University of Vermont

Human Resource Services and Operations

Bestselling Author Rebecca Walker to Launch Diversity Symposium

Rebecca Walker
Author Rebecca Walker opens this year's Blackboard Jungle with a keynote talk March 28.

The University of Vermont will hold its sixth annual Blackboard Jungle symposium, opening with a keynote speech in celebration of Women’s History Month, March 28 and 29. Author of the bestselling memoirs Black, White and Jewish and Baby Love will speak on Thursday, March 28 at 4 p.m. in Ira Allen Chapel, followed by a book signing from 5:30 to 6 p.m. The talk is free and open to the public.

This year’s Blackboard Jungle, with the theme “Beyond Categories: Reaching Our Common Ground,” is designed for UVM faculty and staff – and interested outside educators – wanting to better understand identity development and expand their multicultural competency skills to shape conversations in the classroom as well as foster civility and inclusive behaviors in their work environments.

The daylong symposium on Friday, March 29 in the Davis Center will feature numerous workshops and panels with a luncheon keynote by provocative speaker Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, professor and chair of sociology at Duke University and author of Racism without Racists. Bonilla-Silva will speak on what he terms “the new racism” in his talk “The Sweet Enchantment of Post-Civil Rights Racism: America’s Racial Nightmare from the 1970s until the Obama Moment.”

Registration and a fee are required for the symposium: $20 for UVM employees and $30 for all others. Get more information, see a full event schedule and register.

Rebecca Walker was named one of the most influential leaders of her generation by Time magazine, engaging in the global conversation about identity, power and the evolution of the human family through her books lectures, blogs and contributions to both popular media and literary and academic journals. In addition to her memoirs, she is editor of the groundbreaking anthologies To Be Real, What Makes a Man, One Big Happy Family and Black Cool. Walker is currently developing several film and television projects and her new novel, Adé, will be published by Amazon’s New Harvest imprint later this year.