Two major events planned for the 2016-2017 academic year will explore issues of cultural identity, diversity, and inequity. Falling under the broader theme of cultural responsiveness, these special opportunities will engage members of the Illinois State community in important dialogues and help foster a more inclusive atmosphere in the classroom and beyond.

Culturally Responsive Campus Community (CRCC) – Fall Conference

The CRCC is a relatively new group on campus, responsible for the very successful mini-conference on race and justice during the spring semester of 2016. Its next event, scheduled for October 24 and 25, is even more ambitious.  The theme, Poking the Bear: Uniting to Challenge Systems of Oppression, focuses on the aspects of our community that continue to adversely affect some of the groups within it. This conference aims to reach people at all levels of understanding, educating the community on what these systems are, how they impact particular groups, and what is being done to dismantle them.

The keynote speaker for this event is Christine Sleeter, a noted author in the field of anti-racist multicultural education and teacher education. In addition, a call for proposals will be announced later in July, inviting faculty, staff, and students to contribute sessions to this two-day event.

University-Wide Teaching & Learning Symposium

While the CRCC conference focuses on campus-wide issues, the 2017 University-Wide Teaching & Learning Symposium focuses specifically on learning spaces. The event, which will be on Thursday, January 12, is entitled Start Where You Are: The Journey Toward Cultural Responsiveness. The goal is to empower instructors to create learning situations that speak to all students, drawing from a multitude of perspectives beyond their own. Faculty, staff, and graduate teaching assistants are invited to submit a proposal for an individual presentation, a panel discussion, or a poster display based on this theme.

Submissions are now being accepted, and the deadline is October 2. The annual Teaching & Learning Symposium is facilitated by the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology with support from a wide range of campus units.

Other Opportunities

Smaller, more focused events centered on diversity and cultural responsiveness are also being planned for the fall semester. These include a series of workshops exploring controversial or hard-to-discuss topics, issues of diversity in the classroom, and the plight of undocumented students.

All of these events are designed to help everyone involved with Illinois State University–students, faculty, and staff–to embrace, rather than avoid, uncomfortable ideas about culture and embracing a multitude of perspectives. For more information, contact Stacey Hardin with CRCC or Julie-Ann McFann at CTLT.