The Student Government of the University of Nevada, Reno

Diversity Leadership Conference

AJ Rafael, a Filipino American musician and Internet celebrity, will be featured as the keynote for the Diversity Leadership Conference. Rafael is best known for his songs I Just Want You and We Could Happen. Some of his musical influences include Sarah Bareilles, Jason Mraz, MYMP, The Beatles, John Legend and Bob Marley.

Rafael was chosen as the keynote speaker because his passion to pursue music has been inspiring and he has broken through numerous barriers while working diligently as an artist.  Rafael has additionally displayed an admirable sense of courage and perseverance throughout the pursuit of his musical career. Rafael has also participated in philanthropic work, including developing benefit concerts to help causes such as Autism Speaks.

During the Conference, Rafael will be performing some of his songs and also discussing his experiences thus far as an Asian American emerging in the music industry. For more information on Rafael, check out his personal website here.

The Diversity Leadership Conference will be held on April 14 in the Joe Crowley Student Union. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the event will start at 9:30 a.m. To sign up for the day fill out this form

A breakdown of the day as well as descriptions of the event's various topics are provided below:

"LGBTQQIAA”: Deciphering the Alphabet Soup, Shirley Diaz and Tawheeda

Workshop Description:

In this workshop we will explain the various terms that make up the acronym LGBTQQIAA, often referred to as LGBTQ. We will explain the differences between sex, gender identity, sexual orientation and sexuality through various activities and a visual presentation. With this workshop we hope to educate students on the variations and subtleties that exist within the LGBTQ community in order for them to leave with a better understanding and appreciation for that community. 

 Latinos in America, Elvira Diaz

 Workshop Description:

This workshop will be a narrative of the life of an immigrant, with video, pictures and text examples to highlight the experiences faced when coming to the United States. Through my personal story and the stories of my family and friends I hope to educate Nevada students about the growing Latino community which has become integral to the Nevada labor force. The workshop will also aim to showcase issues faced by this immigrant population such as discrimination, language barriers and other community struggles.

The Intersection of Pan-Africanism and Education, Jody Lykes

Workshop Description:

The program will highlight the work of Pan-African thinkers including Black American history.  Emphasis will be placed on Dr. Henry Louis Gates PBS Series: Black in Latin America.  The goal is to show a common experience between people of African descent who reside in the Western Hemisphere.  Outcomes will be discussion around steps for increasing academic enjoyment for students of color in higher education.

The Other Latinos in America, Daniel Perez

Workshop Description:

This presentation will focus on how Latinos are represented in the media and highlight those Latino identities that are missing from public discourses. It will demonstrate how this group is racialized in a way that limits Latino integration into the national and historical imaginary of the United States. Daniel Enrique Pérez argues that dominant discourses in the media and the dearth of education pertaining to Latino cultures and histories in the United States has led to distorted views of Latinos in general, which has limited their participation and full integration into the cultural fabric of the United States. 

Including disability in diversity, Mary Anne Christensen

Workshop Description:

 The goal of this session is to provide a historical context regarding disability culture, and how that impacts and shapes the inclusion of persons with disabilities in higher education. 

Religious Inclusion: Does Your Organization Value Beliefs?, Jerome Maese and Kari Pink

Workshop Description:

In this presentation we will define “religion,” “faith,” and “spirituality” while briefly reviewing the legal protections of religious beliefs and providing attendees with a general outline of practices to support an inclusive community/organization.

War on Women: the clash of women’s rights and public policy, Alison Gaulden

Workshop Description:

 Women’s rights, reproductive justice and access to women’s health care have been contorted in public policy by misogynist politicians.  Years of women’s civil rights work is now being destroyed in state legislatures, from employers being allowed to violate HIPAA to determine if birth control is medically necessary for their employees to religious-related business authorized to discriminate against female employees by refusing to cover costs of preventive care.


Diversity Leadership Conference Tentative Schedule

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. - Registration/Breakfast

9:30 a.m. – 10:05 a.m. - Opening Remarks

            1. Director of Unity: Jenelle

            2. President Marc Johnson

10:15 a.m. – 10:55 a.m. - Workshop Session 1

Workshop 1: Shirley Diaz and Tawheeda

Workshop 2: Elvira Diaz

Workshop 3: Jody Lykes

Workshop 4: Daniel Perez

11:05 a.m.  – 11:45 a.m - Workshop Session 2

Workshop 1: Mary Ann Christiansen

Workshop 2: Jerome L. Maese and Kari Pink

Workshop 3: Alison Gaulden

11:55 a.m. – 12:40 p.m. - Lunch

12:50pm – 1:25pm: Workshop Session 3

Workshop 1: Kathleen Krilanovich

Workshop 2: Emmanuelle Garcia   

Workshop 3: Sandy Rodriguez

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. - Keynote Session/Performance

Keynote: AJ Rafael

Closing Remarks: Director Unity Jenelle

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. -  Meet and Greet with AJ

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