7th Annual Diversity Abroad Conference: Equity & Opportunity Through Inclusive Global Education
Last week, more than 700 US & global professionals & student leaders gathered together in Boston to explore Equity & Opportunity Through Inclusive Global Education at the 7th Annual Diversity Abroad Conference. More than 90 sessions, workshops, and poster presentations were facilitated by 155+ presenters representing over 100 different institutions/organizations. Through our collaborative efforts, the Diversity Abroad community left equipped with new ideas and networks to encourage progress at their respective organizations/institutions. Diversity Abroad’s CEO and Founder, Andrew Gordon, highlighted a pivotal opportunity in ensuring global programs are high impact during his welcome address:
“We can't have it both ways. We can't say Education Abroad is high impact but then be okay with it being exclusive to privileged students. If we truly believe in the power of global education then we must do everything in our power to break down the barriers that would deny all of our students equitable access to its benefits.”
Immediately following these welcome remarks, Emerson College President, Lee Pelton, welcomed attendees to Boston on behalf of the conference institutional host. Diversity Abroad’s 3rd annual Innovation Competition sponsored by CAPA The Global Education Network, provided an exciting close to the evening’s program with seven presentations detailing creative ideas that advance diversity and inclusive excellence in global education. Teens of Color Abroad enjoyed a standing ovation in receiving $5000 for the 1st place award. Pachasanya was awarded $3000 for 2nd place and the Rhode Island Global Education Project received $3000 for 3rd place. New this year, attendees voted in real time to recognize Teens of Color Abroad with a $500 check for the People’s Choice Award.Read more about the winners here.
On the heels of an inspiring opening night, Monday’s conference schedule featured concurrent sessions & Big Idea Talks -- including Global Education Task Forces town hall meetings inviting attendees to gain insight on Diversity Abroad’s engagement with High School, Race/Ethnicity, Minority-Serving Institutions, and Faculty Development initiatives. More than 125 colleagues attended one of the three moderated Lunch & Learn panels: Women of Color Leadership & Empowerment, New Professionals in International Education, and Allies & Advocates of First Generation College Students. Shortly thereafter, conference-goers were invited to join 20 presentations during the annual Poster Community. A new event at the 2019 conference, the evening closed with the Awards Gala & Dinner featuring recipients of the Excellence in Diversity in International Education (EDIIE) and Global Student Leadership (GSL) Awards.
On Tuesday, conference attendees started the day with a thematic networking breakfast, featuring an announcement of the 2017-2018 Benjamin A Gilman International Scholarship Top Producing Institutions from Ambassador Jennifer Zimdahl Galt, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary (PDAS) for Educational and Cultural Affairs. Immediately following this announcement, Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., President & CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM),-SCP, delivered a keynote address entitled “War for Talent” - Bridging the Skills Gap. Tuesday’s lunch included a dynamic panel -- moderated by Diversity Abroad’s Associate Director of Student Services, Joelle Tolifero -- featuring 4 student perspectives on how identity impacted their experiences abroad. Diversity Abroad’s CEO & Founder, Andrew Gordon, closed out the 2019 conference with an announcement of the organization’s new 5-year Strategic Plan, Diversity Abroad Forward.
Through our collective commitments, the 7th Annual Conference -- together with the Global Student Leadership Summit, MSI Summit on Global Education, and the CDO/SIO Strategic Leadership Forum -- empowered professionals & students alike to continue focusing on inclusive global education towards equity & opportunity. We hope you join us in New Orleans on March 14-17, 2020 for the 8th Annual Diversity Abroad Conference as we focus on Amplifying Voices: Moving from Rhetoric to Systemic Change.
The 5th Annual Global Student Leadership Summit
The 5th Annual Global Student Leadership Summit was held during the 7th Diversity Abroad Conference on March 2-5 in Boston, MA. This year, we welcomed another phenomenal cohort of close to 70 students leaders representing 43 different colleges and universities across the U.S. and abroad. We had students join us from as close as Boston and as far as Singapore! Students who attended GSLS this year have studied abroad on every continent excluding Antarctica (maybe one day!), they have already started their own businesses, they have been granted distinguished fellowships, and they have made a mark on their campuses and beyond. We were excited to host a these growing leaders, entrepreneurs, and global citizens for another year of reflection and community building.
As in previous years, GSLS provided a much-needed space for diverse study abroad alumni to find community in one another while unpacking their experiences abroad. This year we worked to assure that identity was kept at the forefront of every conversation from discussions surrounding who we are as leaders, to how code switching shows up in the workplace. We kicked off GSLS with a an inspiring Keynote, delivered by the ArtCenter College of Design’s Chief Diversity Office, Dr. Aaron Bruce. Dr. Bruce shared how ‘Keeping it Global’ has guided his personal and professional life and expanded his view of the world and the importance of supporting a diverse student body. Students were able to enjoy his opening spoken word and share space with Dr. Bruce who encouraged them to maintain their global mindset.
It was an honor to once again host a unique re-entry opportunity for diverse students at universities and colleges across the country. We look forward to hosting another cohort of incredible, diverse student leaders for GSLS 2020 in New Orleans, LA from March 14-17!
The 4th Annual MSI Global Education Summit
The 4th Annual Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Global Education Summit featured a half day of interactive presentations and workshops where participants learned how to identify and apply for various funding opportunities and programs and how to develop campus collaborations in order to advance internationalization efforts at their institutions. During the Summit, participants had the opportunity to create tailored action plans for identifying and applying for funding and establishing campus collaborations at their respective Minority-Serving Institutions. Participants also had an opportunity to share their institutional challenges and targeted areas for growth during several panel presentations and workshops.
The first presentation featured executive leaders from the White House Initiative on HBCUs and the U.S. Department of State who shared key insights and practices for campus internationalization in relation to identifying and applying for federal funding in order to grow global education programs at MSIs. Participants heard from David Levin, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and Dr. Arthur McMahan, White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities about grant and fundraising opportunities that support internationalization efforts. Participants had the opportunity to network with the speakers and ask targeted questions regarding funding opportunities for MSIs.
The second presentation kicked off with a powerhouse team of panelists and featured institutional perspectives from Evie Myers, JD, Special Advisor to the President, Office of International Programs at Prairie View A&M University, Dr. Sukant Misra, Vice Provost of International Affairs at Texas Tech University - an emerging Hispanic Serving Institution, and Dr. Daisy Rodriguez Pitel, Associate Director of International Student and Global Engagement at Pima Community College. These inspiring leaders spoke about their articulated institutional commitments and administrative leadership, structure, and practices to support internationalization efforts. They shared key insights and practices for campus internationalization in relation to the process of identifying and applying for federal funding and grants, as well as establishing collaborative partnerships in order to grow global programs at their respective institutions.
The Summit concluded with a skill building workshop designed to provide attendees with opportunities to actively engage in dialogue and activities with session speakers and representatives from other MSIs. Participants created action plans that will serve to assist them in identifying and applying for funding opportunities as well as building their campus and community networks. Marcus King, International Student Advisor II at Prairie View A&M University and Reagan Ribordy, Director of International Programs at Texas Tech University, served as additional resources and helped guide participants through group discussions, fostering the cross pollination of ideas towards the development of an individualized action plan for each attendee.
The MSI Global Education Summit has become the premier forum for networking, sharing of best practices, and collaboration among colleagues from like institutions to reach a common goal - ensuring that students from MSIs have the skills, knowledge and experience to be successful in the 21st Century.
The 2019 CDO/SIO Strategic Leadership Forum
The 2019 Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) and Senior International Officer (SIO) Strategic Leadership Forum provided the unique opportunity to bring together institutional leaders from across the nation to explore how CDOs and SIOs can work together to increase access to education abroad. Too often, the SIO and CDO work in silos without realizing that shared goals and pathways forward exist through collaboration. Through educational opportunities and interactive exercises, the group of 36 attendees identified challenges around these topics, and left inspired to play a key role in affecting change at their home institutions. Thought provoking guest speakers and panelists helped frame the conversation, while social opportunities and teamwork exercises inspired relationship building and trust. The session culminated with group presentations that ensured engagement from the entire group, and tangible outcomes around shared goals. The following themes emerged as the basis for increasing equitable access to education abroad for diverse and underrepresented populations through collaborative work of the SIO and CDO:
Collaborative Strategic Planning
Curriculum Integration & Assessment
Faculty/Staff Professional Development & Training
Program Design: The intersection of access, inclusion, diversity and equity
A publication exploring these themes in detail will be available fall 2019.