Diversity and Inclusion Symposium

Diversity and Inclusion (virtual) Symposium 2022

Harnessing the Power of Diversity

Featuring Dr. Frederick Gooding Jr.  

January 20-21, 2022

Registration FULL

About the Diversity and Inclusion Symposium 

The Diversity Symposium at the University of Arizona is a unique opportunity for faculty and staff to learn and discuss important topics related to diversity and inclusion through hands-on interactive breakout sessions, a keynote speaker, and dialogues. Participants gather for facilitated discussions on critical issues affecting higher education, such as unconscious bias, student success for marginalized students, intersectionality and unlearning harmful actions. As a way to celebrate our continued commitment to Diversity and Inclusion, we will announce the winners of the Inclusive Excellence Awards during the State of Diversity Dinner on Thursday evening. 

What can you expect from the symposium?

Plenary Speakers

Photo of Dr. Frederick W. Gooding, Jr.

Frederick Gooding Jr., Ph.D.

Frederick W. Gooding, Jr. (PhD, Georgetown University) is an Associate Professor within the Honors College at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX. Featured in national publications such as "New York Times" and "USA Today," Dr. Gooding critically analyzes race in mainstream media and engages audiences on patterns "hidden in plain sight."

As the Dr. Ronald E. Moore Endowed Professor of the Humanities within the John V. Roach Honors College at Texas Christian University, Dr. Gooding has provided social commentary on CBS, NBC and Fox News networks. As such, Gooding’s best-known work thus far is “You Mean, There’s RACE in My Movie? The Complete Guide to Understanding Race in Mainstream Hollywood,” which has been utilized in high schools and universities nationwide. 

While also serving as chair of TCU's Race & Reconciliation Initiative, Dr. Gooding has reached an international audience with messages of racial healing through the podcast, "Reconcile This!" 

As the co-editor of “Stories from the Front of the Room: How Higher Education Faculty Overcome Challenges and Thrive in the Academy,” Gooding has stayed focused on the practical applications of equity with his 2018 book, “American Dream Deferred” carefully detailing the growth and struggles of black federal workers in the postwar era. His latest work, “Black Oscars” (May 2020), expands his reach into cultural studies by analyzing African American Academy Award winners and how their narratives reflect and reinforce larger American history.

Dr. Gooding most recently served as the Leonard A. Lauder Visiting Senior Fellow for the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC for summer 2021 to work on his next book on black statues -- a work that aims to contribute to national conversations about public memory, urban, art and socio-political history -- not to mention the value and visibility of black imagery.

After experiencing this brother's energy, it will be highly likely that you will NEVER see the black image the same way again!


Maribel Alvarez, Ph.D.

Dr. Maribel Alvarez is an anthropologist, folklorist, curator, and cultural organizer. She holds the Jim Griffith Chair in Public Folklore at the Southwest Center, University of Arizona, where she also is Interim Associate Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion. She is the founder and until recently served as executive director of the Southwest Folklife Alliance, an independent nonprofit affiliated with the University of Arizona, which produces the annual Tucson Meet Yourself Folklife Festival in addition to 20+ programs connecting artisanal economies, foodways, and traditional arts to community planning and neighborhood-based economic development throughout the US-Mexico border corridor. In 1989, she co-founded MACLA in San Jose, California –one of the most vibrant contemporary Latino art spaces in the United States. Maribel has served as a Trustee of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. She has been a Fulbright Fellow in Sonora, Mexico where she currently still carries on research with indigenous Yaqui communities around food and sovereignty. She has served as a core advisor for several philanthropic national initiatives on questions of equity, narrative strategy, and the generative power of changing demographics in the United States, including Artography, funded over five years by the Ford Foundation. She has served in the faculty of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures’ National Leadership Institute for 18 years, training and mentoring more than 400 Latinx and BIPOC leaders throughout the nation. In 2018 the American Folklore Society awarded her the prestigious Americo Paredes Prize for “excellence in integrating scholarship and engagement with the people and communities one studies.” Maribel self-describes as an immigrant, queer, first-generation college student. Her doctorate in Cultural Anthropology is from the University of Arizona.

Program Schedule

The titles of the workshops for the two-day virtual symposium are below. A Whova account is needed to sign up for your session. THIS EVENT IS FULL. 

Plenary Speaker: Dr. Maribel Alvarez

Title: Diversity is the Low Bar

As institutions, communities, and even nations reckon with profound challenges to largely staid and comfortable notions about the meaning of racial identities, justice, and hierarchies of power and belonging, a race to the bottom for affirming “diversity” as an organizational value has accelerated. Yet, in practice, recent research suggests that many prominent elements of the institutional diversity cottage industry fall short of the dreams of transformation of those who most poignantly carry the burden of representation in their own bodies and psyches in schools and workplaces. What truths must be spoken and affirmed in our institutions if we are going to expect lasting, structural changes around diversity? How can we work simultaneously and instead to re-imagine alternative designs/charges/and institutional mechanisms of accountability for achieving the optimal aspirations of the diversity movement?

Concurrent Session 1
  • The University of Arizona Health Sciences Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion's Program for Mental Health Wellness: Promoting Mental Wellness for Student Success
    • Presenter(s): Jenna Teso
  • Ensuring Muslim and SWANA-Related Students Have a Voice at the Diversity Table
    • Presenter(s): Maha Nassar and Lynn Hourani
  • Building Latinx Inclusion in Cooperative Extension: Real Life Struggles and Successes in Administration
    • Presenter(s): Eva Romero
  • The Forgotten History of Toleration and Tolerance
    • Presenter(s): Albrecht Classen
  • Fortitude: African American Mothers in Student Affairs 
    • Presenter(s): Cheree Meeks

Coffee Break

Concurrent Session 2
  • Academia's Poverty Problem
    • Presenter(s): Carlos Varga
  • Flipping the Script:  Two BIPOC Law Professors Embrace and Enunciate Difference to Further Equality in Legal Academia
    • Presenter(s): Shefali Milcarek-Desai and Sylvia Lett
  • Overcoming Technology and Access Barriers 
    • Presenter(s): Travis Teetor, Marlo Franco, and Karen Francis-Begay
  • Call me by my Name: An Update on Sex, Gender, and Pronouns
    • Presenter(s): Alex Robie Harris, Earl E. Lee, and Alex Underwood
  • Addressing Native American Degree Attainment by Creating a Sense of Belonging for Tribal College Transfer Students to a Four- Year University
    • Presenter(s): Daniel Sestiaga Jr. and Ben Richmond
  • Building an Affirming, Transparent, and Inclusive Equity Ecosystem for Faculty Advancement
    • Presenter(s): Andrea J Romero, Judy Marquez Kiyama, Adrian Arroyo Perez, and Celeste Atkins

Learning Lab 1
  • The NAVIGATE Project - Strategies for career success for women in STEM
    • Presenter(s): Liesl Folks and Coleen Carrigan
  • Native Know How: a 2-year Review
    • Presenter(s): Joan Timeche (Hopi), Davida Delmar (Navajo), and Danielle Hiraldo (Lumbee)
  • DEI Syllabus Praxis: A Workbook for Faculty Learning Communities
    • Presenter(s): Mascha N. Gemein and Nupur N. Joshi
  • Equity-minded Assessment
    • Presenter(s): Lucas Schalewski
  • The Pan-Africanist Aesthetic In Hip Hop Dance
    • Presenter(s): Praise Zenenga
  • The Sfghan Refugee Crisis
    • Presenter(s): Lynn Hourani

Plenary Speaker: Dr. Frederick Gooding Jr. 

Title: Racism 2.0

Diversity, equity, and inclusion can only be realized when all truthful parts of the history are included in future narratives of culture formation, no matter how difficult the truth may be -- thus, we literally must learn to stop chasing the ghosts of the past as we confront today's unique challenges. 

Concurrent Session 3
  • Building Engineering Identity Through a Community of Academic Advancement
    • Presenter(s): Noel Hennessey and Jennifer Galvan-Garcia
  • Intersectionality in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies: Supporting DEAI Initiatives through Undergraduate Research Opportunities 
    • Presenter(s): Colleen Lucey and Dana Brouillard 
  • Inclusive and Informed: Strategies to Support Marginalized Students in Higher Education 
    • Presenter(s): Mikah Rosanova and Emma Collier
  • The Recognize, Inform, Support, and Elevate (RISE) Initiative 
    • Presenter(s): Clarissa DeLeon
  •  Integrating Transparency in Teaching 
    • Presenter(s): Alejandra Zapien-Hidalgo

Coffee Break

Concurrent Session 4
  • Exploring Weight Stigma & Aiming for Body Liberation
    • Presenter(s): Ashley Munro
  • The Bridge to STEAM: A Retention Program for Native American Students
    • Presenter(s): Karen Francis-Begay, Kimberly Sierra-Cajas, and Demetra Skaltsas
  • A Metaversity Framework: Higher Education in the Metaverse Can Increase Diversity  
    • Presenter(s): Craig Wilson
  • So Change It: Commitment as an Act of Nonperformance
    • Presenter(s): Patricia Yango
  • Hip-Hop Based Education
    • Presenter(s): Alain-Philippe Durand and Alex Nava

Learning Lab 2
  • Taking Action for Your Team: Review of a Training Series Developing Inclusive Faculty Leaders
    • Presenter(s): Michelle Ortiz, Alice Min, and Shrey Goel
  • Hidden in Plain View: Constructive Dialogue on Race
    • Presenter(s): Frederick Gooding Jr. (Plenary Speaker)
  • Creating Inclusive Outreach Models
    • Presenter(s): Bassil Ramadan and Ulises Ricoy
  • Small Moments, Big Impacts: Micro Conversations about Microaggressions
    • Presenter(s): Tori Nardinelli and Cheree Meeks
  • Moving beyond allyship: LGBTQIA2S liberation and solidarity
    • Presenter(s): Kristen Godfrey
  • Data Informed Approaches to Increasing Access to Basic Needs
    • Presenter(s): Bridgette Nobbe, Deven Wisner, and Dr. Kendra Thompson-Dyck

Call for Presenters

This past year higher education institutions around the United States have to grapple with activism on campus and a global health pandemic. Against this landscape, educators and administrators must ensure that all students continue to have access to and provide inclusive support to participate in and benefit from academic success, interpersonal growth, and career readiness that higher education can and should provide. 

Sessions for the Diversity and Inclusion Symposium will go beyond the rhetoric and prioritize campus strategies, institutional culture, and accountability in operationalizing the values of inclusive excellence. Conference sessions will explore the experiences of institutional and community participants, best practices in teaching and learning, identify barriers that are hindering our progress, and promote discussions that are embedded in our systems, structures, and policies. It is imperative that we stay focused on making progress towards a transformation that can be achieved and sustained and efforts that represent more than an illusion of inclusion. 


The Symposium Planning Committee invites session proposals that are inclusive of diverse perspectives and trends in diversity and inclusion in higher education. We invite you to consider topics, such as BIPOC communities and support, anti-racism initiatives and efforts, Trans and non-binary communities and support, religious inclusion, current national and international dynamics and topics directly relating to diversity initiatives at the University of Arizona. We invite presenters to think about the learning outcomes for the Symposium (see the above What can we expect from the Symposium?). With this in mind, presenters are expected to identify which track applies to each proposed session:

We cannot get anything meaningful done without building capacity and engaging in a comprehensive inclusion strategy. This track will examine the process and components that create effective tools for forging shared language and approaches to advancing diversity and inclusion beyond the campus community. 

Student success is a shared goal on college campuses. Students from diverse communities not only need access to high-impact practice but provide advising and counseling support to be successful in college. This track will explore inclusive practices for advising and supporting diverse and marginalized students and the role of various campus offices such as career service, student engagement, disability, study aboard, and advising have in supporting inclusive student success before, during, and after participating in a. high-impact program.

The number of students from diverse and marginalized communities continues to rise on many college campuses, including the UA. Many students report a lack of support in creating a welcoming climate. This track explores ways to support students from various marginalized communities, such as BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, women, immigrant students, and students with disabilities, in a more impactful manner and how to engage them in opportunities that promote their success. 

With the changing demographics on college campuses, educators must be responsive in their teaching practices. To bridge the gap between educators and students, educators need to understand the cultural nuances that may cause a relationship to break down—which ultimately causes student achievement to break down as well. This track explores how being a culturally responsive educator encourages students to feel a sense of belonging and helps create a space where they feel safe, respected, heard, and challenged.

The past year has increased our recognition that we need to pause to think. Without self-reflection, we go through life without thinking, moving from one thing to the next without evaluating its impact on our lives. The track explores how personal renewal and self-care tap into the mind-body connection to recharge and build resilience here.

In 2020, the university rapidly adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic and racial injustices that affected students, faculty, and staff. It would not have been possible without innovative approaches. This track explores the lessons learned during the pandemic and how various units across campus implemented antiracism, critical race theory, and justice initiatives during COVID-19 and beyond.

Session Formation


Concurrent sessions are 60-minute live sessions consisting of a presentation or panel discussion of a program or initiative that includes design and assessment followed by audience questions and a brief discussion. We encourage real-time engagement with attendees through polls and Q&A chat. Presenters are encouraged to collaborate with colleagues and professionals from different campus units/offices. Presenters are encouraged to develop a tool/resource/framework that to share with the attendees.


Learning Labs are interactive sessions that provide an opportunity for presenter(s) to involve participants in hands-on activities and discussions.  Learnings Labs gives participants actionable ideas and tools to take back to their units. Presenters should plan a 90-minute session that includes 45 minutes presentation with additional time for real-time engagement. 
Presenters must develop a tool/resource/framework to share with the attendees, and attendees should walk away with a prototype to continue their work. 


This year, a special poster session to encourage graduate students from indigenous communities to share their work. The poster session is an opportunity for students to share their emerging research on various topics. We also encourage those who do research with or support indigenous graduate students to submit proposals. Posters should be interactive dialogue and visual representations (infographics, pictures, graphs).

[Preference given to indigenous graduate students]

Submission Guidelines
  • Presenters are encouraged to be creative in presentation style, format, and title. Participants will have a wide variety of learning styles. Highly participatory sessions are generally better received; please remember to include time for discussion.
  • Proposals that cite peer-reviewed academic sources in the development of session content will be given priority consideration.
  • Presenters are encouraged to develop a comprehensive resource handout including theoretical frameworks, authors of significance, seminal readings, news platforms, worksheets, etc.
  • Proposal submissions will be accepted through December 17, 2021 at 11:59 PM Arizona Time.
  • General inquiries regarding the Symposium's Call for Presenters may be directed to inclusion@email.arizona.edu


Call for Presenters Closed

Inclusive Excellence Awards (postponed until May)

The Peter W. Likins Inclusive Excellence Awards

The annual Peter W. Likins Inclusive Excellence Awards were established to recognize students, staff and faculty-led programs that enhance the University of Arizona through their inclusive programming and/or leadership. To be considered, nominees should have made a significant contribution toward creating a diverse and inclusive community through one or more of the following:

  • Embedding diversity and inclusiveness into a structural/institutional aspect of the UA (e.g., policy, procedure, tradition, vision statement, curriculum, etc.)
  • Recruitment and retention of an excellent and diverse faculty, staff or student body
  • Fostering equality of opportunity within our campus community
  • Encouraging diverse perspectives on our campus
  • Creating a welcoming and supportive campus climate through efforts such as visibility, communication and education
  • Other areas critical to establishing inclusive excellence at the UA

Richard Ruiz Diversity Leadership Faculty Award

In 2015, a new faculty award was created: the Richard Ruiz Diversity Leadership Faculty Award. This award honors Professor Richard Ruiz’s many contributions to making the UA a better, more inclusive campus. In fact, he was awarded the Inclusive Excellence Award in 2009 for his tireless work supporting and advocating for diversity and cultural appreciation. Reflecting upon Professor Ruiz’s decades of contributions to diversity leadership, former President Peter Likins noted his “exceptional … devotion to the UA diversity programs and their underlying values.”


Recipients and Guidelines

This year's Inclusive Excellence Awards Ceremony will be held during the Inaugural Diversity & Inclusion Symposium in January. Award recipients receive a $500 professional development stipend and are honored during a special reception.


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