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15th Annual Statewide Diversity Issues in Education Conference to be Held at Ramapo College

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)October 12, 2015

MAHWAH, N.J. — The 15th Annual Statewide “Diversity Issues in Higher Education” conference will be held at Ramapo College of New Jersey on Friday, November 6. The conference is the premier event within the tri-state area addressing critical diversity challenges in academia, the workplace and the community.

The event is designed to involve educators, university personnel, corporate diversity leaders, recruiters, career-advancement professionals, government and community leaders, students and the general public. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Christopher Catching, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at Southern Connecticut State University, who will address the topic “Leadership and Perspectives on Higher Education Access and Equity.”

The event schedule is as follows:

*A Keynote Response Panel Discussion includes Middlesex County College President Joann La Perla-Morales, Transgender Rights Activist Barbra “Babs” Siperstein and Fatimah Williams Castro, Ph.D., President and CEO of Beyond Tenure Track. William Paterson University Director of the Office of Employment Equality and Diversity Michelle N. Johnson, Esq., will serve as moderator.

Breakout Sessions on:

          “Law Enforcement and Race Relations: The Police, The Courts, and The Community” – Moderated by College of St. Elizabeth Career Services and Student Employment Director Teri Corso, this workshop will explore relevant issues around policing, the courts, and the community and will include former Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi, Esq., and immediate Past President of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Executives Jiles Ship as panelists.

          “While We Are Changing: An Exploration of Transgender Identity”– This session, which will address gender as a new demographic, will be led by Executive Director of the Women’s Rights Information Center Dr. Esmilda Abreu-Hornbostel. Panelists will include author and parent Amy Eagan, Garden State Equality Executive Director Andrea Bowen, and transgender issues expert Jennifer Whitlock.

          A “Second Chance” Session with the Keynote Response Panel – An extension of the morning’s response panel, this workshop will provide more in-depth conversations with the keynote response panelists. It will be an opportunity to discuss access programs, ways to provide educational opportunities for first-generation and underrepresented students, and how to leverage diversity in the classroom.

          A Student-Led Action Session – Student leaders from several colleges and universities in NJ will facilitate a dynamic workshop to explore diversity and inclusion issues on college campuses.

 An Afternoon Keynote Panel, “Robust Conversation about Diversity in Action,” will further explore how to take the learnings from the day’s conference and make an impact in the communities and organizations represented. The panel will feature a varied and expert group of speakers, including our President & CEO Elizabeth Williams-Riley, all of whom have a unique role in creating meaningful change in the world of diversity and inclusion.

This information-rich conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Ramapo University, 505 Ramapo Valley Rd in Mahwah, N.J. Registration rates are $65, including breakfast and lunch, and $35 for students. To register, please visit

The American Conference on Diversity was founded in 1948 as the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Today the programs, services, and initiatives of the American Conference on Diversity are among the most important work focused on creating a more inclusive society. It is the unfinished business of living in a highly diverse nation: educating and empowering our next generation of leaders; enhancing our workplaces; and helping to create inclusive communities. The American Conference on Diversity builds on a historic mission and creates programs and activities relevant and vital to 21st Century life. It is a journey we can all take together. The American Conference on Diversity operates Regional Community Networks covering all of New Jersey.

Visit to learn more.


About Ramapo College

Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per

Ramapo College provides its students with individualized attention, mentorship, and supports; hands-on learning; and a range of opportunities for service and leadership development. Its graduation and retention rates exceed national averages and it places approximately 1,000 students per year in internships in New York City. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice; is recognized as the state’s top college on the list of Best Disability Schools by Great Value Colleges; is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools; and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others.  

Ramapo College’s over 40,000 alumni are the confident, intellectually curious, self-aware, and humble people who are highly sought after and who make a positive impact at local, national, and global levels.  Ramapo College is distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by Every student at Ramapo is enrolled in its unique and award winning Pathways Program which equips and empowers students, across the continuum of their academic career, to secure internships, pursue graduate/professional school, and/or enter the job market. 

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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