Student led conference focused on diversity, March 5

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Keynote by Common to end conference

March 3, 2016

WHO: The second annual student-created and led conference will take place at the University of Rhode Island’s Kingston Campus. Called “Diversifying Individuals Via Education” (D.I.V.E. RI), this event is focused on enhancing student leadership and social change on college campuses.

WHAT: About 300 student leaders from URI, Rhode Island College, Johnson & Wales University, and more who want to collaborate and create action steps to lead to positive social change in higher education. Participants will attend any of about two-dozen workshops on a range of topics, many of which are delivered by students or recent graduates. See the complete schedule of workshops at

At 7 p.m., the Oscar and Grammy Award-winning artist, actor, author and king of conscious hip hop “Common” will close the conference with a talk entitled “Greatness,” followed by a Q&A and performance.

WHEN: Saturday, March 5, 2016, 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; 7 p.m. Common’s performance.

WHERE: Kingston Campus — Memorial Union, Multicultural Student Services, Quinn Hall and Edwards Hall

CONTACT: For information about covering this event, contact Jhodi Redlich in the URI Department of Communications and Marketing at 401-874-4500, 401-862-0879, or

Student leaders are available to discuss this conference or workshops.


Session 1: 11:30 am – 12:20 pm

• “Equity Through Inclusion: Increasing the Potential for Minority Success in Majority Settings,” Catalina Martinez

• “Mercy, Mercy Me Poison is the water that flows: A Call for Environmentalist in Urban America,” Norman Barber

• “Talking to the White Wall,” David B Hayes

• “Femeconomics Applied to Race and Ethnicity,” Zulmy Cortez

• “The Impact and Importance of Cultural Equity in the 21st Century,” Raymond Watson, Dwayne Keys

• “The Invisible Minority,” Tiffany Chheuy

• “Hairs Some Knowledge: Understanding Hair and the Societal Perspective,” Cassie Jacob

• “Creating Multicultural Change On Campus,” Tom Balestracci, Michelle Rosa

Session 2: 12:30 pm – 1:20 pm

• “Sister Circle: Creating space for our stories” Melizza Camba-Kelsay, Athina Chartelain, Margarida R. Da Graça, Lizzy Gomez, Melisa Jaquez, Tyrene Jones, Michelle Rosa and Anna Takahama

• “Created Equal: How Class Matters in Our Lives,” Shane Lloyd

• “Best of Both Worlds: Problems Facing Second Generation Americans” Kyle Delgado

• “One Dot at a Time: Inspiring a Culture of Nonviolence on your Campus” Erin Albanese, Lindsay Costa, Rachel Dunham

• “Major Key to Success: The Role of Multicultural Organizations in Student Success” Nnemdi Azubuko

• “Entrepreneurship: An opportunity to reduce the wealth gap between races,” Carmen Diaz-Jusino

• “Who Am I?: Staying True to Yourself While Living as a Black Girl in a White World,” Sterling Clinton Spellman and Elkinsette Clinton

• “I am not just a body, but a somebody: Rectifying the sinister connection of slavery and universities, through reparations,” Oluwadamilola Animashaun

Session 3: 3:10 pm-3:50 pm

• “Social Justice with People from Privileged Groups: Activites, Facilitation Techniques, and Tips to Overcoming Resistance,” Victoria Kern

• “Unrapable: Racism, Hyper sexualization, and Sexual Assault in Black Communities,” Nwando Ofokans

• “Landing the Perfect Job While Keeping it Real,” Naomi Thompson J.D., Fernando Guzman Ph.D,

• “Intent, Impact, Language, #Inclusivity,” Joel Pettigrew

• “What Kind of Art is This?,” Harrison ‘Jon Hope’ Grigsby M. Ed,

• “Black Male Privilege in the Era of Police Brutality,” Ganiatu Afolabi

• “Nonviolence and Self Identity, Bridge of inclusion,” Michael Bonilla