The State of the State Conference

Session Descriptions

Thursday, March 20, 2014  

(As of March 17, 2014 - subject to change)

Segment I - Humanities Troupe  (8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.) - Grand Ballroom

The Humanities Troupe at Bowling Green State University will be performing a set of different diversity-related scenarios dealing with such issues as racism, ageism, sexism and even ableism. As the actors step into their various roles, body language and vocal inflection will be used to demonstrate how stereotypes and adverse assumptions affect various marginalized populations.  The audience will be invited into a lively discussion that explodes open insidious ways that bias sometimes surfaces.

Segment II – Concurrent Sessions (9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.)

SESSION A - Union 308
Equity, Opportunity and Diversity: The State of the Law
Presenter: Susan Sharkey, Esq., JD, Assistant Attorney General, State of Ohio

Susan Sharkey, Esq., Assistant Ohio Attorney General, is highly regarded for her expertise and knowledge in civil rights law. In this important session, Ms. Sharkey will provide a comprehensive review of federal and Ohio laws and regulations pertaining to equal employment and equal educational opportunity. This session will explain organizational and managerial legal responsibilities under discrimination and harassment law.

SESSION B - Union 228
Introducing Change in a Diverse Manufacturing Environment
Presenters: April O’Neal, M.O.D., HR Manager, Campbell Soup Company, & Corrie Voss, M.O.D., Bowling Green State University

This session will explore various ways of introducing and facilitating change in diverse environments. Several theoretical change models will be utilized to explore factors that impact the success or failure of facilitating change within an organization. Additionally, a case study from a mid-Western unionized manufacturing organization engaging in a large-scale change initiative with many diverse cultural components will be presented. The presenters will share how the short book Who Moved My Cheese by S. Johnson and K. Blanchard was used to provide employees with a tool and the language to successfully navigate the upcoming change.

SESSION C - Union 207
Hate Crimes: The Law, Where We Are and Where We Are Going
Presenters: Dr. Dale Lanigan, Ed.D., Lourdes University, Sylvania, Ohio & John Yerman, JD, Adjunct Instructor, Lourdes University, Sylvania, Ohio

Early in September 2013, in an act caught on surveillance cameras, a 28-year old man was attacked, beaten and robbed by a group of teenagers outside of a Cleveland, Ohio LGBT bar. A 13-year old boy has been arrested in connection with the incident. While appearing to have the characteristics of a "hate crime" it is unlikely that the boy will be charged with one under Ohio law. This presentation will examine what constitutes a hate crime in Ohio and what the prospects are for adding to Ohio law. The presentation will also provide data on the number of hate crimes committed in Ohio and offer details on who the victims are as well as who is committing the crimes and why. Motivations for engaging in hate crimes will be explored as will the difficulties involved in prosecuting them and designing appropriate and effective means for punishing and rehabilitating offenders. The latter will include some thoughts on how to design sentencing plans focusing on dealing with hate crimes through a restorative justice model.

SESSION D - Union 206
How I Speak and Who I Am: Understanding Ethnic Identity and Accent
Presenters: Meagan Hoff, M.A., Bowling Green State University

Accent is among the first manifestations of identity that we reveal to others. Interlocutors give and interpret information including ethnic and cultural affiliations through those first syllables and sounds of an utterance. Given that identity is a product of social labeling and self-identification, by linking identity and pronunciation, this present study gives insight into the dynamics of cross-cultural communication. The objective of this study is to better understand if a correlation exists between ethnic identity and progress towards native-like pronunciation in a second language, specifically testing the hypothesis that an L2 learner’s ethnic identity will affect pronunciation acquisition of English. Participants consist of 20 native Mandarin speakers in their twenties, recently arrived in the United States, and enrolled in a Midwestern American university. This research is a quantitative investigation of the correlation between ethnic identity achievement and accent acquisition in a second language using Phinney’s (1992) Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure, a demographics survey, and a pronunciation measure consisting of English phonemes that are challenging for native Mandarin speakers. Data has been collected at the beginning and end of an academic term. The goal of this study is to explore whether ethnic identity and pronunciation correlate at the two time points, and to see if changes in pronunciation skill are predicted by ethnic identity.

SESSION E - Union 315
A Blueprint for Transformation: Creating a Future that Welcomes Inclusion and Accessibility
Dr. Carolyn Bailey Lewis, Faculty/Instructor, Ohio University
Ms. Carey Busch, Assistant Dean of Student Accessibility & Co-Chair, Inclusion Change Team, Ohio University
Dr. Steve Patterson, Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences, Ohio University & Athens City Councilman
Mr. Darrell Purdy, Assistant Director for Employee Accommodations and Campus Accessbility at Ohio University; Founder and President, LifeDream International Foundation
Mr. Ray Rood, Founder and Senior Consultant, The Genysys Group
Dr. Dianne Bouvier, Executive Director of Institutional Equity, Ohio University 

What does Accessibility and Inclusion look like where a university and a city are cooperating to create “A Blueprint for Transformation” to ensure that all abilities are able to fully benefit from having academic access, program and Web access, architectural access, and a welcoming campus climate? Ohio University in Athens is creating a future that welcomes, wants, and needs persons with disabilities. With the support of the University President through his Presidential Advisory Council on Disability and Accessibility Planning (PACDAP), the university is creating a blueprint for action with the city as a partner. Currently, six “Change Teams”, which includes nearly 40 faculty, staff, students, and community participants, are crafting and executing plans in leadership, universal design and assistive technology, assessment, communication, inclusion, and funding. Using the Sufficient Leadership Model, we are focusing on Catalytic, Transformational, and Generative Leadership. Our framework is a Vision of Inclusion and Accessibility. We will present those concerns, as well, and how we are navigating through issues that make the work difficult and messy. What is unique about this effort, however, is the level of involvement and commitment from myriad During this presentation, we will tell our Visioning story of Accessibility and Inclusion, and how the university is being transformed.

SESSION F - Union 201A
Immigrant Integration in Ohio: Promoting Trusting Relationships between Law Enforcement and Immigrant Communities
Presenters: Kathleen Kersh, Advocate for Basic Legal Equality & Chief Richard S. Biehl, Dayton Police

This session will demonstrate how communities in Ohio can promote immigrant integration by creating trusting relationships between law enforcement and immigrant communities. Today, Ohio is at a crossroads: our communities are facing an influx of immigrants, and we must choose whether we will accept or isolate them. In 2011, the city of Dayton, Ohio, adopted the Welcome Dayton Plan, a community-based initiative designed to promote immigrant integration. The Welcome Dayton Plan identifies a trusting relationship between immigrant communities and law enforcement as a key component of immigrant integration in any community.

Segment III – Concurrent Sessions  (10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.)

SESSION A - Union 308
Best Practices in Conducting Basic Investigations
Presenter: Donna L. Flynt, M.A., Parker Hannifin Corporation, Cleveland, Ohio

This workshop will provide information on how to conduct an effective internal investigation involving allegations of discrimination and harassment.  The session will include when to investigate; characteristics of a good investigator; and strategies for approaching investigations.  Participants will acquire skills in developing an investigative plan, effectively interviewing witnesses, writing the final report, relaying the results and managing the workplace during and after an investigation.  This workshop will be beneficial to equal opportunity/affirmative action professionals, human resource personnel and others who have responsibility for investigating complaints of harassment and discrimination.  

SESSION B - Union 228
Islam and Islamophobia
Presenter: Amer Ahmed, Associate Director, Multi-Ethnic Student Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

The post-9/11 era in the U.S. has exposed a significant degree of prejudice and bigotry towards Muslim people. In 2012, a violent hate-motivated attack on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin highlighted the fact that Islamophobia is not just an issue that only impacts Muslims in America. Furthermore, the racist backlash against the first Indian-American winner of Miss America 2014 unveiled how widespread negative sentiment towards anyone who is confused to be Arab and/or Muslim. Meanwhile, racial profiling, hate crimes and bullying continue to be widespread. This program will benefit participants interested in these questions and more, providing needed context to bridge divides.

SESSION C - Union 207
Is There Still Equal Protection in the Age of Diversity?: An Examination of the Impact of Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action and Fisher v. Texas on Diversity Professionals
Presenter: Christopher Jones, Wayne State University

After the Court’s recent decision in Fisher v. University of Texas, the Court’s decision in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, et. al., may be of even more importance to proponents of efforts to provide greater diversity in education and the workplace. In Schuette, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit relied upon Supreme Court precedent to find that Proposal 2, an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Michigan that made it unlawful to consider, among other things, race in public education, employment or contracting, violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The Sixth Circuit found Proposal 2 was in violation of the guarantee of equal protection. In Schuette, the Court is not only faced with a direct application of its precedent, but an attack on a constitutional principle, which if overturned, opens the door to a legislative attack on the bedrock of diversity principles. This presentation will explore the reasoning of the Circuit Court’s decision, the potential impact of the Court’s possible decision and future efforts to eliminate programs that take race into account in public education. The potential effect of the Court’s consideration of Schuette could be detrimental for diversity professionals. The Court’s consideration of Schuette could be more devastating because of its potential impact on not just public education, but other areas like employment and contracting that are affected by the individuals who will have access to public education in the future.

SESSION D - Union 206
The Campus SaVE Act and the Dear Colleague Letter – Changing the landscape of sexual harassment
Presenters: Joshua Nolan, Attorney, Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLC & Yulanda McCarty-Harris, Director of the Office of Institutional Equity, Cleveland State University

While most colleges and universities have interpreted Title IX (28 U.S.C. 1681(A)) to relate permanently to athletics, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in its April 4, 2000 “Dear Colleague Letter: Sexual Violence? sets forth a long list of directives, recommendations and best practices for investigating and resolving sexual violence complaints on campus. On March 7, 2013, President Obama signed into law unprecedented legislation regarding campus response to sexual and relationship violence. The Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (“Campus SaVE Act” or the “Act”) has been described as the most significant legislation to address college rape in 20 years. The Act compliments Title IX, codifies portions of the DCL and updates the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the Clery Act). The Act broadens annual security reporting requirements under the Clery Act. It establishes standards for education and prevention programs. It requires prompt, fair and impartial investigation and disciplinary procedures for addressing campus sexual violence, intimate partner violence and stalking.

SESSION E - Union 315
The Workplace Ally:
Presenter: Tobias Spears, Assistant Director for Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Trans* Programs, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Bowling Green State University

This session is geared toward professionals and educators who seek to make their work/classroom spaces more embracing and affirming of LGBTQ people. Here, we will discuss how to use language and behaviors that foster inclusive work and learning environments. The session will also address trans* identities to stress the importance of being aware of and sensitive to gender identities and expressions.

SESSION F - Union 201A
Ageism in the Classroom: Expanding Feminist Pedagogy
Presenter: JoAnna Murphy, M.A., Bowling Green State University

According to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, 47 percent of students enrolled in higher education institutions are over the age of 25. Although universities are encouraging adult learners to enroll in college, age and ageism within the classroom remain marginal topics within the field of feminist pedagogy. To date, most of the research concerning ageism in the classroom has been about how to teach students about ageism rather than how to approach ageism inside the classroom through feminist pedagogies (see Barnett, 2006 and Norris, 2006). Considering the impact of ageism in this country, it seems likely that those prejudices, stereotypes, and the marginalization of older students would creep into higher education. How can feminist pedagogy address issues of ageism inside the classroom? I argue with an increasing population of adult learners within university settings feminist pedagogy needs to further engage with issues and concerns surrounding this population. By examining current higher education curriculum within Women Studies, I will outline issues that adult learners may encounter both inside and outside the classroom as non-traditional students. Specifically, I show how classroom policies may marginalize students who work and/or have children, and how learning activities and assignments may reflect age bias. Finally, I offer strategies to address ageism through feminist pedagogy principles of flexibility, standpoint, collaboration, and instructor self-reflexivity.

Segment IV – Luncheon and Keynote: Matt Roloff  (12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.) - Grand Ballroom

Matt Roloff is best known for starting in the hit TLC reality show 'Little People, Big World'. In over 225 episodes, tens of millions of people around the world have followed the lives and challenges of Matt and his family at their home in Oregon, but there is more to Matt Roloff's story than the TV Show and being a devoted husband and father of four children.

Segment IV – Meet/Greet Matt Roloff & Networking Reception (1:45 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.) - Grand Ballroom

Opportunity to meet Matt Roloff in person and get items signed by Matt Roloff. In addition, opportunity to connect with conference attendees. We encourage attendees to bring Business Cards.

Segment V – Concurrent Sessions (2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.)

SESSION A  - Union 308
Best Practices in Enforcement and Compliance
G. Michael Payton, J.D., Ohio Civil Rights Commission,
Lynn Gagyi, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), 
Rebecca Fyffe, U.S. Department of Labor (OFCCP)

This important panel of Ohio and federal compliance and anti-discrimination agencies, will provide examples of successful and innovative programs that in their view represent “best practices” in enforcement and compliance. Representatives from the EEOC, OFCCP, OCRC, and the EOD will be on hand to answer questions about topics pertaining to their missions.

SESSION B - Union 228
Can Women Really Have it All?
Presenter: Tameka Taylor, Ph.D., CDE, Compass Consulting Services, Beachwood, Ohio

We will have an honest and engaging discussion about women in the workforce. We will have a panel that represents working moms, stay-at-home moms, and working women. We will also have an expert on feminism on the panel to add her insight on societal institutions that work for or against women in the workforce. Can women really have it all? Women tend to deal with a lot of criticism and guilt over the choices they make regarding work and family matters. With the recent release of the book Lean In, sexism in the workplace has been spotlighted more recently than in years past. There is also a lot more controversy over the idea that women should not sacrifice their own career aspirations for the sake of their families. This panel discussion will be lively and will engage the participants as we take a deeper dive into the realities of women today. We will also reflect on single-parent homes as well as socioeconomic status and how these two factors contribute to this very important topic.

SESSION C - Union 207
An Educator’s Rejoinder to Research Identifying Costs to Affirmative Action
Presenters: Lenford Sutton, PhD., Patrick Spearman, Ph.D., Susan Moorer, M.S., Youngstown State University

In Hopwood v. Texas (1996) the 5th Circuit Court summarily banned racial preferences in university admissions at all colleges and universities within its jurisdiction. Ten years ago, in Gratz v. Bollinger and Grutter v. Bollinger, the high court reaffirmed the use of a race as a “plus factor” among many in the admissions policy of institutions of higher learning, ruled efforts to obtain “diversity” must be narrowly tailored, and declared unconstitutional the use of rigid point systems within the University of Michigan’s undergraduate admissions policy. When the U.S. Supreme Court heard Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger in 2003, it essentially overturned the Hopwood decision when it held that mechanical use of preferences by universities was unconstitutional and that preferences in holistic admissions were lawful. A year later the University of Texas decided to reinstitute racial preferences. At the time the Texas Legislature passed the 10% plan which allowed anyone who finished in the top 10% of their Texas high school to qualify for admission to the University of Texas; resulting in 20-30% minority enrollments for several years. In Fisher v. the University of Texas a white female, who had been denied admission, challenged whether it was constitutional for any university to establish race-conscious admissions when it has a race neutral policy that seems to create diversity for the institution. In a 7-1 decision, the high court permitted the program to continue, but the justices also ordered an appeals court to reconsider the case under a demanding standard that appears to place in jeopardy the longevity of affirmative action as a policy consideration.

SESSION D - Union 206
Performing Blackness in the Age of Obama
Presenter: Michelle Cowin-Mensah, M.F.A., Bowling Green State University

This workshop will discuss what Brandi Wilkins Catanese calls, "The Problem of the Color-Blind". The eraser of race and racial experiences in the wake of an ideological post-racial America. As an actress and educator, I am interested in how we, as African Americans, understand the implications of our bodily performances in various cultural contexts. From communications to business, the African American presence has historically been fraught and antagonized for its defining "mark". Are we coding our blackness in ways that make others outside of race feel comfortable? Are we performing blackness? How does one perform blackness? Can it be performed? What is the value of the African American lived experience when thinking about job placement, housing, and the everyday repetition of life? Participants will have the opportunity to "play" and incorporate their own narrative when considering blackness as performance in the age of Obama.

SESSION E - Union 315
Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment for Students Receiving Disability Services
Tracy McGinely, Lecturer, Political Science, BGSU - Firelands
Elsy Thomas Kizhakethalackal, Assistant Professor, Applied Science, BGSU - Firelands
Brigitte Green-Churchwell, Special Needs Assistant, BGSU – Firelands

Those in higher education often find a challenge when teaching students who are receiving disability services. For faculty, there may be a lack of understanding on how to address the needs of students in the classroom. For students, there may be confusion on how to effectively communicate their need for services. The result is often students who become dissatisfied and quit school. To address these challenges, BGSU - Firelands created a learning community to help develop best practices that will foster an campus environment that is more supportive. This program will explore the challenges identified by the learning community and the best practices developed to address these concerns and create a more inclusive learning environment.

SESSION F - Union 201A
Communidad: Building Relationships With Migrant Workers
Presenter: Mercedes Naber-Fisher, Ed.D., Lakota Migrant Program & Julie George, Global Connections

This workshop will provide useful information about the migrant worker population, which is a fundamental asset to the life, culture and economical infrastructure of the United States. It will also bring awareness through facts and pictures of their living conditions in migrant camps in Ohio. In addition, the workshop will highlight values that are important to migrant workers and their families.
Furthermore, participants will have the opportunity to share their knowledge about migrant workers in their areas and role-play daily work experience. Audience members will have the opportunity to learn about how a Bowling Green non-profit organization has built relationships over the past seven years with migrant workers residing in their community and has encouraged relationships between them, community members and international students. Participants will have the opportunity to brainstorm ways that they can build inclusive community with migrant workers in their areas in addition to collaborate and network with each other.

Segment VI – Closing Plenary: Baldemar Velásquez  (3:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.) - Grand Ballroom

Baldemar Velásquez is the President and Founder of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC), AFL-CIO, a union of migrant farmworkers in the eastern United States. Baldemar is a highly respected national and international leader not only in the farm labor movement, but also in the Latino and immigrant rights movements.