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Jackson State to host diversity conference

Jackson, Tenn (Oct. 10, 2017) – To better prepare students to be successful in an ever-diversifying work environment, Jackson State Community College is offering its first Identity and Difference Conference on Oct. 27.

The objective of the conference is to hear perspectives on diversity and difference and contribute to the discourse surrounding social and cultural identity, said Dr. Liz Mayo, associate professor of English. It is a chance for students and faculty to share scholarship, teaching methods, curriculum ideas, student success strategies, and classroom experiences that expand their understanding of diversity and identity in the classroom.

“One of the things employers are looking for is a student or employee who is capable of working in a multi-cultural environment,” Mayo said. “College classrooms and campuses provide unique opportunities to encounter diverse groups of people, and those cross-cultural experiences can be both enriching and challenging.”

The conference will promote ways to create a culture of inquiry, fairness and equity in classrooms. It will also help professors reach students from diverse backgrounds.

“We’re really happy we can give them access to information to better serve our students,” Mayo said. “We’re here to serve everybody, regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The full-day conference will feature Dr. Chicora Martin, who will facilitate workshops that focus on addressing diversity issues in the classroom and on campus. Martin is vice president of student life and dean of students for Mills College in Oakland, Calif. The conference will also feature student presentations and panels that focus on their experiences with diversity, identify and difference.

The inaugural event was organized by Mayo; Dr. Anna Esquivel, associate professor of English; and Tammy Prater, assistant professor of history.

“We’re looking forward to making this a campus tradition,” Mayo said.

Jackson State Community College provides accessible learning opportunities that enhance the lives of individuals, strengthen the workforce and empower the diverse communities of West Tennessee. The institution offers traditional and contemporary associate degrees, certificates, continuing education and enrichment, and college-readiness programs.

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