Conference Workshops

Accepted Workshops for the 8th Annual Dialogue on Diversity Conference

Please Note: Workshop offerings are subject to change due to presenter availability.

1. How Healthcare Providers can create better quality of care through hard conversations.

The LGBTQ community falls through the cracks of healthcare because practitioners are afraid to say something wrong, do something wrong or be wrong. As a healthcare professional with first-hand experience in the LGBTQ community, I will provide techniques that help practitioners respectfully affirm their LGBTQ patients.

2. Diversity and Inclusion: What’s Class Got to Do With It?

In discussions about diversity and inclusion, the focus tends to be on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion and age. These are important topics. However, socioeconomic class tends to be a significant unspoken element that is indirectly referenced. Socioeconomic class and perceptions of class can have a major impact on team building and organizational culture. It influences employee recruitment and retention and employee performance and productivity. I will elaborate on the true and lived impact of intersectionality - meaning the role of race, class and gender—in the lives of women and men in professional and educational settings. In my interdisciplinary and interactive presentation, I will incorporate original prose and poetry which address intersectionality. I will also include sociological research from bell hooks and Lawrence Otis Graham, and resources about team building and cultural competence. Embracing intersectionality allows people to bring their best selves to work and to their educational environments.

3. Reentering the Workforce: Mothers and Postpartum Depression

The National Institute of Mental Health defines postpartum depression as a “mood disorder that can affect women after childbirth... mothers experience feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that may make it difficult for them to complete daily activities for themselves or for others.” Postpartum depression in the workplace has become a topic of conversation, as more women who have children must return to work not long after childbirth. An increase in the monetary need for single and married mothers has made work imperative. In some instances, a woman returns to work too soon after childbirth with a lack of resources and support. As a workplace, there are steps and policies that can be implemented to assist those women. This presentation explores the opportunities for women in the workplace and resources that are readily available.

4. Do you see me?

Lean in? Stand tall? Speak up? How many more actions can we add to minorities, specifically minority women, when the crux of the problem is that they are still invisible in many corporate spaces? This presentation will provide participants with ways to engage upper administration in conversations rooted in creating a space with a sense of belonging. This presentation is not just about ensuring that minority women are acknowledged in a company but supported, valued, and empowered. Presenters will discuss the symbiotic relationship that has to be nurtured between minority women and the companies they work for in order to create a sense of belonging. Specific focus will be placed on the ways in which corporate structures need to more intentionally support minority women through policies, procedures, and best practice. Participants will create a functional action plan to help drive structural change.

5. Privilege: Disease or Phenomenological lens?

How do we recognize the ways in which economic capital creates cultural capital? What are the overt and covert ways in which privilege manifests in institutions of education? This presentation will use a phenomenological lens to address issues of class. We focus on class as our core identifier, using this to address other demographic identifiers such as race, gender, sexuality, and citizenship status. We provide an in-depth exploration specifically into the ways in which socio-economic status impacts students who identify as part of the LGBTQ* community. This presentation will focus specifically on the ways in which privilege constructs the understanding of student needs and ability to meet expectations. Participants will participate in a reflection of their own lens and bias and the ways in which this shapes their responses to issues related to class and create an action plan to identify needs and establish supports in their home institutions.

6. You're Not as Great of an Ally as You Think You Are

You've added your pronouns to your email signature, hanged your "Black Lives Matter" sign, advocated openly for disabled students on campus, and have shown your support for DACA. You're a great ally, right? Wrong. In this workshop, Arielle will identify problematic ally behaviors, language, and actions; explain why these behaviors and actions are problematic; and give concrete solutions to fixing common "allyship pitfalls".

7. Porkchops and Grapes: Implicit Bias Is All Around Us

“Hidden biases are not a sign of a bad person,” says Zabeen Hirji, CHRO of the Toronto-based Royal Bank of Canada, which in 2013 co-hosted, with Ernst & Young, a forum on hidden bias for 300 corporate and community leaders. “Most people have them. Once we accepted that ... it allowed us to talk about these issues in a nonjudgmental way. What’s bad is not trying to understand what your unconscious biases are.” During this interactive session, participants will explore the concept of implicit bias. In addition to defining the concept, we will explore how biases are developed, reinforced, and perpetuated. Participants will walk away with tools for measuring, countering, and interrupting implicit biases.

8. Cultivating Inclusion: Planting Seeds for a Safe Work Environment

In this session, we will discuss actions to take to create a positive and safe work environment for your entire staff. Whether you’re in an administrative position or not, the “work” of diversity and inclusion is everyone’s job. Together, we’ll learn to confront our own identities and biases and how to respect the identities of others, especially in a work context. I am eager to share some of the practices we’ve implemented in our library as well as feedback we’ve received from our staff. I will also provide you with some great resources to guide you in your learning. If diversity and inclusion seems like an abstract concept to you, please join me to identify some concrete ways to begin practicing inclusion today!

9. Managing Learning Differences in Online Courses: Strategies for Accessibility

Strategies will be provided on providing materials in multiple formats. Giving students choices and creating accessible Word documents will also be discussed with every participant creating an accessible document . Office 365 tools will be used for captioning and every participant will learn how they can caption videos.

10. LGBT+ Support and Inclusive Education

In this session, presenters will share the overview and development of LGBTQ Support Coach trainings over the last four years in schools as well as how this process initially began. Participants will learn how community/resources were integrated and be engaged with some of the activities provided to LGBTQ Support Coaches within Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS). These trainings recognize and address the needs of JCPS' diverse student population and provide educators with resources towards inclusivity.

11. Queer Students and Professionals in STEM: Supporting, Transforming, Engaging, and Mentoring Underrepresented Identities in Historically Heteronormative Fields

The demand for students pursuing education and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) is ever-growing, yet the demographic composition of these fields have remained relatively stagnant. White men continue to dominate STEM fields, generating systemic, environmental, and psychological barriers for underrepresented identities. While scholars regularly contribute to the body of knowledge surrounding the experiences and identities of women and people of color in STEM, the literature on queer students in STEM is minimal. This session will review existing research on these underrepresented experiences in STEM, noting similar and divergent identity-based trends. In addition to learning about the ways in which queer students navigate their identities in predominately white, male, heteronormative environments, participants will also learn ways in which professionals, faculty, staff, and students can reduce systemic barriers and discrimination to better support queer students and professionals in STEM.

12. Concrete Steps to Practicing Cultural Humility

Welcome to a workshop that will introduce you to the concept of cultural humility, an alternative paradigm to the idea of cultural competence. Cultural humility is a way of being instead of doing, so translating it into action is challenging. However, through our own diversity work and based on the research, we will share at least 10 concrete ways to put cultural humility into practice.

13. What the Bible Says about 'Connecting Ideas to Action'

The goal of this year's Conference is that participants walk away with action items that they can use when they return to their respective organizations. This presentation will equip participants to continually derive action items from diversity principles throughout their careers. They will identify obstacles that stop them from being inclusive. They will discuss the complacency that inhibits us from acting on what we have learned at this Conference. Turning ideas into action is a main theme of the Bible, and this book will be our source material.

14. The "R" Word: A Dialogue on Person First Language

Disability rights has been a long contested issue in politics, higher education, and society as a whole. The conversation exploring the rights of individuals with disabilities has grown in intensity since the 1970’s when Public Law 94-142 was introduced and later when President George H.W. Bush enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The debate surrounding appropriate language, treatment, and policy has centered on higher education and the advocacy of students and staff. This presentation explores the question of how higher education is addressing questions relating to person first language, disability etiquette, and whether or not enough is being done. This presentation argues for a widespread look at disability rights in higher education and how students, staff, and society must look at making positive changes.

15. Being White in Louisville: Exploring The Personal, Cultural and Systemic Implications of Whiteness As An Essential Lens For Effective Change

"Not everything that can faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin. A first step for those who identify as white in taking honest and effective actions to reduce and address systemic discrimination, involves cultivating a deeper awareness of how "whiteness" has shaped their personal and cultural perspectives and has been consciously and unconsciously propagated to continue and extend white privilege. The workshop will explore "Critical Whiteness Studies" as an essential lens for self, cultural and systemic reflection and action. Participants will review how "whiteness" has been deeply embedded in Louisville's culture, practices and institutions and will provide a reflection process for exploring hidden assumptions and norms and how everyday practices can either re-center or challenge white power.

16. Education without Power: Women of Color in Higher Education

The recent induction of over 100 women to congress warrants an exploration of this effect on other social industries. We aim to examine the presence of women of color (WOC) in leadership positions in higher education. Women have surpassed men in obtaining university degrees in higher education, therefore we might expect to see that represented in higher education leadership positions. However, Hill, Miller, Benson, and Handley (2016) report men occupy full professor and tenured positions at a rate more than three times that of women. Further examination reveals that numbers of WOC in leadership positions are significantly lower than that of their white and male counterparts, at a percentage of 1.5. This point is not an all-inclusive example, but a means to provide context about the disparities that exist. In this dialogue we plan to address the challenges that persist for WOC in pursuit of and in positions of power.

17. Why is She So Mad? An Analysis of the "Angry Black Woman"

With the increase on racial awareness across the nation and in higher education (the acknowledgement of white privilege, the analysis of microaggressions, the existence of Black Lives Matter, etc.), more individuals in the higher education field are recognizing stereotypes in each race due to unconscious bias. One major stereotype seems to be at the forefront of conversations regarding black women -- why are they always so angry? Why is the black, female colleague constantly snappy or defensive? In this discussion, Arielle will focus on the trope of the "angry black woman". Arielle will analyze reasons why black women are angry, the history of the "angry black woman" trope, and how to support black women in higher education.

18. Don't Wait – Meditate

Don't Wait - Meditate will discuss meditation as a preventative treatment for anxiety, and to promote the concept of mindfulness. The session will address the African American community, though all groups will be able to benefit from its practice. The session will begin with a general discussion of anxiety, its causes, and current forms of treatment. It will then move on to define meditation and mindfulness, benefits, and ways to practice, including resources they can use to support. Assuming participants are willing, the last part of the session will include a brief meditation session, a reflection of the exercise, and close with projected outcomes of meditation and mindfulness practices with continued use.

19. Listening (and Talking) to Children about Race

Although overt racial tension has heated up in recent years, for many reasons Americans resist talking about race, especially in our personal lives. Recent history has demonstrated the great we need for those personal conversations. This presentation demonstrates an approach to race dialogue that begins with storytelling and listening. This approach is born out of listening to children as a catalyst for those difficult conversations. Listening to the questions of participants generates stories, which can spark productive dialogue. An introduction to the presentation can be seen at

20. Racial Equity in Education

Audience members will participate in a discussion on racial equity in education, specifically related to public schools, implicit biases, microaggressions, existing gaps, etc. The presenter will guide the discussion, however any topic related to racial equity will be presented for discussion.

21. Let's Queer Things Up: Empowering Your LGBTQ+ and/or Marginalized Stakeholders

After a brief narrative of the presenter's life and development into a openly queer/gay public school principal, audience members will be challenged to un-marginalize their marginalized stakeholders. While the narrative and main conversation in this session focuses on LGBTQ+ stakeholders, audience members will be encouraged to broaden the scope to any groups or individuals who are marginalized in their field/organization.

22. Students' Right to Their Own Language

In this panel, we will examine the Conference on College Composition and Communication’s 1972 assertion that: “We affirm the students' right to their own patterns and varieties of language — the dialects of their nurture or whatever dialects in which they find their own identity and style. Language scholars long ago denied that the myth of a standard American dialect has any validity. The claim that any one dialect is unacceptable amounts to an attempt of one social group to exert its dominance over another.” From our perspectives as writing program administrators, we want to have an open discussion about how educators can balance learning outcomes with students’ right to their own language in a way that ensures students’ preparation for employment. We will bring in recent arguments in the field of Rhetoric and Composition that support the use of “code meshing” and alternative rhetoric in college English.

23. It's Not Enough to Be Practical. It's Time to Get Radical About Social Transformation

The vast and persistent socio-political clashes which punctuate our daily experiences are leaving many seasoned advocates for positive social transformation weary. Even when we connect our ideas to action, individual and organizational commitments to action can gradually wane or be cancelled out in a single act. What are we to do when our ideas and actions are short-lived? The reasoned response is often to: reassess, change or refine strategies and actions, implement, and monitor results. This reasoned approach is practical and valid, but it is not enough. A more radical approach is needed. In this highly interactive session we will describe a reasoned and radical approach to social transformation and explore the benefits and challenges of both and how they complement each other.

24. The Do’s and Don’ts of Managing Racial Microaggressions

The term microaggression refers to commonplace statements or behaviors that, intentionally or unintentionally, communicate negative messages about marginalized groups. Racial microaggressions then, refer to everyday slights and insults that communicate negative messages about people of color. In this session, participants are invited to: 1) learn more about what racial microaggressions are; 2) consider examples of racial microaggressions and the messages they imply; 3) explore the dynamics of interaction when racial microaggressions occur; and 4) consider strategies for how to handle racial microaggressions whether one is the target, bystander, or microaggressor.

25. Trans 101

In this introductory session, participants will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to support transgender, gender non-conforming, and gender questioning individuals (colleagues, customers, peers) in the workplace, community, University, and beyond. From the basics of language to daily practices, this session will engage in conversation not only the gender of other people, but also the gender identity and experiences of participants.

26. Trans Inclusive Practices for the Workplace

What does it mean to be trans inclusive? How do I build trans inclusive practices in my workplace, in my university, my community? This interactive session will guide participants through a two-part learning module. In part one, participants will encounter some trans-exclusive experiences common to transgender people. In part two, participants will identify and practice utilizing tools and practices designed to mitigate or remove barriers to trans inclusion in their spheres of influence.

27. Serving the Full Student: Invisible Illness on Campus

Oftentimes when we hear diversity, we think of visible differences. Invisible illnesses or "disabilities" that are unseen impact an increasing number of students on college campuses and in our communities, ranging from Depression and Autism spectrum disorder to Lupus and Diabetes. In this session, the presenter will use her unique experiences as a person with both physical and mental invisible illness to discuss the unique needs and challenges of being a student, employee and leader with invisible illness. The session will provide participants with opportunities to reflect on their own biases and privilege, as well as navigate how to better serve students through support and education.

28. You Can't Change What We Never Chose: Protecting Youth from Conversion Therapy

Few practices hurt LGBT youth more than attempts to change their sexual orientation or gender identity through so-called conversion therapy, which can cause depression, substance abuse, and even suicide. But some mental health providers continue to subject young LGBT people to these practices—also known as “reparative therapy,” “ex-gay therapy,” or “sexual orientation change efforts”—even though they have been condemned by every major medical and mental health organization in the country. This workshop will cover the facts on conversion therapy, what is being done in Kentucky to limit these damaging practices and what you can do to help protect LGBTQ youth.

29. The Black Student Emergency Scholarship at NKU: Historical and Student Perspectives

The panel will consist of two students and a History Professor who describe how the University's inability to improve the 29 per cent graduation rate for black students led to the students themselves making the effort to address this concern. The panelists will demonstrate that University officials neglected to include the Kentucky Council for Postsecondary Education's commitment to black students in the strategic plans and diversity committees while simultaneously creating a culture of fear so that black faculty and staff would not risk their jobs to help black students graduate. Once discovered by black and white students, rather than argue with the officials the students sought to be pro-active in addressing their concern.

30. Enabling Conditions for Institutional Change through Fostering Cultural Competence and Equity- Mindedness

This workshop is an interactive and dynamic conversation about how and why culturally competence and equity-mindedness are important to diversity work. Specifically, the workshop will highlight the development and delivery of a 6-module series on “Cultural Competence in Academic Advising”. The context of this series is higher education, and facilitators will address why this work is important in other sectors, such as healthcare, social services, STEM, non-profits etc. The workshop will include an overview of the process and content of the 6-modules series with excerpts from the workshops that will include a reflection, short videos, and topical discussions. The workshop will conclude with lessons learned and next steps for scaling the series for institutional impact. The workshop is appropriate for all levels.

31. Cultural Humility in Integrated Healthcare for Minority Populations

Training and service provision in healthcare are based on the premise of being an “expert.“ In today’s era of Evidence Based Practice, healthcare providers are expected to correctly conceptualize patients with little to no room for error. In an effort to address the important role of culture in healthcare, the movement toward cultural competency adopted a similar strategy of mastery over subject matter. While a step in the right direction, this approach falls short of recognizing the most important aspect of working with patients of different cultures. To work with those from minority backgrounds effectively and empathically, providers should embody the opposite role of expert and, instead, assuming the role of learner regarding cultural differences. By acknowledging our ignorance of and assumptions about other individuals’ unique experiences and seeking to better understand the whole of who they are, we improve overall health outcomes.

32. An Exploration of Healthcare Needs, Stigmas and Disparities Faced by LGBTQ Populations in the Treatment of Chronic Neurological Disease in Louisville, KY

With a growing elderly population in the United States, there is a need to further explore healthcare disparities faced by older LGBTQ+ individuals with chronic longstanding disease. The LGBTQ+ community has been identified as an at-risk population in Healthy People 2020 which notes barriers to care for elderly individuals due to “isolation, a lack of social services and a lack of culturally competent providers”. While many national studies have been conducted to research LGBTQ+ health disparities, far fewer studies have examined local, community-based impacts in the United States. Neurodegenerative disorders provide a good framework for examining the experience of LGBTQ+ individuals with chronic conditions due to the requirement for long-term multidisciplinary management and support. This study in Louisville, Kentucky uses a semi-structured interview approach in order to identify the current outcomes and needs in LGBTQ+ individuals with chronic disease.

33. The significance of a welcoming atmosphere for the LGBTQ community and the importance of data-driven health care

This session will describe the scarcity of information that our nation / the world has regarding people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or those who are questioning (LGBTQ) their sexual identity. Without data on these demographics that will identify special needs or risks, the health care community is unable to provide adequate healthcare. Mental health is probably the most alarming challenge in the LGBTQ community; they often face violence and victimization. In the available information, as many as 85% acknowledge depression and suicidal ideation, but with little or no psychiatric care. There are also physical needs that should be addressed (such as gender specific guidelines), but are not, because the LGBTQ population is reluctant to reveal this private information. The participants will be encouraged to ask questions and engage in the entire discussion.

34. GaySL: A Crash Course in LGBTQ American Sign Language and Intersectionality

GaySL: A Crash Course in LGBTQ Sign Language and Intersectionality" is a highly-interactive and hilarious workshop led by Deaf queer activist and stand-up comedian Hayden Kristal that teaches its participants LGBTQ-related American Sign Language signs while also fostering a broader group discussion about horizontal marginalization, intersectionality, and what it means to be intersectionally accessible. Participants are encouraged (but not required) to sign along, and any and all levels of experience with American Sign Language and the Deaf community are welcome and encouraged to attend!

35. Lessons on Ability from my Deafblind Dog

Heartwarming and unique, this multimedia workshop talks about the lessons to be learned - about love, trust, and how we define “ability”- from Hayden’s deafblind dog, Bitsy. Born completely deaf and blind, many recommended that Bitsy be euthanized, citing concerns about her ability to function and her quality of life. Could Bitsy adapt? Could she survive in a world that was not built for her? Three years later Bitsy is not only surviving, but thriving. How does what the world expected for Bitsy translate to how we perceive disability on a larger scale? How do we confront the ableism we’ve internalized, even as people with disabilities? What does it mean to “accommodate” someone? How can we make our environments the most inclusive they can be? What are we ALL capable of when we refuse to let others dictate our limitations?

36. Community Based Doulas

In the United States one of the most stark health care disparities exists for African American mothers, who are over three times more likely to die during childbirth than white mothers. Similarly, black babies are twice as likely to die before their first birthday than white infants. Mama to Mama, a Louisville-based organization is working to address these disparities by training and supporting community-based birth doulas to meet the needs of underserved communities in the Louisville Metro Area. In 2018, Mama to Mama received a grant from March of Dimes to work in partnership with Louisville Metro Health & Wellness to pilot a program bringing community-based doulas to families in the Healthy Start program within Louisville’s most at-risk zip codes. In this workshop, we will share some strategies and lessons-learned for using reproductive and economic justice to build community-based solutions in improving health across diverse communities.

37. Owning the Past to Create the Future: Using Cultural Humility to Respond to Systemic Racism

Though few would contest the heightened climate of racism and racist rhetoric in the United States, social media and traditional news feeds indicate that few understand the historical context of contemporary issues. Of equal concern are the limitations imposed by sanitized history and sociology on the skills of human interaction and engagement. This workshop focuses on a training crafted for helping professionals as a structured intervention to address the perpetuation of bias through limited and false truths. Using a model of cultural humility verses cultural competence, alternative ways of embracing difference are explored. Facilitators will share the organic nature of the work, content and goals of the training and the long-term evaluation plan designed to determine both effectiveness and sustainability. The workshop will include participatory opportunities that reflect the pedagogy of the training insuring participants have an “in vivo” experience.

38. Preparing Students and the Workplace for a Diverse Workforce

According to a study conducted across the state of Kentucky, 50% of employers surveyed report difficulty in hiring qualified candidates due to candidates not having the right skill set and work experience. This gap is creating a talent shortage that educators, administrators, and organizational leaders- when working together- all play a part in closing. Even as educational institutions are developing programs and initiatives to close this gap, such as The Academies of Louisville, students of color and from lower socioeconomic levels still suffer at a disproportionate rate. How can educators, administrators, and organizational leaders work together to ensure that students at the intersection of education, race, and socioeconomic status are given an opportunity to be part of the solution Kentucky desperately needs.

39. Is Self-Care Real for Black People?: A Discussion on Self-Care Practices and Their Reach Across Identities

The buzzword "Self-Care" has taken the professional world by storm but not many people are actually engaging in protective ways of caring for themselves, particularly, people with marginalized identities. This session will be a discussion on if self-care is a real idea and the ways that those who engage in diversity work can actively apply it to their lives. By attending this session, participants will learn more about their identities, how intersectionality affects self-care, and participate in discussions with others to leave with a collective list of best self-care activities and principals.