chronic mental distress or mental illness. While student service and student affairs literature increasing promotes awareness about students with developmental, learning, psychological, and (to a lesser degree) psychiatric disorders, the literature on mental distress among academic administrators and professors receives much less attention and has largely been limited to those who are law professors (Elyn Saks, James Jones, Marjorie Silver, Brian S. Clark, Kay Redfield Jamison), tenured (Monica A. Coleman, plus all above except Clark), and white (all except Coleman). The response in many academic communities has been to ignore this sensitive issue largely because 1) the legal issues surrounding disclosure and 2) the stigma related to distresses of the mind in a profession where the brain and the mind are the foundational tools for academics success and also source of one’s pain and unusual behavior. This talk and the discussion that follows will address how our intersecting racial, gender, religious, class identities complicate disclosure and may foster a climate where stigma shuts down conservations about mental health and distress among faculty and administrators.