University of Vermont

Donna Brazile Opens Symposium for Diversity Training in the Classroom

On Thursday and Friday March 29 to 30, UVM will hold its fifth annual “Blackboard Jungle,” a professional development symposium designed to increase cultural understanding and support educators in their approach to multiculturalism and diversity. This year’s theme is “Teaching to Cultural Diversity: A Realm of Possibilities.”

Initiatives such as this are imperative in our increasingly multicultural communities, according to Wanda Heading-Grant, chief diversity officer and lead organizer of the event. “We need to help people navigate the difficult conversations that sometimes come up, along with the range of emotions they can bring out,” she says. “We don’t have to be experts on everything to have the conversations. What we have to do is be smart about being inclusive, inviting voices but at the same time protecting people.”

With the exception of Donna Brazile’s talk on Thursday, which is free and open to the public, advance registration for the Friday symposium is required. The fee is $20 for UVM affiliates, $30 for all others and includes breakfast with keynote speech by David Gibson; workshops; luncheon with keynote by Patricia Hill Collins; and a reception featuring professor of music Ray Vega & the Senior Jazz Quartet. On site check-in services will be available 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The opening talk by veteran Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile – also in celebration of women’s history month – will be 4 to 5 p.m. in Ira Allen Chapel. Brazile is the author of the best-selling memoir Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in American Politics, she is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, a syndicated newspaper columnist for United Media, a columnist for Ms. Magazine, and an on-air contributor to CNN, NPR and ABC, where she regularly appears on This Week.  

Register, view the full schedule of events and learn more about the speakers.

For more information call 802- 656-8426. To request a disability-related accommodation, please contact UVM Conference & Event Services at (802) 656-5665.