What to expect for virtual CSU Diversity Symposium 2020

The Diversity Symposium is set for Oct. 19-23 and includes more than 35 live Zoom presentations, prerecorded sessions, keynotes and dozens of learning opportunities. 

The 20th annual Diversity Symposium at Colorado State University is going fully virtual and features five days of educational sessions, engagements and keynotes on topics relating to diversity and inclusion for the university community.

The annual event — set for Oct. 19-23 — includes over 35 live Zoom presentations, pre-recorded sessions, keynotes and dozens of learning opportunities on issues surrounding immigration, dismantling systems of power, self-care, race and the criminal justice system, mentorship of underrepresented students, whiteness, teaching rhetorical empathy and more. All sessions will be offered in a virtual setting for CSU faculty, staff and students. 

Highlights include keynote presentations by Claudia Rankine and Melina Abdullah. Rankine is an acclaimed and celebrated author of several titles, including Citizen: An American Lyric, the selected book for the inaugural Rams Read program. Rankine’s keynote, to be held on Wednesday, Oct. 21, will highlight both Citizen and her writing more broadly, and conversations centered around issues of race, sex, racism and sexism in the United States. 

Abdullah is a recognized expert on race, gender, class and social movements and is among the original group of organizers who convened to form Black Lives Matter. She’ll be speaking during a live Zoom session on Monday, Oct. 19.

Claudia Rankine

Claudia Rankine, author and keynote speaker.

Melina Abdullah, keynote speaker.

“While the format looks quite different from years past, we are thrilled that we can still celebrate and honor the 20th Annual Diversity Symposium in this virtual environment,” said Mary Ontiveros, vice president for diversity. “The Diversity Symposium Planning Committee and the staff of the OVPD have put together an incredible program, and the university community’s response has been overwhelming, with over 1,500 individuals registered so far. Being that this is my last Diversity Symposium before I retire, seeing how our community has embraced the opportunity to learn together in this way, especially in light of COVID-19 and the stress on many of us, is quite humbling.”

A featured session on Tuesday, Oct. 20, includes a discussion on CSU’s Race, Bias, and Equity Initiative. The town hall will address the second year of the initiative and what efforts are being made to advance meaningful inclusion and equity work at CSU. Panelists will include Ontiveros, Vice President for Student Affairs Blanche Hughes and Provost and Executive Vice President Mary Pedersen, who are all co-chairs of the initiative.

All events and sessions at the Symposium are free and open to all CSU faculty, students and staff and registration is required.

Diversity Symposium schedule highlights

Monday, Oct. 19 (9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.)

Sessions including “The Line is Too Long: The Reality of the Immigration Process” in the morning. 

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the keynote address with Melina Abdullah will be over Zoom. 

Afternoon sessions cover a variety of topics including inclusivity and sex-positivity. 

Tuesday, Oct. 20 (9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.)

Sessions, including “Lost in Colors: Operating Jewish Identities at CSU,” cover a variety of topics including diverse identities, self-care and student success. 

At 2:30 p.m., the Race, Bias, and Equity Initiative Town Hall, featuring the co-chairs of the initiative, will address the second year of RBEI and efforts thus far. 

Wednesday, Oct. 21 (9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.)

Morning sessions, including “Dismantling Whiteness in our Work,” address inclusivity-related topics such as gender, intersectionality and race.

From 1 to 2:30 p.m., Claudia Rankine will deliver her keynote address over Zoom. 

The CSU Career Center’s Diversity Connect, open to all CSU students, will be from 4 to 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 22 (9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.)

Thursday’s sessions include a variety of topics highlighting the School of Education Strand Day, ranging from “Quick tips to ensure electronic accessibility and inclusion for online learners,” to “Holistic Mentoring for Underrepresented Students: A Closer look at Retention Efforts During a Pandemic.”

Friday, Oct. 23 (9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.)

Sessions cover a variety of diversity, equity and inclusion topics ranging from bilingual deaf education to reproductive health.

Full Schedule

CSU Diversity Symposium

Date: Oct. 19-23

Location: Virtual 

Website: diversity.colostate.edu/symposium

The symposium is limited to members of the CSU Community. Registration is required.  The complete schedule is available via the Office of the Vice President for Diversity website.