Jane Elliot scheduled at conference

By on February 8, 2006

“The goal of the conference is that all the participants, at one point during the day, have that epiphany, and have that one thing that turns on the switch in their head and makes them start to think about diversity in a different light,” Pete Gallay, senior Media Production major about next weekend’s diversity conference, said.

On Saturday Feb. 18th, students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to listen to keynote speaker Jane Elliot, one of America’s most respected speakers on prejudice and discrimination. Elliot has spoken at conference around the world, and is known for her analogy of the melting pot.

“We don’t need a melting pot in this country, folks,” Elliot said on the Oprah Winfrey show. “We need a salad bowl. In a salad bowl, you put in the different things. You want the vegetables – the lettuce, the cucumbers, the onions, the green peppers – to maintain their identity. You appreciate differences.”

Elliot has been a teacher for over 25 years, teaching and speaking about her stands on diversity, racism and prejudice, and Quinnipiac University is lucky to have her attending this conference to share her ideas.

This conference will help students explore diversity around them both on campus and in their personal lives through interactive activities. It begins at 9 a.m and will end around 4 p.m. There are two sessions of speakers and workshops, and students will be able to choose from a variety of topics. The morning session, called “Focus on Global Diversity includes: “Geneology,” “Identity through Diversity,” “Women of the World: You think you know, but you have no idea,” “The Race Card,” and “International Culture Clashes.” The afternoon session, called “Focus on College Diversity” includes workshops entitled “Archie Bunker’s Neighborhood,” “Everything you want to know about the GLTB Community but Were Afraid to Ask,” “What a Girl Wants: Is there a difference between man and woman,” “College Eye,” “Diversity in Action,” and “A Stranger in a Strange Land: Navigating Interracial Communication.”

With a variety of interesting topics, the goal is that those who attended will leave at the end of the day with a new perspective on all different kinds of prejudices.

“The conference will benefit people who already have an understanding about Diversity and want to explore more,” Gallay said. “It will probably be most beneficial to people who don’t necessarily think of diversity everyday or do not believe that diversity is important.”

This conference was put together by S.H.A.D.E.S (Students Helping Advocate Diversity Education), the group that organizes Multicultural Mondays on campus. They’ve done small scale projects for the last few years, and decided it was time to plan an entire conference dedicated to diversity education. Diversity is important for everyone, no matter what type of environment one lives in, and people should have a better understanding of the topic in general.

More than five years ago, there was a conference pertaining to diversity, but this upcoming conference is the first since then completely dedicated to diversity. Speakers at the conference will include Jane Elliott, Johnny Stinchon, Erin Twomey, David Ives, Abdul Staten, Jill Martin, Sean Lyons, Carleen Roy-Butler, Kevin Butler, Tyrone Black, Gloria Holmes, Brian Amero, Kerith Whitten, Cheryl Kerison, and Cheryl Barnard.

S.H.A.D.E.S is eager for the conference and is looking forward to a successful day. Students can stop by the table in the Student Center to pick up registration forms, or email Cheryl.Bernard@quinnipiac.edu for more information.

“A melting pot does not appreciate differences, and this country ought to be about appreciating differences,” Elliot said to the Opera audience



About Bethany Dionne