UW-Green Bay to host Ally Conference for diversity

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will host its third annual ALLY Conference to empower students and community members with enthusiasm and knowledge as they strive for social change.

The conference, scheduled from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16 emphasizes diversity and accessibility issues within all student populations, and also provides a safe environment to celebrate the diversity and talents of women, people of color, persons with disabilities and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Questioning (LGBTQ) community.

Conference participants will also learn how to become an ally, or advocate, for these communities. An “ally” is described as “a person who recognizes they are on the privilege side of a particular prejudice/oppression divide that society creates and actively engages in the search and implementation of strategies to dismantle that divide.”

The keynote speaker at this year’s conference is author, lecturer and consultant Vernon A. Wall. He has received several awards for his contributions to the quality of student life and is a nationally known speaker in the areas of social justice and leadership styles. Wall is one of the founders and facilitators of the Social Justice Training Institute. He has also served as a trainer for the Martin Luther King Center for Non-Violent Social Change in Atlanta, Georgia.

The ALLY Conference will also include fourteen breakout sessions on a wide variety of topics including: “Differently-Able Panel” featuring members of the UW-Green Bay student group disABILITY; “GLBT Youth: Free 2 Be You,” Jesse Heffernan and Deanna Tappy, Harmony Café; “Effects of Stereotyping,” Kate Burns, UW-Green Bay; “How to Communicate about Diversity and Social Justice?” Jeff Willems and Frances Akakpo, UW-Green Bay; and “Hate Language and Wisconsin Hate Groups,” Jeanette Beschta, UW-Green Bay.

The ALLY Conference, held at the University Union on the UW-Green Bay campus, 2420 Nicolet Drive, is open to students and community members. It has already reached capacity.

Students from several other institutions are taking part in the event including: UW-Stevens Point, UW-Oshkosh, Fox Valley Technical College, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Lawrence University and St. Norbert College.

The ALLY Conference is sponsored by UW-Green Bay’s American Intercultural Center, Office of Student Life, Residence Hall and Apartment Association, Human Development, Social Change and Development, Diversity Task Force, Good Times Programming, College of Professional and Graduate Studies, Social Work Program, Student Government Association, Women’s and Gender Studies Program and the Harmony Café.


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