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URMC / Clinical & Translational Science Institute / Stories / January 2017 (1) / Help Create a Healthy World for All at the 2017 Diversity Conference

Help Create a Healthy World for All at the 2017 Diversity Conference

It's Our Time: Creating a World for AllResearchers from around the University of Rochester are encouraged to attend and share their work at the 2017 Diversity Conference titled, “It’s Our Time: Creating a World for All”. The conference will take stock of our history, the advances we have made, and what challenges still face us today.  University community members have the opportunity to lead workshops on a variety of topics - including diversity in health-related research.

The conference will take place on the River Campus on March 31 and will seek to identify ways that we can unify and energize our communities to create a world in which we all wish to live. University community members – including researchers – will have the opportunity to showcase their work at the conference, which will hopefully open avenues to develop diverse and multidisciplinary research teams.

Shakti Butler, Ph.DThe conference will feature a keynote presentation from Shakti Butler, Ph.D., filmmaker, founder, and president of World Trust, a non-profit social justice organization aimed at educating communities about unconscious bias and systemic racial inequality.  Butler, a multi-racial African-American woman, produces films and workshops to open minds, promote justice and healing, and foster a culture of respect and belonging.

The keynote presentation will be followed by three 90-minute interactive, skills-based workshop sessions that will provide practical take-away messages or tools that participants can apply in their communities or workplaces. Faculty, staff, students, and alumni are encouraged to submit proposals to lead a workshop under one of the following themes: Owning Our Legacy, Breaking Barriers, and Freedom to Heal.

Owning Our Legacy refers to the lasting legacies of local civil rights activists, Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony. These workshops will explore the lasting impact of the culture or ethnic ancestry of an historical figure or group or may revisit an historical situation to gain perspective and guide current efforts to build community coalitions in healthcare, the arts, business, education, etc.

The Breaking Barriers theme seeks to acknowledge social justice issues that have led to societal change and how this has opened up new opportunities for people from different backgrounds to share varying perspectives and philosophies. Ultimately, this cross cultural collaboration leads to a more inclusive society.

All members of a society have the Freedom to Heal, but that process will vary depending on a person’s backgrounds and life experience. Workshops under this theme will explore how to foster culturally humble environments that encourage learning about others’ cultures, how to create inclusive learning environments in schools and communities, and how to identify and heal broken systems. Disparities have been identifies in the healthcare system, for example, where culturally or ethnically underrepresented groups have poorer outcomes.

If you are a researcher and have questions regarding workshop proposals, please contact John Cullen, Ph.D., CTSI Director of Diversity and Inclusion. For general conference questions, please contact Ashley N. Campbell, 585-273-4297. 

Michael Hazard | 1/13/2017

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