Area colleges and universities are hosting the inaugural Regional Diversity Conference in Owensboro next month, aiming to help students, faculty, and community members learn how to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion into their daily practices.
The free conference will be held at at Owensboro Community and Technical College (4800 New Hartford Road) and set for Feb. 2-3. Sessions that cover every aspect of diversity, according to , OCTC Director of Cultural Diversity Sharmy Davis.
Topics include discussing disabilities, the future of the Spanish language in the United States, diversifying the workplace, intersectionality, and more.
“We just really wanted to bring a conference to the area that focuses on diversity but also educates people on what diversity is. It’s not just about race — there are different aspects of diversity,” Davis said.
The conference will be co-hosted by Brescia University, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Murray State University, and Western Kentucky University.
Some featured speakers include Joe Frazier, Executive Director of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce; Demetria Miles-McDonald, Founder and CEO of Decide Diversity; and Abigail Cox, Director of Murray State’s Women’s Center.
Davis said they hope to draw attendees from all areas of the community and all workplaces.
“You can learn anything from it when attending any of these sessions. It’s not just for students. It’s not just for faculty and staff and institutions. It’s for the entire community,” Davis said.
Davis said local education institutions have done a good job of embracing diversity.
She noted that OCTC specifically has implemented their “All Are Welcome” policy, which aims to ensure all students feel comfortable regardless of who they are. She said that starts with ensuring the faculty and staff are diverse, which then further enable students to experience that feeling.
Davis said diversity on all levels is important.
“Everybody is different, whether it’s their religion or the gender they identify as or if they have a disability. We all just need to be accepting everyone because everybody has something to bring to the table,” Davis said.
Those interested in attending can sign up here. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.