UMD Event Looks Deeper into Diversity, Equity and Multiculturalism

2015 Diversity Summit Kicks Off

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Organizers and attendees tell FOX 21 the 2015 Summit on Equity, Diversity and Multiculturalism is a one of a kind event because it brings different backgrounds and perspectives together in one place at one time.

The all day program held inside UMD’s Kirby Student Center Ballroom featured about two dozen 60 and 90 minute workshops.

The presentations were centered around everything from gender and sexual orientation to racism and career preparation.

Event planners believe in a world where demographics are ever changing it’s important to keep our fingers on the pulse of stereotypes, preconceived notions and diversity happening in communities.

“They get an opportunity to challenge what they already know,” Diversity Commission Chair Christopher Davila said. “It encourages them to step outside the box and then apply some action toward it later on in the future.”

This year the summit’s theme is “Creating Inclusion One Story at a Time.

Organizers say the idea behind it is to listen to someone’s story and learn about who they are before you judge them.

“You can’t physically walk in another person’s shoes,” said attendee Judy Little. “But when they’re willing to share their stories with you, you can have a glimpse into what that looks like. Usually it’s very different than from what I’m familiar with or even the people that I work with.”

Event speakers include poet, playwright and educator Michael Reyes and journalist Roxana Saberi who talked about her experience being a political prisoner in Iran.

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