Friday, February 27, 2009

Diversity: What is Your Comfort Level?

I'm excited that next Saturday, March 7, Appleton will host a Diversity Conference. Our library will be a participant at the event, held at Appleton North High School and sponsored by the Fox Cities Rotary Multicultural Center -- of which the library is a member.

I have long felt that public libraries have a natural affinity for diversity efforts. Inclusiveness and opportunity for the entire community are part of our core values, and our continuing focus on intellectual freedom means we are bound to seek out and include all points of view. So I'm glad we'll be participating in this conference, which "is to provide ideas, resources and inspiration to educators and community members to make a difference", with a focus on

  • Enhancing a Multicultural Learning Environment
  • Eliminating the Achievement Gap
  • Fostering Social Justice/Activism
  • Promoting Multicultural Education in the 21st Century
Sessions will include, among others:
  • Eliminating the Achievement (Opportunity) Gap through Multicultural Education: Shifts of Consciousness and Practice
  • Societal Trends Affecting Education
  • Mental Health Issues in the Classroom and the Community
  • Integrating Multicultural Literature Into Curriculum: A Space and Place For All
  • Closing the Knowledge Gap is a key to Eliminating the Achievement Gap
  • Honoring our Common Differences: Creating Inclusive Classroom or Workplaces
  • Disparities in Poverty and Race: Closing the Achievement Gap
  • Promoting an Inclusive Environment for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgender Individuals in our Schools, Workplace, and Community
  • Diversity Resources at the Appleton Public Library
  • Lawrence University ArtsBridge: A Successful Model for Integrating the Arts with the Contemporary World Studies Curriculum
  • Our Impoverished Notions of Poverty: Toward an Authentic Understanding of Education and Class
  • Community Dialogue on Unity and Diversity
I'm glad our community is intentional about this conversation and look forward to the increased awareness that will result. I'm proud we can be a small part of it. Get a brochure for the event here.

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