The Associated Students of the University of Utah will hold their annual Conference on Diverse Excellence, C.O.D.E., on Wednesday, Feb. 15. The conference will focus on the theme, “Unity Through Diversity,” with the goal of bringing people of diverse backgrounds together in order to educate, uplift and support one another.
The day-long conference is open to the public, surrounding communities, high schools and other colleges. It will include 13 workshops, a free breakfast, keynote speech, tabling event and more. Admission is free and attendees can register prior to the event or the day of.
Breakout sessions include:
- Activism 101: An Asian American & Pacific Islander Lens by the Women’s Resource Center and TRIO
- Determining Public Perception about Refugees & Immigrants in the U.S. by professors of Geography and Social Work
- Stereotypes: Debunking Myths by the International Student Council
- What are Microaggressions? Exercises to Bring Awareness by the Voices of Diversity
The keynote address will be given by the “The Three Doctors.” Growing up on the tough inner-city streets of Newark, NJ, Sampson Davis, Rameck Hunt and George Jenkins made a pact as teenagers they would stick together, go to college, graduate and become doctors. Today these three men have overcome countless obstacles from social inequality to navigating through higher education and now proudly bear the title of doctor. Having established a foundation for inner city youth in their home community, they now serve as mentors and health care professionals.
“C.O.D.E. was envisioned in order to create to open dialogues on campus about the intricate concepts held under the umbrella of diversity,” said Lilly Kanishka, ASUU director of diversity. “This event provides students with accessibility to get involved in these conversations and educate their peers. We are very excited for The Three Doctors’ keynote – they perfectly tie in coalition building and the pursuit of higher education.”
Attendees can also take part in various activities such as self reflection exercises, counseling sessions and volunteer opportunities for the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Gender Inclusive restrooms are a fixture on the first floor of the Union for anyone to use.
C.O.D.E. is made possible through the support of many entities on campus and in the community, including ASUU, the Center for Ethnic Student Affairs, the LGBT Resource Center, the University Federal Credit Union, the Greek Office, the MUSE Project, the Office of Student Leadership & Involvement and many more. The purpose of C.O.D.E. is to create dialogue and build consciousness around systems of oppression, privilege and solidarity through a social justice lens. The conference uses “diverse” as a noun, adjective and verb to recognize diversity work as both a process and a goal to achieve excellence. The aim is to enrich the understanding of the community and showcase how diversity is embedded in campus, so that the community may work effectively and prosper together as a whole, while retaining individual cultures and identities.