The inaugural statewide collaborative diversity conference took place on April 18-19, 2013. The CDC drew a crowd of 300+ professionals and students from around the state of Missouri. The conference also drew in 56 organizations, 21 from outside of Springfield.
Conference presentations were core to the collaborative event and these were conducted within four areas of concentration (strands) i.e. research, intervention, pedagogy and cultural competence. Each strand consisted of at least six presentations of the two-day experience and each contained a major plenary session. The conference keynote address featured Tim Wise, an internationally known writer and educator on diversity efforts on campuses and in corporate America. Other notable addresses were made by Honorable Judge Jimmie Edwards (22nd Circuit Court, St. Louis), Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean of Joplin, Brian Fogle (Community Foundation of the Ozarks), and Valerie Patton (St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative).
A list of conference take-a-ways are provided below:
- 56 organizations represented at the inaugural conference – 21 outside of Springfield.
- MSU faculty exposed to diversity research from various industries.
- MSU now positioned for recognition of statewide leadership in diversity education.
- City of Springfield benefits from influx of visitors to its businesses.
- Recognition of new and/or elevated relationships between eleven sponsoring corporations in greater Springfield.
- MSU staff equipped with supervisory and co-worker diversity skill sets.
- CDC is point of origin for exponential statewide networks and development groups.
- MSU students gain direct knowledge of 21st century workplace interpersonal demands.
- Community can better envision MSU as a diversity retooling station on an annual basis.
The Second Annual Collaborative Diversity Conference is scheduled for April 24-25, 2014.