6th Annual USU Eastern Diversity Conference Tackles Many Subjects


By Taren Powell

The sixth annual USU Eastern Diversity Conference took place on Friday, Feb. 28 in Price. Guests were invited to the Geary Events Center where they were given the opportunity to listen to the keynote speaker, Dr. Bryan Hubain.

Dr. Hubain is the Associate Vice President for Student Development and Inclusion at the University of Utah. He currently oversees the Women’s Resource Center, Veterans Success Center, LGBT Center, Financial Wellness Center, TRIO Programs and Career Professional Development Center. He has began to focus on improving the experiences and well-being of underrepresented students through challenge, support, collaboration and educational outreach. Through his research and practice, he is in hopes of dismantling systemic barriers that undermine the success of underrepresented students and finding ways to promote the persistence and degree completion of underrepresented students on campus.

Following the guest speaker, guests were entertained with performances from the Utah State University Blanding Cultural Ambassadors. This has been an active program at the Blanding campus for the past eight years. It originally formed as a way to teach and perform dances from Native American cultures. It has now expanded to include dances from other cultures represented on USU campuses such as Polynesian, Latin American and Filipino. The dances the group performs are student-taught by members of the program from their individual cultures.

Once the events were wrapped up at the events center, different breakout sessions were hosted to explore issues of diversity and social justice on a deeper level.

Sessions included:

  • Wrestling with Difference, Agustin Tino Diaz
  • Cultural Competence Through Study Abroad, Jessica Roueche
  • Diversity, Inclusion and Tolerance: A Christian Perspective, Brad Bertelsen
  • Woke 101, Alex Anderson
  • Talanoa: The Importance of Sharing Our Stories, Sione Siaki
  • Don’t Be a Drag, Just be a Queen, Nathon Taylor
  • Let’s Commit to Doing the Work, Dr. Bryan Hubain
  • Why Pronouns Matter, Tomi Lasley
  • First, Only, Different: Strategies for Thriving, Vanessa Seals
  • Difficult Conversations with Your Baby Boomer: Navigating Social, Financial and Health Concerns, Dr. Jeff Spears
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