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Amplifying Voices: Moving From Rhetoric to Systemic Change | 2020 Conference Recap

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 11, 2020

8th Annual Diversity Abroad Conference: Amplifying Voices: Moving From Rhetoric to Systemic Change

 


The 8th Annual Diversity Abroad Conference challenged and inspired over 650+ professionals from around the world to continue our commitment towards building a more inclusive and equitable global education sector. More than 60 sessions, workshops, and poster presentations explored the theme: Amplifying Voices: Moving From Rhetoric to Systemic Change and were facilitated by 155+ presenters representing over 100 different institutions/organizations. The conference also featured a virtual Exhibit Hall with programs and resources on international education.


Sessions and discussions during the conference ranged from how to make diversity, equity, and inclusion central to the work of the institution/organization, breaking down silos on campus to adapting to the realities of virtual exchange, supporting domestic and international students during these uncertain times, and creating an inclusive workplace culture in addition to wellness and self care. Throughout the week, attendees also had the opportunity to network, collaborate, and connect through our Lagniappe Chats. Based around themes such as Racially/Ethnically Diverse, Provider Organizations, and LGBTQI+, these were an open space for dialogue and discussion.  

 

 

Diversity Abroad’s CEO and Founder, Andrew Gordon, welcomed everyone to the conference and highlighted the changed circumstances of the conference as well as the challenges and opportunities facing the field of global education today. 


Diversity Abroad’s 4th annual Innovation Competition sponsored by CAPA The Global Education Network, provided an exciting close to the conference opening program with five presentations detailing creative ideas that advance diversity and inclusive excellence in global education. Conference attendees had the chance to vote in order to determine the winner. Kevin Graham’s project with UC San Diego, Domestic Exchange: Creating Global Experiences for Undocumented/DACA Students won the competition and $5000. Lavar Thomas, co-founder of Leaders of the Free World (LFW) received $3500 for second place, and Charis Tucker’s STAMPED—the Study Abroad Podcast received third place with a $1500 prize. Read more about the winners here.


Tuesday kicked off with Deep Dive Concurrent Sessions, a chance for attendees to explore topics such as resources surrounding gender identity abroad and making publishing accessible more in-depth. Like all concurrent sessions during the virtual conference, after a pre-recorded presentation attendees joined a live Q&A with the presenters. The mid-day plenary session featured New York Times bestselling author Dr. Ibram X. Kendi to explore the concept of antiracism in a global education context. Dr. Tia Brown McNair, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Student Success of the Association of American Colleges & Universities was the plenary speaker on Wednesday. She challenged the audience to “walk the talk” and offered insights from her work with the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Centers. Both plenary speakers made the point that antiracism and equity work begins with examining our own journeys first before we can address structural changes.  

 

 

For the third year, Diversity Abroad was pleased to have the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announce the 2018-2019 Benjamin A Gilman International Scholarship Top Producing and Top Growth Institutions at the conference. The announcement was followed by a panel discussion with representatives from several of these institutions on their current work and initiatives. 


On Thursday, the winners and finalists of the Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion in International Education (EDIIE) and Global Student Leadership Awards were honored and their important contributions to advancing equity, diversity, and access within global education highlighted. This day closed with a nod to New Orleans - where the 8th Annual Diversity Abroad Conference was originally supposed to take place in March 2020 - with a live streamed performance by Big Sam’s Funky Nation from New Orleans. 


Friday kicked off with Critical Issues Sessions and the Poster Community, which had 14 innovative poster sessions featuring solutions to international education programming. The day ended with closing remarks from Andrew Gordon, who challenged attendees to innovate to make the strides necessary to make the sector truly equitable with respect to the students and to the professionals who call the field home. He was followed by the entire Diversity Abroad team who reflected on what the conference meant to them and thanked the conference attendees and Diversity Abroad community at large for all their work.

 

 

The Conference closed with the inaugural Think Forward Summit on the topic of Systemic Racism & the Field of Global Education. This 2-day event provided an opportunity for attendees to critically examine our responsibility as global educators to undo systemic racism within education abroad, international student and scholar services, global engagement at home and the cultures of our workplaces. 

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Equity & Opportunity Through Inclusive Global Education: 2019 Conference Re-Cap

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 14, 2019


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.


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Making the Most of Your Diversity Abroad Conference Experience

Posted By Administration, Monday, February 25, 2019
Updated: Friday, February 22, 2019

Making the Most of Your Diversity Abroad Conference Experience

The Diversity Abroad Conference is a venue that not only allows professionals to connect with colleagues in different offices and campuses, it’s a space for people to discuss ideas that often have a way of making it to the sidelines during regular operating hours. Let’s face it, diversity and inclusion in international education or international education in diversity and inclusion efforts aren’t often at the center of the agenda for most offices. In many cases, the convergence of these topics happens only a handful of times throughout the academic year. For this reason (among others) we are excited that for 4 days we’ll get to bring these topics to the center of our focus and create actionable plans for how we can all advance diversity and inclusion efforts in global education.


We have highlighted a few sessions that are new to the conference this year that you won’t want to miss!

If you are currently a member and would like to know how to get the most of your Diversity Abroad membership be sure to attend Maximizing Your Diversity Abroad Membership - Sunday, March 3 from 3:30-4:30pm as we provide an overview of Diversity Abroad benefits and resources available to you.

If you are new to Diversity Abroad and interested in engagement opportunities, please check out State of Diversity Abroad: Updates & Engagement Opportunities - Sunday, March 3 from 3:30-4:30pm as we provide an overview of organizational resources, membership, and opportunities to connect with Diversity Abroad throughout the year.

 


Awards Gala & Dinner - Monday, March 4 from 5:30-7:30pm

Join Diversity Abroad in celebrating our collective achievements as a field during the inaugural 2019 Awards Gala & Dinner. This formal event will provide an ideal backdrop for honoring the recipients of the Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion in International Education & the Global Student Leadership Awards. Attire is Business/Cocktail so be sure to dress to impress as we celebrate these shining stars!


Action Planning Breakout Sessions - Tuesday, March 5, 2019 from 2:30-3:45pm

The goals of the Action Planning Sessions are to support attendees with unpacking the conference content and provide structured time to map out action items for implementation at their home institutions/organizations. Discussions will be facilitated by conference planning committee members within different institutional types.


 

 This is only a preview of all the great things we have lined up for you at this year’s conference. Be sure to download the conference app or the conference website for more information about individual sessions, speakers and much more!

If you are looking for a quick tips sheet to ensure you gain the most from these 4 days of intense dialogue, interactive sessions, and thought-provoking discussion, checkout our resource link here and provided below.



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Meet Eduardo Contreras: Diversity Abroad Community Highlight

Posted By Administration, Friday, January 19, 2018

Eduardo Contreras, Ed.D.
Director Studies Abroad, Office of Studies Abroad
University of Portland

Level of Experience: 10+ years

What does diversity & inclusive excellence mean to you in the context of your work?

From a personal perspective, my parents valued education, but they did not have the background, financial resources, or frame of references to conceptualize what study abroad meant. Between my mother and father, only my mother had a college degree from our hometown, El Paso Community College. In our family, the way relatives had seen the world was through military service. We often spoke Spanish because of our familial ties to Mexico, and we connected with our heritage in many ways through daily life on the US/Mexico border; however, we also identified as Americans.

Please describe the factors that led you to pursue your current career track?

Today, as a professional, I’m both grateful and frustrated about my path to study abroad. I’m deeply grateful to the professor who took an interest in me and opened my eyes to the opportunity. I’m also grateful that my family supported me even if they were not sure what I was doing. To be fair to them, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was doing. I’m also frustrated that so many students like me may slip through the cracks and never have their eyes opened to the opportunities of international education while they are undergraduates. For these reasons, I think constantly about ways to increase access for students of all backgrounds to study abroad. Access though, is just the first step because inclusion is also essential for the educational benefits of study abroad to impact all students.   

What aspects of your work are you most excited about?

Supporting students to find new opportunities (both in the world) but also in their own personal development. In relation to this work, collaborating with colleagues across disciplines and institutional silos is the most challenging yet rewarding work I am fortunate to do on a regular basis. 

Please describe any challenges you've encountered in relationship to your current role? What strategies have you employed to overcome them?

Sustaining support in terms of time, effort, and money for diversity, inclusion and internationalization. Our institution has prioritized the work D&I and internationalization in our president’s strategic plan called “Vision 2020.” Supporting and encouraging the long-term financial and human resources to support these important mandates will be a tough challenge. It will also be tough to request time and effort from busy colleagues who are doing good work in other areas to support these vital efforts collectively as a university. To overcome this challenge, I’m lucky to work with a “coalition of the willing” within the faculty, staff, and administration to build greater collective support for this work.

As you reflect on different aspects of your career, what are you most proud of?

I'm proud to have cultivated long-lasting relationships with colleagues in the field--many of whom are doing exciting work in D&I and International Education. I am also proud to see the fruits of my labors in the students who go on to do wonderful things. The truth is though, I am far more critical of my regular output than anyone and I rarely take the time to answer this good question.

Do you have any heroes? Who are they and why?

As cliched as it is, my mother was our family anchor. She was the primary bread winner for much of our lives and her work ethic and humane treatment of others are a model that I aspire to on a daily basis. The Urdu Progressive writer Ismat Chugtai is another hero. She wrote intrepidly (and beautifully) in India on topics such as women's sexuality, social class status, working class dignity, religious pluralism, etc. at a time when no men, let alone women, did such things.

Which two organizations outside your own do you know the most people at and why?

Probably, my previous institutions of employment because I have kept in touch with many former colleagues around the country.

What do you work toward in your free time?

I work toward maintaining my sanity and benefiting from my family support. I'm lucky to have a partner who is thoughtful, supportive, loving and funny. Spending as much time with her, and friends and family is what I do in my precious free time.

You're a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Brown. I think brown compliments most other colors and can blend in to create a cohesive scene. It's not a bold color that stands out like highlighter pink, but it's not totally innocuous. It's good to have brown in landscapes, portraits, still life's, and most compositions...I hope I'm useful too. 

Recent Engagement with Diversity Abroad

Chair: Annual Diversity Abroad Planning Committee (2016, 2017, 2018) 
Presenter: 6th Annual Diversity Abroad Conference

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Professional Development Opportunities to Learn More about Advising and Diversity

Posted By Administration, Friday, May 15, 2015
Updated: Thursday, July 28, 2016

As we aim to increase access, inclusion, and diversity in international education, professional development is critical. Our offices and organizations can only be as successful as the level of training that has been provided to our staff who are directly supporting and indirectly impacting the students we serve. To this end, it is important that we begin to identify professional development opportunities to assist us in these endeavors. Although international education conferences are able to briefly touch on subjects of diversity and advising, the wide variety of topics that are discussed do not leave a lot of room for deep exploration of these specific areas.

Here are five conferences (in addition to the Annual Diversity Abroad Conference) to consider adding to your professional development plan to enhance your knowledge of diversity and advising in higher education.

NACADA Annual & Regional Conferences
NACADA is the Global Community for Academic Advising and is focused on building skills, knowledge, and awareness around topics of academic advising. Most study abroad advisors don’t view themselves as academic advisors, which can feel like a disconnect for the student. Consider attending this year’s NACADA conference, themed “What happens in advising, stays with students” to gain theoretical insight and practical tools for advising.
Annual conference typically held in October (though state drive-ins and regional meetings are held throughout the year)

NCORE - National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education
NCORE is a great opportunity to explore issues of race and ethnicity in American Higher Education. With sessions like “Stereotype Threat: A Threat in the Air, Mind and Body,” “Exploring How Faculty in Higher Education Respond to an Assessment of their Intercultural Competence,” and “How to Have Successful Classroom Discussions on Diversity Issues,” it’s clear that this conference can benefit everyone working to improve access, inclusion and diversity in international education from pre-departure to on-site and reentry.
Typically held in May

National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) Annual Conference
Although NADOHE is geared toward campus diversity officers, the rich discussion can also benefit those of us working in areas of diversity in international education. This year’s theme was “Getting It Done: Rising to Opportunities and Challenges in Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education.”
Typically held in March

Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) Annual Conference
Although some study abroad offices consider themselves an academic unit and not as part of student services, there is a lot to be learned from the student engagement of student services professionals on our campuses. Since we are all interested in a common goal of crafting a valuable and enriching student experience, NASPA may be an opportunity to connect with your colleagues who work across campus and better understand their practices and learn from their experiences.
Typically held in March

Association for Orientation, Transition, & Retention in Higher Education NODA Annual Conference
NODA can provide insight into one of the key components of serving our diverse students well - preparation and orientation. With topics like “Online Orientation Trends: How To Measure Learning Outcomes & Assess Program Success”, this is sure to be a valuable event for the person responsible for orientation programming.
Typically held in late October/November (regular online learning and regional state workshops are held throughout the year)

We hope that you will consider adding one of these conferences to your professional development plan this year. There are many more conferences in higher education that can help you build knowledge, skills and awareness around topics of advising and diversity. This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but hopefully this gives you somewhere to start. Have you participated in other conferences outside of international education that have been valuable? Which conferences would you add to this list?

Tags:  advising  diversity  Diversity Abroad Conference  professional development  professional skills 

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