Diversity Symposium 2021

October 25 – 29, 2021 • Colorado State University

Announcing the 2021 Diversity Symposium

The Office of Inclusive Excellence and the Diversity Symposium Planning Committee are excited to announce the dates for the 2021 Diversity Symposium, October 25 – 29! 

This year’s Diversity Symposium is being offered in a virtual format in order to maintain public safety precautions and accessibility standards for our large audience (last year over 2,500 people attended the virtual Symposium). Through a variety of live, online Zoom sessions presented in both meeting and webinar format for maximum interaction, pre-recorded content, powerful keynotes, and dozens of opportunities for learning, we are ready to come together as a community to engage with one another on the critical topics of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice.

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2021 Diversity Symposium Schedule

Access the complete schedule and descriptions for Monday, October 25

9:00 – 10:30am Sessions

11:00am – 12:00pm Keynote

12:15 – 1:45pm Sessions

2:00 – 3:30pm Sessions

Access the complete schedule and descriptions for Tuesday, October 26

9:00 – 10:30am Sessions

11:00 – 12:00pm Get to Know Dr. Kauline Cipriani, VP for Inclusive Excellence

12:00 – 1:30pm Sessions

2:00 – 3:30pm Sessions

Access the complete schedule and descriptions for Wednesday, October 27

9:00 – 10:30am Sessions

12:00pm – 1:30pm CSU Inspire

1:45 – 3:15pm Sessions

3:30 – 4:45pm Sessions

Access the complete schedule and descriptions, for Thursday October 28

School of Education Strand Day!

9:00 – 10:30am Sessions

11:00am – 1:00pm Keynote

1:15 – 2:45pm Sessions

3:00 – 4:30pm Sessions

Access the complete schedule and descriptions for Friday, October 29

9:00 – 10:30am MURALS ’21

10:30am – 12:00pm  Hungry to Learn Film Panel Discussion

Symposium Schedule Overview

Oct. 25, 9:00–10:30am (Session descriptions)

  1. Assistance Animals: Defining, Differentiating, and Exploring the Service Dog/Handler Relationship (Zoom Meeting Format)
  2. Aspirations and Challenges of International STEM Scientists in the US (Zoom Meeting Format)

Oct. 25, 11am-12pm: Keynote with Yavilah McCoy | Presented in Partnership with the Presidential Task Force for Jewish Inclusion and the Prevention of Antisemitism (Zoom Webinar Format)

Oct. 25, 12:15–1:45pm: (Session descriptions)

  1. What Allies need to Know about Settler Colonialism: Disrupting Micro-Aggressions Directed at Indigenous Peoples (Zoom Meeting Format)
  2. A Discussion on the Current Assault on Critical Race Theory (Zoom Meeting Format)

Oct. 25, 2:00–3:30pm: (Session descriptions)

  1. “Sissies,” “Cake-eaters,” and Effeminacy: Facing Anxieties about Gender and Sex at CSU Before 1925 (Zoom Meeting Format)
  2. Supporting CSU Students who are Undocumented – From Campus to Post COVID to Career (Zoom Meeting Format)

Tuesday, October 26

Oct. 26, 9:00–10:30am (Session descriptions)

  1. Social Justice Equity in the Secondary School Classroom: Practicing Intersectional Literacy (Zoom Meeting Format)
  2. A Book Club Isn’t Enough: Engaging Colleagues in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Predominantly White Institutions (Zoom Meeting Format)

Oct. 26, 11:00am–12:00pm: Get to know Dr. Kauline Cipriani, Vice President for Inclusive Excellence (Zoom Webinar Format)

Oct. 26, 12:00–1:30pm: (Session descriptions)

  1. Seeing the Unseen: Exploring Aspects of Blindness, Identity, Culture, and Experience (Zoom Webinar Format)
  2. From Creation to Collaboration: Departmental Undergraduate Peer Mentoring Programs (Zoom Meeting Format)

Oct. 26, 2:00–3:30pm: (Session descriptions)

  1. Tools for Furthering Equity and Inclusion in Community Engagement (Zoom Meeting Format)
  2. Creating Equitable and Decolonized Campus Spaces (Zoom Meeting Format)

Wednesday, October 27

Oct. 27, 9:00–10:30am: (Session descriptions)

  1. Latinx Student Experience at CSU (Zoom Meeting Format)
  2. Calladita Te Vez Mas Bonita: Xicanx Religious and Consciousness Development

Oct. 27, 12:00–1:30pm: CSU Inspire (Zoom Webinar Format)

Oct. 27, 1:45–3:15pm: (Session descriptions)

  1. How High School Students with Limited Access to Mentoring in Veterinary Medicine Received College Credit and Experiential Learning ZOETIS, CVMBS and Alliance Summer Institute
  2. Just Care: Exploring the Importance of Diversity and Inclusion in Healthcare (Zoom Meeting Format)

Oct. 27, 3:30–4:45pm: (Session descriptions)

  1. Advising and Decolonizing Research: The Ebony and Ivory Relationship (Zoom Meeting Format)
  2. Pronoun Statement Workshop (Zoom Meeting Format)


Oct. 28, 9:00–10:30am: (Session descriptions)

  1. Diversity in Literacy Instruction (Zoom Meeting Format)
  2. Inclusive Pedagogy: A Proactive Approach (Zoom Meeting Format)

Oct. 28, 11:00am–1:00pm: Keynote with Dr. Mahzarin Banaji (Zoom Webinar Format)

Oct. 28, 1:15–2:45pm: (Session descriptions)

  1. Moving Towards Anti-Racism and Social Justice in the Master of Public Health Program: Leveraging a Moment in Time (Zoom Meeting Format)
  2. Refusing to “Return to Normal”: Lessons from the COVID Racism Environmental and Disinformation Pandemics (Zoom Meeting Format)

Oct. 28, 3:00–4:30pm: (Session descriptions)

  1. Creating an Inclusive Classroom: How Universal Design for Learning Benefits all Students (Zoom Webinar Format)
  2. Youth and Veteran Populations: What does Critical Empowerment Look Like (Zoom Meeting Format)

Oct. 29, 9:00–10:30am: (Session descriptions)

1   MURALS ’21 – Scholarly Work Presented By Our Students (Zoom Meeting Format)

 These sessions will be available online beginning October 22 (Session descriptions)

  1. Structural Transformation
  2. Elevating Voices: How Student Filmmaking is Giving Voice to BIPOC Environmental and Conservation Experiences in Colorado
  3. Increasing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Colorado Water: Why Advancing Language Justice is a Critical Component to Creating a Sustainable Water Future
  4. Tackling Wicked Problems through Deliberative Engagement: How to Engage Diverse Perspectives and Elevate our Conversations in Hyper-Partisan Time
  5. Emergent Strategy at CSU: Putting Theory into Practice in the Amplify Learning Communities
  6. Racial Battle Fatigue in Higher Education
  7. Losing to Win: Anti-Transgender Legislation in Sport & Society
  8. Reclaiming Our Time. Black Women Student Affairs Mid-level Administrators Talk Supervision at Predominantly White Institutions
  9. A Framework for STEM Diversity Perspectives: Reflecting and Building upon Motivations for Increasing and Supporting Diversity in STEM
  10. Historical or Heretical? Is a Deep Look into the Past One Way to a More Equitable Future in STEM?
Yavilah McCoy

2021 Keynote Speakers

The 2021 Diversity Symposium Planning Committee is thrilled to announce two keynote speakers, Yavilah McCoy and Dr. Mahzarin Banaji.

Keynote by Yavilah McCoy | Oct. 25, 11:00am–12:00pm

Keynote by Dr. Mahzarin Banaji | Oct. 28, 11:00am–1:00pm

Mahzarin Banaji

Yavilah McCoy is the founder of Ayecha, a nonprofit Jewish organization that provided Jewish diversity education and advocacy for Jews of color in the United States. Raised in an Orthodox family, McCoy studied at Yeshiva University High School and Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She has taught Judaic Studies, Hebrew, and English Literature in elementary and secondary schools. In directing Ayecha from 2000–2008, she worked with rabbis, synagogues, schools, federations and multiple agencies to increase awareness of Jewish diversity and expand inclusion for Jews of color. As an anti-racism activist, she has provided training and consulting to numerous social justice agencies both within and outside of the Jewish community. In 2008 she became director of the New England Curriculum Initiative, a non-profit educational consultancy that services 600 prep schools across the nation with religious diversity resources. In 2009 McCoy co-wrote and performed The Colors of Water, a Jewish gospel musical describing the matriarchal journey of four generations of her African-American Jewish family. In 2014 she established Dimensions Educational Consulting, through which she continues to support organizations in expanding their relationships across race, religion, identity and culture. Co-sponsored by the Office of Inclusive Excellence and the Presidential Task Force on Jewish Inclusion and the Prevention of Antisemitism

Dr. Mahzarin Banaji is Cabot Professor of Social Ethics in the Dept of Psychology at Harvard University. Banaji and her colleague coined the term “implicit bias” in the mid-1990s to refer to behavior that occurs without conscious awareness. Today, Professor Banaji is a Cabot Professor of Social Ethics in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences and has received numerous awards for her scientific contributions.

The focus of the Banaji’s keynote, Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People, is to reveal the surprising and even perplexing ways in which we make errors in assessing and evaluating others when we recruit and hire, onboard and promote, lead teams, undertake succession planning, and work on behalf of our clients or the public we serve. It is Professor Banaji’s belief that people intend well and that the inconsistency we see, between values and behavior, comes from a lack of awareness. But because implicit bias is pervasive, we must rely on scientific evidence to “outsmart” our minds.  If we do so, we will be more likely to reach the life goals we have chosen for ourselves and to serve better the organizations for which we work.

CSU Inspire

A highlight of CSU’s Diversity Symposium is CSU Inspire. This featured event brings 5 – 10 TED Talk-like sessions led by CSU faculty, staff, and students and focused on sharing engaging and inspiring initiatives happening on our campus in relation to social justice, in short 8-minute presentations.

CSU Inspire: Wednesday, October 27 | 12:00 – 1:30pm

2021 CSU Inspire speakers:

Melissa Burt

Description: The climate crisis is real. It’s happening now. And it should matter to all of us because it impacts all of us. In this presentation, I’ll discuss the importance and critical need to center diverse voices, ideas, experiences to lead the way to combatting the climate problem and the power of OUR voice. I’ll weave in my experiences becoming an atmospheric scientist and a diversity, equity, and inclusion leader in the field. 

About the speaker: Dr. Melissa Burt is an Atmospheric Scientist and the Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion in the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering. Dr. Burt leads the strategic planning and implementation efforts for diversity, inclusion and equity goals across the College, and has an active role in university-wide diversity and inclusion initiatives. Burt is passionate about building positive science cultures, and helping young people, especially young women of color, view themselves as future scientists.

Kari DockendorffDescription: Through their research on the trans* inclusivity and more complex measures of gender, Dr. Dockendorff will discuss ways that quantitative research can be used to expand our understandings of how gender moves about the campus

About the speaker: Dr. Kari Dockendorff is an assistant professor in the Higher Education Leadership Program in the School of Education at Colorado State University. In their research, Dr. Dockendorff critically examines the trans* student experience through the development of a survey tool that measures trans* inclusive behaviors, attitudes, and knowledge of staff in their interactions with trans* students. They also work on developing better approaches to measuring gender and sexuality in survey instruments, moving beyond a binary, categorical approach. Dr. Dockendorff collaborates with other queer quantitative scholars in higher education to develop Queer Quant Methodological approaches. Dr. Dockendorff completed their Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy, with a graduate certificate in Gender Studies, at the University of Utah

Camille DungyDescription: Why resisting ideas like writers block and imposters syndrome might just save your life and someone else’s too.

About the speaker: Camille T. Dungy is the author of the essay collection Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and four collections of poetry, most recently Trophic Cascade, winner of the Colorado Book Award. She edited Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry, the first anthology to bring African American poetry about the natural world to national attention. Dungy also co-edited the From the Fishouse poetry anthology, and she served as assistant editor on Gathering Ground: Celebrating Cave Canem’s First Decade. Dungy’s work has appeared in Best American Poetry, 100 Best African American Poems, Best American Essays, Best American Travel Essays, African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song, All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis, the Pushcart Anthology, and more than 30 other anthologies plus dozens of print and online venues including Poetry, American Poetry Review, VQR, Literary Hub, The Paris Review, and Poets.org. Her honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Book Award, two Northern California Book Awards, two NAACP Image Award Nominations, to Hurston/Wright Legacy Award nominations, and fellowships from the NEA in both prose and poetry. Dungy is a University Distinguished Professor in the English Department at Colorado State University. www.camilledungy.com

Rickey FriersonDescription: Understanding the purpose of your life. Realizing that you were created in a unique way, and for a unique purpose. Become re-dedicated and focused on your goals. Learn how to feel and why to feel good about yourself. Get a different perspective on why things happen the way they do, and why people view you the way they do. Learn how your thoughts are the true driving force on your manifestation in the world today. Develop a new mantra about yourself, your purpose, and overall vision of life.

About the speaker: Dr. Rickey Frierson has spent the last thirteen years presenting internationally and domestically on issues of social justice, diversity and inclusion, and underrepresented student success within higher education. Dr. Frierson is an inspirational speaker for high schools, colleges, and community organizations. Dr. Frierson is the Director of Diversity and Inclusion for Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University. His research interest centers on institutional accountability and effectiveness in student success and completion at predominantly white public institutions. More succinctly, Dr. Frierson takes pride in assisting administrators, superintendents, principals, professors, teachers, counselors, and institutions in examining proactive strategies to create efficient and fruitful educational experiences for their diverse students, staff, and faculty. Dr. Frierson has published articles, submitted book reviews, and has written book contributions that all stem around efficiencies of education

Haley GonzalezDescription: As a current student, Haley will provide a lens into her experiences while at CSU, including insights into her current projects with Pride Resource Center, Visible Voices, Safe Zone trainings, new student success seminars, and more. Haley will overview the importance of activism, community work/healing, allyship vs accompliceship and why accurate education is important when working toward dismantling systems of harm, perpetuation and more.

About the speaker: 
Haley Arce Gonzalez is a first generation Latiné student at CSU studying Psychology with a minor in Ethnic Studies. Haley chose to participate in this year’s Diversity Symposium to take time and share the impacts of her experience as a student. Haley thinks it is beyond important to recognize student positionality and strength within to change the systems of oppression. She does this by learning, self/community advocacy, education and healing. Haley believes people should have a chance to share their voice in whatever way possible and strives to help students, folxs and community members to learn, feel, reflect and understand who they are.

Pre-Recorded Sessions

In order to provide a variety of content for maximum accessibility, 12 Symposium sessions have been pre-recorded and will be made available for autonomous participation beginning October 22nd.

Read more about our pre-recorded sessions below.

Presented by Thu-Hong Nguyen, TaRea Betts, and Natalie Rodgers

Session Description: 

As our society understands more about where the pervasiveness of systemic oppression, this interactive workshop leads the audience through a hands-on, interactive session to understand the levels of oppression and how it can show up in our institutions and interactions.

Participants will:
1) Learn to identify where systemic barriers prevent equitable outcomes in the various spheres of oppression.
2) Practice applying multi-dimensional systems thinking at the institutional level for your organization.
3) Leave with actionable steps that can be taken right away to start removing oppressive barriers and making positive change from your seat and within your sphere of influence.
4) Learn what it means to embrace an inclusive and equitable mindset and understand how you can integrate these practices in your life.

We solve for systemic issues by focusing on removing bias in operations and building more inclusive policies and practices in their place. All solutions are designed with an understanding of the disparities in access and the impact these differences have on equitable outcomes, and the importance of being inclusive by design.

Session Audience: 

About the Speaker(s): 

The Acacia Co. was founded by TaRea, Natalie, and Thu-Hong in response to the ever-growing need for integrating diversity and inclusion into the workplace – the right way.

Thu-Hong is a Human Resources professional with a background in the corporate tech and international non-profit sectors. Her experience is in General HR Operations, Recruitment, Learning & Development, Project Management, and DEI strategy. Prior to Acacia, she worked in Human Resource Operations at Google, overseeing HR services and programs to help make HR easy and intuitive for employees. Thu-Hong is a part-time graduate student of Industrial & Organizational Psychology at Colorado State University. She is passionate about building allyship and coalition, and helping organizations find HR solutions that are holistic and research-driven.

TaRea’s experience is rooted in 4 years of HR, Program Management, DEI Strategy, and Talent Acquisition. She’s currently an HR Program Manager at Google, working on large scale performance management for over 120,000 employees. She’s developed, led, and managed several DEI initiatives at scale. She also has experience in business strategy, operations, as well as coaching and facilitation. TaRea is a huge advocate of lifelong learning and a firm believer in a growth mindset. She believes deeply in the importance of improving representation, belonging, equity, and access to education.

Natalie brings 7+ years of Project Management and Team Development experience to the team. Her career has been focused on supporting a variety of small and medium sized businesses as well as non-profit organizations with strategic planning, operational efficiency, learning and development, and team management. She believes that productive people and processes are fundamental to building a sustainable business that lives beyond today. When Natalie’s not in the office, she’s serving on the Board of Directors and teaching Salsa classes for the non-profit dance company and academy, Tapestry Dance. She also serves on the local, Austin Board of Advisors of AIESEC as a loyal advocate for global youth leadership.

Presented by Catie Boehmer, Carlos Malache, Crystal Egli, and student presenters

Session Description: This session will introduce the Elevating Voices program and provide case studies of how like-minded organizations can come together in complementary as opposed to competitive ways. Presenters will speak to the importance of multimedia storytelling as an avenue for amplifying historically underrepresented voices and perspectives, and the role of the next generation in telling these stories in an engaging and meaningful way. This session will emphasize the value of the storytelling and filmmaking process, and how the participants’ journey through the program is ultimately more important than the film products that may come out of it. Student presenters will speak to why they wanted to participate in the program, what they hope to get out of it, and why diverse representation in the environmental and conservation sector is important. The session will conclude with time for Q&A. 

Session Audience: All audiences

About the Speaker(s):  “Elevating Voices” is a program of the CSU Salazar Center, and a joint effort by the Center and the Colorado chapter of the Next 100 Coalition, to illuminate and share stories from environmental leaders of color in Colorado. At the time of this presentation, CSU students will have received scholarships and be paired with these leaders to capture their stories on film, with support and technical instruction from RELIGHT Creative, the Center, and Next 100. This program has been designed to connect CSU students with the Next 100 Coalition’s robust network of conservation leaders and to provide mentorship and hands-on learning opportunities related to conservation, storytelling, and film production.

Catie Boehmer is a CSU alumna and has been with the Salazar Center on campus since 2019. As part of her role, she is managing the Elevating Voices program on behalf of the Center.

Carlos Malache is the owner of RELIGHT Creative, with a comprehensive understanding of the production process and experience in managing complex projects through his diverse background as a director, cinematographer, producer, and ad agency production manager. Carlos and his partner Emily Han-Young Hurd support the Elevating Voices program by serving as mentors and instructors to the students in their filmmaking journey.

Crystal Egli is a filmmaker turned DEI consultant who represents the Next 100 Coalition in the Elevating Voices partnership. In 2020, she co-founded “Inclusive Journeys” with her business partner Parker McMullen Bushman (formerly of CSU Extension’s Denver office), and they are working to create a new digital Green Book, which will be an online resource to help people of marginalized identities find safe and welcoming businesses and locations.

The student(s) participating in this session will be CSU juniors or seniors who identify as BIPOC, are supported by the Elevating Voices scholarship, and who, at the time of this session, will be participating in the filmmaking project.

Presented by Jessica Thrasher

Session Description: In this presentation I will be discussing the issues of diversity, equity and inclusiveness in Colorado water. In addition, I will be focusing on the lack of Spanish materials currently available in Colorado water education. Additionally, there are a lack of certifications being offered in Spanish. At the Colorado Stormwater Center, we have recognized the need for language justice and the importance of offering our trainings, classes and certifications in Spanish. We are currently working on creating more bilingual opportunities and will be translating our educational offerings into Spanish. I will discuss our current projects and how we are working towards advancing language justice in stormwater education. The presentation will be lecture-style. 

Session Audience: All audiences

About the Speaker(s): 

Jessica Thrasher, Education and Outreach Manager, Colorado Stormwater Center

Jessica is focused on being part of creating solutions to the current water quality, supply, use, and conservation issues. At the Colorado Stormwater Center, Jessica provides tools, educational opportunities, and research to municipalities, stormwater professionals, and consulting firms allowing them to make informed decisions about stormwater management practices. Jessica has a Master’s Degree in International Development Anthropology with a Specialization in Sustainable Watershed Management. She is also a Certified Permaculture Designer, Certified Rainwater Harvesting Practitioner, and also Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) Certified.

Presented by Martín Carcasson

Session Description: This session focuses on how to better engage diverse publics on difficult issues in order to elevate the quality of public discussion, particularly considering the current level of polarization and hyper-partisanship evident. It utilizes the concept of wicked problems as a useful framework for reframing complex issues in a way that opens up space for more nuanced conversations. Participants will learn about recent research in social psychology that shows why many of our current public processes unfortunately work to bring out the worst in participants, inherently undermining our ability to address difficult issues and causing more distrust, frustration, and cynicism. Deliberative engagement processes, such as those used by the CSU Center for Public Deliberation, will be introduced as alternatives that avoid triggering the worst in human nature while working to tap into key positive aspects that can be critical to a healthy local public culture.

Session Audience: All audiences

About the Speaker(s): Martín Carcasson, Ph.D., is a professor in the Communication Studies department of Colorado State University, the founder and director of the CSU Center for Public Deliberation. His research focuses on helping local communities address “wicked problems” more productively through improved public communication, community problem solving, and collaborative decision-making. The CPD is an impartial resource dedicated to enhancing local democracy. Martin and the CPD staff train students to serve as impartial facilitators, who then work with local governments, school boards, and community organizations to design, facilitate, and report on innovative projects and events on key community issues.

Presented by Lindsey Young, Alexandra Keller, and Beth Wittman

Session Description: Emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions. The Amplify Learning Communities aim to be spaces where science students come together in a way that amplifies their individual voices and can show up as their full selves in STEM. To create this kind of space at CSU, the staff and students in Amplify have been experimenting with the Emergent Strategy framework, as consolidated in adrienne maree brown’s body of work. As scientists, we are always questioning, observing, and learning about the natural world. As it turns out, this scientific mindset is compatible with the nature-based elements of Emergent Strategy. In this interactive workshop, will share the challenges and benefits we encountered when implementing Emergent Strategy within the Amplify programs and work environment. This time will also allow participants to experience some of the Emergent Strategy processes and provide a few tools for applying this framework to their areas of expertise.

Session Audience: All audiences

About the Speaker(s): 

Lindsey Young
Lindsey has been working with Amplify (previously the College of Natural Sciences Learning Community) since 2015. She has an uncanny ability to help people feel purposeful and valued, identifying and leveraging peoples’ strengths and creating experiences where they can shine. If you don’t find her whispering to the gaggle of plants in her office or chatting about science with a collection of students, she might be out in nature, most likely with people who have never been to the mountains before. She is passionate about learning and growing, and can brighten any room she enters with her authenticity and openness.

Alexandra Keller
Alexandra is the Director of Amplify at Colorado State University in the College of Natural Sciences where science students come together in a community that amplifies their individual voices. Alexandra asks how individuals’ unique identities interface with science and higher education in order to imagine equitable STEM education. For over a decade, Alexandra has designed culturally responsive STEM experiences that seek to provide a critical lens for people to investigate the ways their unique identities influence how they navigate the world. Alexandra is a connector. An equity-centered educator. A leadership re-definer. A somatic coach. A listener. A disrupter.

Beth Wittmann
Beth Wittmann is a PhD student in the biology department at Colorado State University whose research centers equity in natural resources. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont in wildlife biology and collaborates with the Amplify Learning Community in designing initiatives to make CSU a more equitable place for STEM students who are underrepresented in science. Through her research at CSU, she hopes to investigate the veiled history of conservation and modern western science to shed light on inequities that persist in those fields today.

Presented by Fleurette King

Session Description: Racial battle fatigue was prevalent in higher education for students, faculty, and staff of color, especially predominantly white institutions (PWIs). Scholar Jeremy Frankling suggests that institutions, practitioners, researchers, and higher education leaders can address racial microaggressions and racial battle fatigue to make their campuses more equitable. Blaxhaustion and other racism-related stress in higher education impact the retention of staff, faculty, and students of color. Also, if potential recruits anticipate a workplace or college environment can induce racial battle fatigue, it could hurt recruitment efforts. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss and examine their current environments.

Session Audience: All audiences

About the Speaker(s): Fleurette (Flo) King serves as the Equity Educator in Undergraduate Affairs and The Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT) at CSU. King is an instructor in the Student Affairs/Higher Education (SAHE) program. Flo provides instructor/faculty-facing professional development to assist with inclusive pedagogy and classroom management. King has been a diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) educator for over 28 years in higher education. King has completed an M.A. in sociology from DePaul University and a B.A. in sociology with a minor in ethnic studies from Bowling Green State University.

Presented by Fleurette King

Session Description: This presentation will provide information on the current anti-transgender legislation that imposes on the civil rights of transgender, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming people, particularly in sports. Participants gain insight into the impact and what is happening to support trans athletes.

Session Audience: All audiences

About the Speaker(s): Fleurette (Flo) King serves as the Equity Educator in Undergraduate Affairs and The Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT) at CSU. King is an instructor in the Student Affairs/Higher Education (SAHE) program. Flo provides instructor/faculty-facing professional development to assist with inclusive pedagogy and classroom management. King has been a diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) educator for over 28 years in higher education. King has completed an M.A. in sociology from DePaul University and a B.A. in sociology with a minor in ethnic studies from Bowling Green State University.

Presented by Dr. B Nathan

Session Description: This session will provide data as found in a dissertation research study that was conducted during the summer of 2020. The research is critical and the way the research is presented is critical to transforming supervision in not just student affairs, but in all industries. What makes this research unique and accessible, is the use of poetry embedded throughout the research. The poetry was written using the words of us 9 sista colleagues to share the responses to the research questions. In essence, audience members will go on a journey as stories as shared through poetry. Included in the sharing will be the methodology that allowed for engagement in research in such a non traditional way. Following the presentation, discussion prompts will be provided for audience members that ask and reflect on the following: What are the talents and gifts your Black Women colleagues bring to the work environment? How will you directly support your Black Women colleagues in positions of leadership and supervision? Knowing what you know now about our experiences as supervisors, what is one thing you will commit to in your role as a supervisor or direct report of Black Women? The session will close with an appreciation.

Session Audience: Supervisors, Black Women Staff, Black Women Faculty, Staff, All audiences

About the Speaker(s): 

Dr. B. Nathan (she/her): Dr. B has over 20 years of experience as a Higher Education administrator including the 8 years, she spent at Colorado State University as a midlevel administrator. Her years and history of action-oriented work in equity, inclusion and social justice serves as the spark in her life as she wants folks to truly be able to live their truths and authentic selves without any fear and harm. Dr. B returned to Colorado State to enter and complete her doctorate. Her dissertation illuminates the experiences of racism and sexism Black Women midlevel administrators experience from supervisors and direct reports; as well as how we supervise from the lens of being Black Women. When not at her full time job, B serves as a facilitator for leadershape and works as an independent consultant working with organizations on aspects of DEI and supervision.

Presented by Rachel Tremaine and Jess Ellis Hagman

Session Description: While there is much discussion on increasing diversity in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), there is less attention to our motivations to do so, which can significantly impact how improvements are implemented and sustained. In this presentation, participants will have an opportunity to reflect upon their own motivations for increasing diversity within STEM and learn more about how those motivations can be broadened through the lens of the Framework for STEM Diversity perspectives, as developed by Tremaine, Hagman, Voigt, Gehrtz, and Damas (2021). This framework draws on work by Gutiérrez (2009) and Basile and Lopez (2015) to create a comprehensive matrix which juxtaposes various stakeholders’ motivations for diversifying STEM fields along critical and dominant axes and identifies four primary recipients that benefit from diversifying STEM. Through the presentation of this framework and semi-structured small group discussion, participants are encouraged to identify areas of strength and deficit in their own knowledge regarding the multi-faceted nature of benefits of increasing diversity within STEM disciplines, and enhance their understanding of their own perspectives and how to utilize this framework in productive conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion in their own positions as stakeholders in STEM fields.

Session Audience: All audiences interseted or involved in STEM fields

About the Speaker(s): 

Rachel Tremaine is a graduate student in Mathematics at Colorado State University with a primary research interest in elevating the perspectives of undergraduate students- particularly those from identities that are traditionally marginalized in mathematical spaces- as critical informants on their own experiences. As a contributor to the development of the Framework for STEM Diversity perspectives, she sees incredible potential in its use for facilitating productive conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM fields among stakeholders of all levels, and is excited about sharing this work and learning from others through interactive presentation.

Jess Ellis Hagman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics at CSU in Fort Collins. She completed her PhD in Mathematics Education from the joint program between San Diego State University and the University of California, San Diego. Her area of research is undergraduate mathematics education. Her work is focused on dramatically increasing the number and diversity of people who thrive in undergraduate mathematics-especially introductory mathematics courses that often function as a road- block for STEM intending students. Her current research includes studying characteristics of successful precalculus and calculus programs, focusing on investigating ways departments can create diverse, equitable, and inclusive introductory mathematics programs.

Presented by Beth Wittman and Alexandra Keller

Session Description: Despite policies, programs, and research aimed at decreasing the disparity in educational equity for marginalized students in STEM fields, blatant inequities remain for students in their pursuit of and completion of STEM degrees. As expected, these disparities are reflected and amplified in the demographics of the larger STEM workforce. One possible reason these inequities persist is the culture of STEM itself. There is a belief within some science fields that diversity, equity, and inclusion are important but not always relevant to STEM, since the scientific method is understood to control for human variables and bias. In this session, we look back to the origin stories of science to understand how the tendrils of the past still have their grasp on the science culture of the present. Through sharing some of the history that is rarely given light in STEM, we aim to investigate how these buried parts of our scientific past influence the way that we view ourselves, our identities, and what we consider well-founded in science today. By questioning what is considered credible in science, we begin to open ourselves up to the possibility of indigenous ways of knowing and in turn see the connections between seemingly disparate ideas like queer ecology, eugenics, binaries, and the promise of objectivity.

Session Audience: All audiences

About the Speaker(s): 

Beth Wittmann is a PhD student in the biology department at Colorado State University whose research centers equity in natural resources. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont in wildlife biology and collaborates with the Amplify Learning Community in designing initiatives to make CSU a more equitable place for STEM students who are underrepresented in science. Through her research at CSU, she hopes to investigate the veiled history of conservation and modern western science to shed light on inequities that persist in those fields today.

Alexandra Keller is the Director of Amplify at Colorado State University in the College of Natural Sciences where science students come together in a community that amplifies their individual voices. Alexandra asks how individuals’ unique identities interface with science and higher education in order to imagine equitable STEM education. For over a decade, Alexandra has designed culturally responsive STEM experiences that seek to provide a critical lens for people to investigate the ways their unique identities influence how they navigate the world. Alexandra is a connector. An equity-centered educator. A leadership re-definer. A somatic coach. A listener. A disrupter.

Hungry to Learn Film

In partnership with the ACT Film Festival, the Diversity Symposium Planning Committee is excited to offer all registered attendees access to the film Hungry to Learn.

Watching the Film

The film will be available for viewing October 25 – 29

  • Registered attendees will receive an email with the viewing link and password and can watch the film at any point within the viewing timeline, from the comfort of their home and with their families if they choose. 

Panel Discussion

In addition to the film, a panel discussion will be held on Friday, October 29th from 10:30am – 12:00pm and more information will be available soon.

Film Description

In a documentary film by Soledad O’Brien and Geeta Gandbhir we meet the faces behind an American crisis — college students so strapped to pay tuition that they don’t have enough money to eat.

It’s not about Ramen Noodles and care packages from home, it’s a life of suffering from having no food at all, eating at food pantries or off the trays of fellow students. It’s the humiliation of telling teachers and school officials that they need help, of applying for food stamps only to discover how hard it is for students to qualify, of going to class day after day distracted by hunger and rumbling stomachs.

This verité film, shot by award-winning cinematographers Rudy Valdez and Asad Faruqi, tells the story of 4 college students facing hunger and homelessness, and dreams of college degrees just out of reach. Eve Brescia gets so frustrated she declares: “I’m going to be paying back loans for the rest of my life. You gotta spend this much money to eat?” Activist Professor Sara Goldrick Rab nails down a startling statistic about a problem affecting every campus in the country: Forty-five percent of college students are regularly going hungry — yes, 45%.

Symposium FAQs

The 2021 Diversity Symposium is open to CSU employees and students, as well as CSU alumni, affiliates, and local community members. Registration is required for all attendees.

Registration is required for all attendees and only takes a few minutes.

To register, complete the 2021 Diversity Symposium registration form. Once you submit your registration form, you’re all set for now! 

In early October, the Diversity Symposium Planning Committee will send a “Build Your Schedule” email to everyone who completed the registration form. You’ll be able to create your schedule based on the sessions you are most interested in (similar to a conference) and download the Zoom event information directly to your calendar. 

Yes! All sessions will be recorded and made available after the live Diversity Symposium week is complete. We are aiming to have these resources up for our community within one month, but we ask for your patience as transferring, formatting, and captioning the files for so many sessions will take time. Folks outside of the CSU community will be able to access the recorded files when they are added to the VPD’s YouTube account.

All sessions, keynotes, and special presentations will be offered through Zoom, using both the meeting and webinar formats. The specific format for each session is indicated in the session description.

Webinar: Think of webinars like a virtual lecture hall or auditorium. Webinars help manage the online environment for large audiences. Typically, webinar attendees do not interact with one another and the average webinar has one or a few people speaking to an audience. Participants are encouraged to use the chat and Q&A features to engage with speakers.

Meeting: Zoom meetings enable attendees to use their video and audio features to participate in the session with their presenters. These sessions may include break out groups, polls, robust audience discussion, and more.

While the Diversity Symposium has always been a popular event at CSU, this year’s registration numbers are unlike any we’ve seen in the past. To help us navigate this exciting and novel year, please keep the following information and tips in mind:

  • Be respectful of presenter(s)’ time and energies. All presentations are being hosted by our peers and colleagues within the CSU community and for many folks, this may be the first time they are presenting to such large audiences (in the virtual environment or otherwise). Thanks for your understanding and patience in advance!

  • If you don’t already have Zoom downloaded on your device of choice, be sure to do so. All sessions will be hosted through the Zoom platform.

  • Don’t join sessions more than 5 minutes before the scheduled start time.

  • All sessions will be equipped with computer-generated, live captioning. View this quick guide to learn about how to access this feature.

  • If you are in a session that is using the meeting format (meaning attendees can engage in the traditional Zoom setting using their video and audio as appropriate), please join the meeting with your mic muted and be sure your username reflects your name appropriately. Listen to the presenter and moderator’s prompts and only utilize your mic when asking a question or when instructed to.

  • The daily emails will be your key to successfully engaging with the 2021 Diversity Symposium. Please be sure to check your email each morning for important updates, session eval links, and more. We ask that you please not forward the emails to anyone else, as all registered attendees will receive a copy in their own inboxes.

  • With so many moving parts, there are bound to be some changes to the Diversity Symposium schedule. Please be sure to rely on the emails and the Symposium website for the most up-to-date information.

Diversity Symposium Marketing Materials

Thank you for sharing the 2021 Diversity Symposium with your university community. A variety of marketing materials are available below for you to print, post, and distribute.

Download a PDF of the Diversity Program schedule

PowerPoint Slide

Insert the following slide into your class presentations:



Email Signature

Want to spread the word? Copy and paste one of these lines into the end of your email signature:

  • I’m logging on to the 2021 Diversity Symposium and I want my CSU community to join me virtually! Learn more.
  • CSU, are you ready to attend the 2021 Diversity Symposium? Learn more.
  • Join me at the 2021 Diversity Symposium, open to all CSU and local community members. Learn more.

Email Signature Logo

Download the logo and add it to your signature, or link to the image URL below:


Diversity Symposium Contact:

Alicia Sprague
Program Coordinator
(970) 491-6544

About the Diversity Symposium

Beginning in 2001 with a one day event, the Diversity Symposium has now grown into a week-long conference featuring dozens of sessions relating to diversity and inclusion, cutting-edge research presentations, a variety of keynote speakers, and a strand focused specifically on educators.

In addition to longer format talks, a highlight of CSU’s Diversity Symposium is CSU Inspire. This featured event brings 5 – 10 TED Talk-like sessions led by CSU faculty, staff, and students and focused on sharing engaging and inspiring initiatives happening on our campus in relation to social justice, in short 8-minute presentations.