KU to Host 13th Annual Diversity Conference March 3

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NOTE: Due to weather, the conference will be hosted online.

KUTZTOWN, Pa. – The Kutztown University Commission on Human Diversity will host its 13th annual Diversity Conference 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday, March 3, McFarland Student Union. The conference theme this year is "Contemporary Issues in Human Diversity and Social Justice." The event is free to attend and open the public.

To register for the conference, visit https://forms.office.com/r/x9RURqFrWB.

The keynote speakers include KU assistant professor Dr. Mary Rita Weller, 10 a.m., and Venus L. Ricks, former director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 12:50 p.m. Both keynote addresses are in 183 MSU. There are three breakout sessions during the day, 9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 2 p.m., with four workshops for attendees to choose from at each time. These sessions are presented by a variety of students, staff, faculty and community professionals.

From 11:50 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., there is a poster presentation titled: Advocacy in Action; A Counseling Perspective on Assisting New Refugees.

Weller teaches full-time at Kutztown University’s Department of Social Work. She has more than 20 years of clinical experience working primarily with children and adults that have experienced trauma, as well as supporting sexual minorities and individuals with disabilities. Weller holds undergraduate degrees in sociology and Spanish from the State University of New York, Oneonta. She received her Master of Social Work from Temple University and her Doctor of Philosophy in education with a concentration in human sexuality from Widener University. She is licensed in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania in social work.

Ricks is the former director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Venus received her Master of Education in higher education administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and her Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Susquehanna University. She has worked in social services and higher education administration, as well as teaching and facilitating in areas of diversity, equity and inclusion for almost 20 years. As a Human Research Technologist, Ricks spent time working for Penn State's Emotion Development Lab and Parents and Children Together (PACT), where she worked with colleagues on community-based participatory research via the LAnT and TEENS projects. She is currently the Education Program Coordinator for the Antiracist Development Institute at Penn State Dickinson Law and serves as co-chair for the Equity Advisory Council of HEAL PA.

For more information, visit their website or contact Jerry Schearer at schearer@kutztown.edu.