Register today for Diversity Forum 2017

The following message was sent to UW-Madison employees on Oct. 19 from Patrick J. Sims, Vice Provost & Chief Diversity Officer:

Please register today to join us at the 2017 UW-Madison Diversity Forum, Together: Building Cultural Capacity at Union South. (See schedule at Diversity Forum 2017)

This year we will have a two-day forum. Tuesday, November 7, will be our traditional forum format of an engaging and instructional keynote speaker, Native American Civil Rights Attorney Walter Echo-Hawk. We’ll also have informative diversity updates, insightful breakout sessions and our Campus/Community Town Hall, where we will discuss DACA (Deferred Action for Child Arrivals).

Wednesday, November 8, will be Cultural Competency Workshop Training for Mental Health Specialists, Student Service Professionals and Advisors, and will include an opening keynote by Dr. Sarah Van Orman and a student panel moderated by Simone Collins of University Health Services. This forum will set the stage for six repeated training workshops offered by experienced campus professionals.

Register today for both days:

2017 Diversity Forum Day 1, Together: Building Cultural Capacity:

2017 Diversity Forum Day 2, Cultural Competency Workshop Training for Mental Health Specialists, Student Service Professionals and Advisors:

*The DDEEA will be collecting non-perishable goods (including, but not limited to: canned and pre-packaged food, toiletry and first-aid items, money, and school supplies) in partnership with Open Seat during our Diversity Forum on November 7th and 8th. Bring something to donate and pay it forward!

*Coming December 4: Our UW Training for 2nd & 3rd Shift Employees

Diversity Forum 2017 Overview

This year’s Day 1 keynote speaker is Walter Echo-Hawk, a Native American attorney, tribal judge, author, activist, and law professor. Echo-Hawk represents Indian tribes on important legal issues such as treaty rights, water rights, religious freedom, prisoner rights, and repatriation rights. His career spans the pivotal years when Indian tribes reclaimed their land, sovereignty, and pride in a stride toward freedom.

As a Native American rights attorney since 1973, Echo-Hawk worked at the epicenter of a great social movement alongside visionary tribal leaders, visited tribes in indigenous habitats throughout North America, and was instrumental in the passage of landmark laws, including the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (1990) and the American Indian Religious Freedom Act Amendments (1994).

He litigated in many epic struggles and has written extensively about the rise of modern Indian nations as a Native American author with first-hand experience, such as his groundbreaking book, “In the Courts of the Conqueror: The 10 Worst Indian Law Cases Ever Decided (2010).” Echo-Hawk will host a book signing following his remarks.

Breakout sessions will include:

  • Bias Around Religion: the Diversity of the American Muslim and Building Bridges
  • Cultural & Ethnic Consideration of Financial, Food and Housing Security Issues
  • Update from the Climate Survey Task Force
  • Cultural Competency/Unconscious Bias/Microaggressions
  • Overcoming Physical and/or Learning Disabilities to Achieve Success
  • Multiracial Identities/Intersectionality
  • Allyship: Developing and Widening Support
  • Circle Conversations and Affinity Groups

This year’s Day 2 keynote speaker is Dr. Sarah Van Orman, who served as the Director of UW-Madison Health for nearly a decade. Board-certified in both internal and pediatric medicine after receiving her medical degree from the Mayo Medical School, Dr. Van Orman helped UW-Madison navigate tough issues around surrounding student mental health, high-risk drinking, sexual assault and outbreaks of meningitis and norovirus.

During her time at UW-Madison, Dr. Van Orman restructured University Health Services to better address mental health issues of students and provide counseling for incidents of bias reported on campus. She also worked to combat high-risk alcohol consumption among first-year students at UW, the success of which Van Orman attributes to the collaborative efforts of numerous departments, including Housing, UW Police, Division of Student Life, Wisconsin Union and University Communications, among others.

Van Orman recently joined USC as associate vice provost for student health and chief medical officer for student health. In her new role, Van Orman manages all student health services and will develop a comprehensive public health approach to student wellness and care based on student and campus needs.

Setting the tone for the training workshops to follow, Simone Collins, Associate Director for Campus Based Services at University Health Services Mental Health, will moderate a panel of diverse students discussing the challenges of effectively navigating systems and institutions to avoid feeling excluded or marginalized. Students will share their experiences in the classroom and suggest what they need from professionals.

See more and download the brochure on our 2017 Diversity Forum Day 2 Cultural Competency Workshop Training for Mental Health Specialists, Student Service Professionals and Advisors.

I’m looking forward to seeing you there!

In community,

Patrick J. Sims
Vice Provost & Chief Diversity Officer
Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement

Professor of Theatre & Drama
University of Wisconsin-Madison