Financial equity lunch to headline diversity symposium

Panelists to share successes in securing DEI funding

| Author: Eric Baerren | Media Contact: Aaron Mills

A panel on equitable financing in higher education will highlight the two-day 9th Annual CMU Diversity Symposium, dedicated to exploring diversity, equity, inclusion, justice and belonging. This year’s symposium is built around the theme, “Embracing the ‘I’ in DEIJB.”

Four panelists will share their successes in securing funding for DEIJB initiatives at their organizations in “Equity-Minded Finance in Higher Education,” from 11 a.m. to noon on April 25 in the Bovee University Center Rotunda. The conversation will take place as the Vice Presidential Signature Session.

“The Vice-Presidential Signature Luncheon is intended to offer examples of best practices within diversity, equity, inclusion, justice and belonging work,” said Dr. Nikita Murry, Director of Diversity Education with the Office for Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “This session will offer examples of successful funding efforts and explore solutions to persistent barriers. It is significant that the primary participants are senior executives.”

“Since the Diversity Symposium is designed to appeal to multiple audiences, this panel discussion will reflect discussion drivers within higher education, community and the workforce.”

Dr. Shawna Patterson-Stephens, CMU Vice President for Inclusive Excellence & Belonging, will facilitate the dialogue. The panelists include Andreason Brown, Chief Financial Officer of the Spencer Foundation; David McGhee, Chief Executive Officer of The Steve Fund; Regina Sharma, Director of Development with the Detroit Justice Center; and Jesse Bernal, Chief of Staff/Chief Diversity Officer with Grand Valley State University.

A fireside chat with CMU President Bob Davies officially kicks off the symposium at 9 a.m. on April 24. A roundtable discussion, “Inclusion in Education,” hosted by Provost Nancy Matthews, starts the second day at 8:30 a.m.

The first day will also feature a keynote lunch presentation by Holiday Simmons, an Atlanta-based social worker with 20 years of experience in crisis response, conflict mediation and somatics with a social justice lens.

Both days will include multiple tracks of research-based presentations. All events are in the Rotunda and surrounding Terrace Rooms.  People interested in attending are asked to register in advance.
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