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Supported by:

• RIC Committee on College Lectures
• Office of the President
• Office of the Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs
• Division of Community, Equity and Diversity


2017 Workshops - November 4​



Workshop Session (8:45-10:15 a.m.)

Workshop A

Title:  Identity and Social Location Room​

Presenters:  Youth in Action Students

Description:  This workshop empowers participants to become activists in their communities and classrooms. Youth in Action students create space and structure to allow powerful and difficult discussions around inequalities linked to race, class, culture, gender and religion, and to begin to develop solutions to issues that impact them the most. The "room" is an interactive living space that documents marginalized communities and illuminates the cultures and backgrounds of Providence youth; it identifies historical patterns by examining current tensions around race, class, culture, gender, and religion. Participants actively explore, connect, respond to and expand on various social locations using images, quotes, lyrics and statistics.

Workshop Location:  Gaige 102


Workshop Session (8:45- 10:15 a.m.)

Workshop B

Title:  Success Circles: Small Group Mentoring for At-Risk Students

Presenter:  Deborah Kutenplon, M.S., is is assistant professor in nursing at Rhode Island College, where she teaches maternal-newborn nursing and health and cultural diversity. A nurse-midwife, Kutenplon has worked at Rhode Island health clinics, with refugees in Greece and Texas and with HIV-positive patients in South Africa. She created Success Circles as a way to support at-risk nursing students, particularly students of color, to succeed in nursing school and to help diversify the nursing workforce.

Description:  College graduation is a necessary prerequisite to achieving diversity in the professional workforce. How can teachers help culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) students succeed in college? Success Circle, a small group mentoring project, incorporates evidence-based strategies that support students' success. Components include peer mentoring, stress reduction, strengths and values affirmation, a growth mindset, effective goal setting and activities that increase feelings of happiness, belonging and resiliency. This workshop presents the strategies, format and evidence behind Success Circles and discusses ways to adapt it to workplace settings.  

Workshop Location:  Donovan 202


Workshop Session (8:45-10:15 a.m.)

Workshop C

Title:  Tapping into Talent: Developing Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities in Classroom and Careers 

Presenter:  Keri Rossi-D'entremont, is director of disability services at Rhode Island College and serves as a primary resource to educate, train and guide the college community in understanding disability access, rights and responsibilities. She leads a comprehensive disability services program, including evaluation and delivery of accommodations and assistive technology. She is also vice-chair of the Rhode Island Governor's Commission on Disabilities Employment Committee.

Jose Rosario is coordinator of disability services at Rhode Island College. Rosario also serves on U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin's Diversity and Equality Advisory Committee and is chair of Rhode Island Democratic Party's "I'm Able" Caucus. Rosario has presented his vision of inclusive excellence, disability awareness and diversity at national and international conferences.

Description:  Workers with disabilities help companies create a more inclusive workplace culture and bring vast talents and expertise. However, some employers may be hesitant to hire qualified applicants with disabilities due to a lack of knowledge about accommodations or discomfort with discussing disability-related topics. This presentation is an opportunity to learn about reasonable accommodations which are useful and beneficial to provide equal access in the college classroom and in employment settings. An overview of disability support services, accommodations, assistive technology and resources available to both colleges and employers are provided, with an emphasis on how individuals with disabilities can enrich these organizations with their skills and abilities.

Workshop Location:  Gaige 201


Workshop Session (8:45-10:15 a.m.)

Workshop D

Title:  Efforts for Improving Diversity Plus Inclusion in Higher Education Counseling Programs

Presenters:  Monica Darcy, Ph.D., L.M.H.C., is a counselor educator and directs the graduate counseling programs at Rhode Island College.

Julio Tavarez is a graduate student and graduate assistant for the clinical mental health counseling program at Rhode Island College.

Description:  The mental health counseling workforce is predominantly white and does not adequately represent the population it serves. Addressing that divide is integral to improving mental health services. Higher education must attend to diversity and inclusion for its members to feel represented and welcomed in the profession's learning environment. Members of Rhode Island College's graduate counseling program explore strategies that promote inclusion of undergraduate students interested in being mental health counselors. Presenters discuss ideas for campus activities to facilitate professional exploration of counseling in approachable, welcoming settings, and engage attendees for input on these efforts.  

Workshop Location:  Gaige 202


Workshop Session (8:45-10:15 a.m.)

Workshop E

Title:  Developing a Sustainable and Strategic Plan for Diversity and Inclusion

Presenter:  Stephanie Huckel is manager of culture and diversity and inclusion at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island. In her role, Huckel provides company-wide leadership to carry out Blue Cross' corporate strategies to develop an increasingly diverse, inclusive and culturally competent organization in line with organizational values and desired culture.

Description:  Through this session, attendees learn how to build a strong and sustainable case for diversity and inclusion, use an organizational assessment to drive strategy development and bring the organization along for the journey. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island's approach is used as a case study to demonstrate a model that is leading organizational change.

Workshop Location:  Gaige 203


Workshop Session (8:45-10:15 a.m.)

Workshop F

Title:  Class Matters in the Classroom

Presenters:  Christiane Petrin Lambert currently serves as director for Learning for Life at Rhode Island College. Lambert's role is to increase college access and completion objectives for underrepresented students at the college. From a working-class background and the first in her family to graduate with a four-year degree, Lambert appreciates firsthand the surrogate supports that are necessary to become a college graduate.

Leslie Schuster teaches history, directs the Gender and Women's Studies Program and is interim dean of graduate studies at Rhode Island College. Her research on the attitudes and culture of 19th century workers prompted her to investigate the role of class in shaping college students' attitudes, habits and expectations. Schuster's courses consider and appreciate working-class culture and shift students' view of learning and of themselves.

“Live your life to the fullest.” This is the theme Benjamin Concepcion, College Advisor for College Visions (CV), lives by. He was born in America and lived in the Dominican Republic from 6-9 years old. He is a proud CV and URI alumni (‘17) who believes it is his duty to give back to others.

Description:  A comprehensive focus on diversity must include the intersectionality of class. The goal of this workshop is to make class visible to students, faculty/teachers and staff and to suggest how working-class values and habits effect/shape students' self-perception and interaction with faculty, coursework and their peers. Participants discuss how faculty/teachers can create class-inclusive and sensitive learning environments in the classroom. We believe that class-inclusive learning environments can help students to contextualize the influences of class in their lives beyond the classroom in order to foster more diverse and inclusive workplaces.

Workshop Location:  Gaige 204


Workshop Session (8:45-10:15 a.m.)

Workshop G

Title:  Trans Rights in the U.S. Today: Needs, Laws and Practices

Presenter:  Elijah Adiv Edelman, Ph.D., is assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at Rhode Island College. His research and community activist work takes an ethnographic and community-based approach in addressing how trans and gender non-conforming communities mobilize and gain access to life-sustaining resources.

Description: This workshop identifies and discusses the social, political and economic needs of trans communities alongside the laws and practices that are necessary to address these needs. Successful models for supporting trans community members' empowerment in the classroom and workplace are specifically explored.

Workshop Location:  Gaige 205


Workshop Session (8:45-10:15 a.m.)

Workshop H - CANCELLED

Title:  Mindfulness in Education


Workshop Session (8:45-10:15 a.m.)

Workshop I

Title:  Cultural Humility: Preparing Students for Work in Diverse Communities Locally and Abroad

Presenter:  Robyn Linde is associate professor of political science and drector of the International Nongovernmental Organizations Studies Program at Rhode Island College. Her book, "The Globalization of Childhood: The International Diffusion of Norms and Law Against the Child Death Penalty," was published in August 2016 by Oxford University Press.

Description:  Cultural humility is a process of guided reflection in the classroom, in which teachers and students reflect on structural inequalities preceding, during or after cross-cultural engagement. Cultural humility differs from cultural competence, which focuses on educating students about different cultures. Cultural humility is less a field of study and more about positioning oneself as a learner. This approach fosters appreciation for local knowledge and offers important lessons for students who plan to work in communities or countries outside of their own. This presentation introduces the idea of cultural humility and offers reflection exercises and resources for teachers, students and employers.

Workshop Location:  Gaige 207


Workshop Session (8:45-10:15 a.m.)

Workshop J

Title:  Up and Coming (OUT): Becoming a Competent LGBTQ Ally

Presenter:  Eva Dayon taught high school students for four years at the Met School in Providence, RI. She returned to RIC to attain a Masters in Social Work, and hopes to graduate in the Spring.  Eva has been leading workshops and advocating on behalf of people who identify as LGBTQ for the past decade.

Description:  This workshop is an introductory level for anyone who wants to be more confident and competent in relation to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer community. We will discuss the differences between sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. We will discuss ways to make your workplace welcoming and affirming. With remaining time, we will discuss common dilemmas related to this topic in the workplace.

Workshop Location:  Gaige 305


Workshop Session (8:45-10:15 a.m.)

Workshop K

Title:  Kaleidoscope: Developing Meaningful Participatory Experiences in Learning and Working Environments

Presenter: Leila Rosa is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Studies at Rhode Island College. She worked as a part-time lecturer in educational leadership and policy studies with the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Her research centers on trauma and its impact on the educational identification and placement of students who are English Language Learners in special education. Her publications include "'Doing Diversity...?' Preparing Teacher Candidates Using a Developmental Model" (in Mcray, E., McHatton, P., & Beverly Cheryl. Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions for Culturally Competent and Interculturally Sensitive Leaders in Education. TED Diversity Caucus.).

Description:  In this presentation, participants have the opportunity to reflect around issues of identity, privilege and oppression, and to the negative implications of the food, festival and fiesta thinking that surrounds the activities that seek to address diversity in our educational institutions and working environments. Participants are invited to consider how these activities distract and take away from the issue of systemic structural oppression within the current global context. The dialogue ends with a discussion of best practices in educational institutions and workplaces.

Workshop Location:  Gaige 306


Workshop Session (8:45 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.)

Workshop L

Title:  Toward an Inclusive Workplace Environment: A Conversation with Educators of Color

Presenters:  Michael N. Browner Jr. is a native of Newport, Rhode Island, where he attended the public schools from K-12, graduating from Rogers High School in 1993. Browner earned an undergraduate degree in secondary education/history in 1998 and a graduate degree in school administration in 2004, both from Rhode Island College. Currently, he is a doctoral candidate in the joint Ph.D. program in education at the University of Rhode Island and RIC. His research focuses on perspectives on teacher diversity and the lived experiences of Black teachers. Browner has taught in Newport Public Schools for 20 years, teaching seventh grade social studies at the Frank E. Thompson Middle School

Richard Martin is East Providence School District 2017 Teacher of the Year. His teaching career spans 31 years, and he is especially passionate about teaching African-American History. Martin worked as an adjunct instructor at Rhode Island College with the Social Studies Secondary Education Program mentoring teacher candidates and student teachers.

Nancy Diaz Bain is co-director of the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center, an innovative high school based on personalized learning which has models around the world. She has worked as an advisor and principal. Diaz Bain was born and raised in Rhode Island. Her passion is to make sure students and staff are given every opportunity to excel

Description:  This workshop is an informal conversation with three reflective educators of color who collectively have more than 60 years of experience working in public institutions. Participants are encouraged to engage in the dialogue as the panelists share their own lived experiences and thoughts about how to build a more inclusive workplace environment.
Workshop Location:  Donovan 204


Workshop Session (8:45-10:15 a.m.)

Workshop M

Title:   Critical Mentoring is Critical for College Success


Lisa McBride, Ph.D., is the inaugural vice president for inclusive excellence at Salem State University. A former police officer and federal agent, McBride was inspired to develop and implement multi-tiered critical mentoring programs after working with at-risk juveniles in her hometown of Ferguson, Missouri, which has received national attention in the last few years.

Description:  Critical mentoring seeks to move mentoring research and praxis into a larger discourse around the critical examination of race, ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality as they pertain to mentoring. Critical mentoring challenges deficit-based notions of protégés, limited metrics that ignore meta-narratives, and protégé adaptation to dominant ideologies. Critical mentoring acknowledges that the traditional way we mentor isn't conducive to young students of color, and young men in particular.

Traditional mentoring is one-to-one hierarchical: "I'm an authority figure and I'm going to tell you what you need to do to get on track." That's an antiquated idea for our young people today, and it doesn't include any analysis of their context. Context is so important in terms of the systematic destruction of people of color; being able to interrogate that context is an important part of a mentoring relationship.

As the concept continues to develop and be shared with others, the most common question is, "How do we 'do' critical mentoring?" While the practice is evolving, there are three ways existing programs can make their mentoring practice more critical right now. This session will examine those ways.    

Workshop Location:  Gaige 100​ Auditorium ​​


Workshop Session (8:45-10:15 a.m.)

Workshop N

Title:   Bias, Access, and Representation in our Community Institutions

Presenter:  Aimee Davidson has worked with YWCA Rhode Island since the summer of 2014 in a variety of roles, most recently as one of the agency’s three trained Racial Justice Workshop facilitators. She has worked in the nonprofit field for over 10 years, often directly serving youth in historically underserved communities and demographics.

Description:  This workshop examines bias and explores how bias manifests interpersonally, institutionally and structurally, limiting access to opportunity for marginalized people. Participants define conscious and unconscious bias, identify examples of bias within a written prompt, participate in a group discussion on how bias impedes access and options for vulnerable members of our community, and extend their thinking outward into their communities, “grading” their social resources and spaces on access, representation and service provided to vulnerable members of our community.

We discuss how racial bias impacts people of color, and we examine how marginalized groups “slip between the cracks” when it comes to access and opportunity in our communities, including women, disabled people, immigrants/undocumented people and youth.

Workshop Location:  Gaige 206​​​​

Page last updated: November 02, 2017