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Free Regional Diversity Conference hosted by area colleges, universities set for Feb. 2-3

In Community, Education, Local by OC Monitor Staff

OWENSBORO, Ky. — Area colleges and universities are hosting the inaugural Regional Diversity Conference in Owensboro Feb. 2-3, at Owensboro Community & Technical College, at 4800 New Hartford Road in Owensboro.

This free event is open to the community and is a collaborative partnership with the regional postsecondary partners: Brescia University, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Murray State University, Western Kentucky University, and OCTC.

“The idea came from OCTC’s Cultural Competency Work Group, the core group of the local college president’s discussed it and we were off and running! The ultimate goal was to bring our community together and offer people the opportunity to explore and engage in all aspects of diversity,” stated Matt Alschbach, co-chair of OCTC’s work group.

“We wanted to structure an event that could impact our campuses, employees, and students but also make it relevant to our employers and the community. Once we formally approached the other institutions, we realized that everyone was on board,” said Sharmy Davis, Interim Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Director of Cultural Diversity.

Thanks to the financial investment by all the partner schools and lead sponsors, Jagoe Homes and Southern Star, the two-day event is free. It will be held on OCTC’s Main Campus, but the sessions will be available online through Microsoft Teams. Breakfast, lunch and refreshments will be provided and a reception is scheduled from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Thursday evening for registered participants. The deadline for registration is Tuesday, Jan. 31.

“Registration is important to ensure accurate numbers for food and refreshments. Registration will also be required in order to access the conference virtually – the MS Teams links for online access will be emailed the day before the conference to those who have registered,” Davis added. “We ask that those not familiar with MS Teams download the app ahead of time for the best experience.”

Topics include discussing disabilities, the future of the Spanish language in the United States, diversifying the workplace, intersectionality, and more.

Some featured speakers include Joe Frazier, Executive Director of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Center for DE&I; Demetria Miles-McDonald, Founder and CEO of Decide Diversity; and Abigail Cox, Director of Murray State’s Women’s Center, and Dr. Tia Brown the Vice President in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success and Executive Director for the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Campus Centers at the American Association of Colleges and Universities in Washington, DC.

Anyone interested in participating may register for the event here.

The complete slate of sessions are posted on the event’s Facebook page.

The deadline for this free event is Tuesday, Jan. 31. For more information, contact sharmy.davis@kctcs.edu.