Diversity Symposium 2021

October 25 – 29, 2021 • Colorado State University

Thank you for supporting the 2021 Diversity Symposium!

The Office of Inclusive Excellence and the Diversity Symposium Planning Committee would like to thank all the moderators, presenters, planning committee members, and attendees for their work and support of the 2021 Diversity 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, our community came together to engage with one another on the critical topics of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice.

Symposium recordings are now available. Check out the link to the playlist on this page.

Missed an email?

Diversity Symposium email communications are sent from Constant Contact to all registered attendees. A copy of the messages is available here:

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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 – 5:00pm Sessions

4:00 – 6:30pm Virtual Diversity Connect (students only)

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

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 | “Faith, Power and Privilege: Holding Intersectionality, Equity and Justice”

Keynote by Dr. Mahzarin Banaji | Oct. 28, 11:00am–1:00pm | “Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People”

Sign language interpreters will be available for both keynotes.

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.

Sign language interpreters will be available for the CSU Inspire session.

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.

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 their experiences while at CSU, including insights into their 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 their experience as a student. Haley thinks it is beyond important to recognize student positionality and strength within to change the systems of oppression. Haley 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.

Symposium Recordings

A majority of Diversity Symposium presentations have been recorded to allow for greater accessibility and engagement with the content. All recorded sessions, including pre-recorded sessions, are available on the Inclusive Excellence YouTube page in the Diversity Symposium 2021 playlist.

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 – November 7

  • Streaming Link
  • The streaming link is now live and it will close on November 7 or after 500 households have viewed the film.

Film Description

HUNGRY TO LEARN introduces the faces behind an American crisis — college students so strapped to pay tuition that they don’t have enough money to eat or a place to live. A lack of food is just a symptom of a bigger problem, the American Dream of a college education slipping out of reach. It is the story of how colleges, once places for children of privilege, opened their doors to students of limited means but failed to provide enough financial aid to allow these new students to graduate without making painful choices. This documentary is not just about the devastating hunger crisis unfolding on American campuses, it is about what can — and should — be done about it.

Panel Discussion – Oct. 29

On Friday, October 29 from 10:30am-12:00pm, panelists will discuss food insecurity at CSU and systemically across universities. They will speak to themes in the film, but will also address topics that are relevant and critical regardless of film viewing.


  • Kathryn Conrad – Rams Against Hunger Student Coordinator – Senior with a double major in Political Science and Women’s & Gender Studies with an Interdisciplinary Leadership Minor.
  • Uriel Diaz – Rams Against Hunger Student Coordinator – Junior with a Psychology major, along with a Spanish and Business minor
  • Shay Lentz – SNAP Benefits Specialist, Graduate Student in Social Work, and Administrative Assistant in Case Management
  • Michael Buttram – Basic Needs Program Manager
  • Moderator: Elizabeth Sink, Master Teaching Instructor, Communication Studies & Presidential Leadership Fellow

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, except for the two keynotes, 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 OIE’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.

Sign language interpreters will be available at both keynote presentations as well as the CSU Inspire session. Computer-generated captioning will be enabled for all virtual sessions through the Zoom platform.

For additional accessibility accommodations please contact Alicia Sprague at alicia.sprague@colostate.edu

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

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  • 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

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Symposium 2021


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.