American Association of Colleges and Universities

Call for Proposals: Diversity, Equity, and Student Success Conference, Due Oct. 1

Posted on September 3, 2019

AAC&U invites session proposals for the 2020 Diversity, Equity, and Student Success conference, March 19-21, 2020, New Orleans, LA, which will explore the power of collective action to build more just and equitable campuses and communities.

Proposals are due Tuesday, October 1, 2019.

The diversity of our nation has long been acclaimed and valued. As a society, we value the diversity of ideas and beliefs that fuel innovation, economic vitality, and social change. We rely on our collective abilities to transcend differences by identifying solutions that promote collective action for the common good. The power of collective action is evidenced in the social, political, and cultural movements that have resulted in lasting social change.

This action-oriented conference will focus on building coalitions, on breaking down institutional silos that divide and isolate, on practical strategies for creating institutions that reflect the diverse and equitable society we seek to build. The conference program will be expansive, including diverse voices and ideas by focusing on our interdependency and collective power to challenge the current discourse and policies that promote individualism, isolation, and hatred. Sessions will examine the historical, social, cultural, and political contexts that continue to shape and reinforce inequities in our systems and structures.

The conference will explore key questions for collective action:

  • What are promising strategies for implementing culturally responsive pedagogies? How can faculty development be reframed as a collective process shared across programs and departments?
  • How can student activism be a high-impact practice that drives change? How can institutions partner more intentionally with students?
  • Can definitions of equity be operationalized in ways that foster dialogue and deepen conversations across student and educator identities?
  • How should institutional policies and practices address unconscious bias and systemic and structural racism, sexism, ableism, classism, ageism, and heterosexism?
  • How can campuses promote and realize a sense of belonging for all? How can those who have experienced trauma be supported? How can microaggressions be recognized and addressed?
  • What types of partnerships drive collective action and change in higher education to advance the common good?

AAC&U invites students, educators, policymakers, and administrators from all campus sectors to participate in this conference. As Janet Mock, the American writer and transgender rights activist, states, “We are all part of a larger collective looking to create a more beautiful and just world.”

More detailed information about the conference, including how to submit a proposal, is available online. For specific questions about the conference, please call 202-387-3760 or email us at network@aacu.org.


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