LA GRANDE – In its 10th year, the Celebrate, Educate, Appreciate Diversity (CEAD) Conference has become a signature event at Eastern Oregon University, offered for free for 2021 participants.
This one-day conference, to be held Feb. 13, is an opportunity for students, staff and community members across Oregon to explore critical issues around diversity and social justice.
Opening remarks begin at 9 a.m., followed by the Opening keynote speaker at 9:30. All presentations take place in a hybrid virtual webinar format. Participants will be able to engage with the presenters and one another through features available in Zoom. Attendees receive a certificate for completing four hours of diversity training.
“I look forward to the CEAD conference every year that I’ve been at EOU,” said Chealsey Daniel, a senior studying Business Administration and Economics at EOU who also serves as the Student Council for Multicultural Affairs Coordinator (SCMA). “This conference is an opportunity for me to learn new topics that are social justice-centered, as well as tools that help me shape my experience as a multicultural student and a person of color living in this society.”
The CEAD Conference invites attendees to gain a greater awareness and understanding of power, privilege, biases and stereotypes, as well as a broader understanding of differences in groups, backgrounds, cultures, practices and worldviews. The thoughtful and informative dialogue also challenges multiple perspectives and fosters understanding.
This year’s conference features diversity and inclusion presentations with an emphasis on social justice issues with components of hope, healing and renewal.
“The presenters for this year’s virtual conference bring a breadth of experiences and perspectives to the conversation around diversity, equity and inclusion,” Assistant Director of Student Diversity and Inclusion (SDI) Mika Morton said. “Given that we are all processing, navigating and engaging in critical conversations around the issues of systemic racism in the wake of recent social justice movements—as a community and as a nation—our student leaders were intentional in their decision to invite speakers who could speak to what it means to meaningfully engage and connect with each other through constructive dialogue, allyship and mentorship.”
This year’s keynote speaker is well-known anti-racist writer and educator Tim Wise, who has spent 25 years speaking to audiences at over 1,500 college and high school campuses, hundreds of professional and academic conferences, and to community groups across the country. Wise is the author of nine books, including his latest, “Dispatches from the Race War.”
Spoken word artist Matt Sedillo and Director of Institutional Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Linn Benton Community College Javier Cervantes will also speak. Cervantes works to prepare students, staff, faculty and community members in Albany to navigate an increasingly diverse society and workforce.
“The fact that you learn something new every time is really important to me,” Daniel said. “Regardless that it is under the same topic of diversity—whether it be [life] tools, concepts, vocabulary, or experiences and people’s stories.”
EOU’s Student Council for Multicultural Affairs, the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion, and the EOU Diversity Committee support the CEAD Conference.
Online registration is open until Feb. 11. This year, the CEAD Conference is free for every participant. Visit eou.edu/mc/programs-services/cead-conference for more information, or go to eou.edu/mc/programs-services/cead-conference to register.