SIUE Diversity Day to celebrate cultural inclusion

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s second annual celebration, under the theme “From Awareness to Action, SIUE Shaping a Changing World,” will be held Monday-Tuesday, Oct. 14-15 with educational and active engagement sessions at the Edwardsville, East St. Louis and Alton campuses.

“We are extremely excited for the powerful messages and action items that will be conveyed throughout our 2019 Diversity Day programming,” said Venessa Brown, Ph.D., associate chancellor for the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion and chief diversity officer. “Our engagement sessions are divided into four tracks to allow participants to tailor their experience according to their level of understanding and/or interest. Through efforts like Diversity Day, SIUE demonstrates its commitment to a campus environment that has a sense of belonging for all people.”

Social justice advocate Howard Ross will serve as keynote speaker during the Diversity Day luncheon from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Morris University Center’s (MUC) Meridian Ballroom. Howard will highlight his life’s work and his highly-acclaimed book Everyday Bias, which raises readers level of insight and awareness of important issues surrounding unconscious bias.

“Unconscious bias is a foundational part of how we see the world,” Ross noted. “It impacts every decision we make. Bias is a normal part of the way the human brain functions, but when left unexamined can have disastrous effect. We can learn to mitigate the negative aspects of it and live more consistently with our values. I am always happy to expose this work, because the earlier we learn, the more impact it can have on our ability to live a conscious, inclusive life.”

An opening reception will be held for community stakeholders from 5-6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 14 in the Cougar Pavilion, located in the Vadalabene Center’s Lukas Annex.

Social justice advocate Howard Ross

Diversity Day events being held Tuesday, Oct. 15 will begin with an Opening Community Gathering and Welcome Breakfast at 8 a.m. in the Meridian Ballroom. The opening session will feature a School of Business alumni panel.

Engagement session tracks are divided into the categories of Awareness (foundational), Enhancing My Knowledge (intermediate), Allyship/Activism/Action (advanced), and Open to All.

Other activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Diversity Day Community Fair: 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the MUC Goshen Lounge
  • Parade of Nations: 9:30-10 a.m. from the Meridian Ballroom to the Stratton Quadrangle
  • Athletics, Art Hive and Multicultural Music: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on the Quad
  • Taste of Diversity at SIUE: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the MUC Food Court and Fixins’ Restaurant
  • Book Signing with Howard Ross: 1:15-2:15 p.m. in the Meridian Ballroom
  • Community Service Project: 3:30-5:30. p.m. on the Quad

A complete schedule of events, including details on the array of engagement sessions, is available at


Registration for the opening breakfast and the luncheon is required at by Tuesday, Oct. 1. Registration is encouraged for the engagement sessions.