Image of a few diverse cartoon people

Diversity Week Summit

Hosted by the Office for Social Justice and Diversity, this FREE week-long virtual summit is for students, faculty and staff to engage in various workshops about social justice topics and issues.

Schedule of Events

Monday, October 12, 2020

Hidden Agendas: How Hate Groups Co-Opt Good Intentions Online

  • 10-10:50 a.m.
  • Presenter(s): Dr. Bond Benton and Dr. Daniela Perteka-Benton

There is a widely shared online conspiracy called “Q Anon.” It was previously a fringe conspiracy that was troubling (but marginal) but that has changed. At its root, the Q conspiracy is based on some wildly antisemetic tropes with a “cabal of global elites abducting children in large numbers for sacrifice and sexual slavery.” Most concerning is that people online are frequently sucked into this conspiracy out of a legitimate concern about human trafficking and the danger is poses to populations that have been made vulnerable. This manipulation has gotten so bad that Facebook recently had to ban the hashtag #SaveTheChildren as Q conspiracists had so thoroughly co-opted it on the platform (with other social media sites doing the same). This session will explore how hate groups often use “agreeable” sounding ideas online to lure people into accepting dangerous, marginalizing and hateful messages. Register for Hidden Agendas: How Hate Groups Co-Opt Good Intentions Online presentation.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Changing the Landscape for Peace one Abandoned Lot in Newark N.J.

  • 10-10:50 a.m.
  • Presenter(s): Dr. Norma Bowe and Belki Aguirre

Newark, the largest city in New Jersey has a crime rate five times the national average (46 crimes per one thousand residents). Newark has 3.65 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents. National standards call for 325-500 acres for a population of this size. Be the Change N.J, a Kean University community service and activism group, is engaged in peace efforts by adopting vacant lots in dangerous Newark neighborhoods and turning them into gardens or playgrounds. These projects address urban challenges such as food deserts and crime. We have seen a significant decrease in violent crime around the peace gardens. Be The Change N.J. also created “murder maps” of each ward in Newark. These maps reflect homicides from 2014-2019. Deaths are recorded by age, race, gender and cause of death. The homicide data was collected at the Newark Regional Medical Examiner’s office. Dr. Norma Bowe and Belki Aguirre use these maps. Register for Changing the Landscape for Peace one Abandoned Lot in Newark N.J. presentation.

Fatness Everywhere/Fatness Nowhere: The Hidden Epidemic of Fatphobia

  • 12-12:50 p.m.
  • Presenter(s): Claudia Cortese, MFA

In 2002, the Surgeon General declared “obesity” to be a form of domestic terrorism that threatens Americans as much as weapons of mass destruction. “Fatness Everywhere/Fatness Nowhere: The Hidden Epidemic of Fatphobia” will challenge the “obesity epidemic” panic that has dominated our culture since the 1990s, showing that the connection between weight and health is largely fictitious and the biggest risk to people in larger bodies is actually fatphobia itself. The diseasification of fatness has led to widespread bias, discrimination and structural oppression. This workshop will also explore the racist roots of fatphobia (which originated with 18th century scientific racism), why fatness has emerged as a marginalized identity and how activists and artists are creating fat-positive narratives and celebrating fat resiliency. This workshop will include engaging activities and discussions! * “Fat” has been redefined as a neutral word with no negative connotations. Register for Fatness Everywhere/Fatness Nowhere: The Hidden Epidemic of Fatphobia presentation.

  • 1-1:50 p.m.
  • Sankofa: Black History is the Blueprint
  • Presenter(s): Leonie McDermott

Sankofa embodies the Akan tribe’s quest for knowledge. The journey to seeking knowledge utilizes critical examination and patient investigation. Looking into your history is beneficial to understanding your present and future situation. In other words, going back to your roots is needed in order to move forward. As we are learning about our culture it is important that history is looked at in totality and not as a minuscule part of American history. Register for Sankofa: Black History is the Blueprint presentation.

How to Reclaim Your Rest + Practice Resiliency as a QTPOC

  • 2-2:50 p.m.
  • Presenter(s): Bianca Mayes, MPH, CHES

This workshop will review self-care, resiliency/coping skills and how to advocate for yourself as you move through the world as a Black or Brown person who also identifies on the LGBTQ+ spectrum. We will review racism and other discriminatory tactics used against this community. Through guided meditation and discussions we’ll discover how to better care for ourselves. Register for How to Reclaim Your Rest + Practice Resiliency as a QTPOC presentation.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

How to Resist the Youth Activist Industrial Complex

  • 11-11:50 a.m.
  • Presenter(s): Melissa Denizard

This workshop will focus on combating the youth activist industrial complex in Gen Z advocacy work. This would include power and privilege, how to identify white norms of leadership, resist white supremacy and capitalism from manifesting in our advocacy and organizing work, suggestions and best practices, different grassroots organizations to join, and general discussion to answer students’ unique questions. Register for How to Resist the Youth Activist Industrial Complex presentation.

Race, Identity and Power: Shifting Oppressive Systems

  • 12-12:50 p.m.
  • Presenter(s): Gigi Polo

The workshop addresses how self and social identities—related to race, ethnicity, and other forms of self-identification—become sources of power that can be shared in order to shift oppressive systems. A series of exercises to unpack personal biases/assumptions of otherness, in contrast with self-identities, will guide an open conversation about the power that resides in each of us as individuals; an open conversation will provide space to brainstorm ideas on how to share our power in today’s conflicting society. Register for Race, Identity and Power: Shifting Oppressive Systems presentation.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

How to Be an Anti-Racist Activist

  • 10-10:50 a.m.
  • Presenter(s): Jessica Monaco-Copell, MSW and Helen Archontou, MSW, LSW

We want to help students and faculty understand and confront racism, as well as provide tools on how to share and dismantle privilege. Even when people have an understanding of the systemic and institutionalized nature of racism, they may not always have the language and tools to navigate issues of race and inclusion in their daily personal, educational and professional lives. YWCA Northern New Jersey’s workshop will engage participants on how to become an anti-racist activist. We will explain the importance of aligning with like-minded people AND unlikely allies to create real social change. Our workshop will share successful strategies to help ensure that attendees’ time, passion and purpose are directed productively and inclusively. Register for How to Be an Anti-Racist Activist presentation.

Juvenile Corrections: Incarceration and Justice

  • 12-12:50 p.m.
  • Presenter(s): Dominique-Faith Worthington

What is juvenile incarceration? What happens to juveniles when they are handed over to the system? This workshop will answer these questions, give a brief history of where juvenile justice started and why there needs to be a reform as well as the current trend of direction today. Participants will brainstorm solutions for solving juvenile offender issues. Register for Juvenile Corrections: Incarceration and Justice presentation.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Impacts of College-In-Prison Education

  • 10-10:50 a.m.
  • Presenter(s): Sanford Shevack Ed.D

Dr. Sanford Shevack’s research studied how college-in-prison transforms the lives formerly incarcerated people, their families and communities. This includes reduction of stigma, increased critical thinking skills, expanding social capital and civic engagement. While this program is not the sole answer to reducing intergenerational poverty and incarceration, it is an important strategy which deserves support. Register for Impacts of College-In-Prison Education presentation.

Pursuing Disability Justice at Montclair State University

  • 11-11:50 a.m.
  • Presenter(s): Jessica Bacon, Ph.D, Dr. Alicia Broderick and Dr. Elaine Gerber

This workshop provides a brief critical historical overview of the institutional place of disability at Montclair State University. We will compare and contrast the institution’s historical and present stance toward disabled people as minoritized communities with the institution’s past and present
stances toward other historically minoritized communities (e.g., women, people of color, LGBTQ+ people, etc.). In doing so, we briefly review the progressive initiatives and achievements of rights-based movements historically and also explore the limitations of rights-based movements for systemic change. We propose and introduce justice movements (as opposed to rights-based movements) as more promising possibilities for structural institutional and cultural change moving forward. We close by introducing two new initiatives on campus (The Disability Caucus and a new student DREAM chapter) and invite the open discussion of ways that these two new fora might serve to work both together and with other justice initiatives on campus toward a more inclusive campus community. Register for Pursuing Disability Justice at Montclair State University presentation.

LGBTQ Health Disparities

  • 12-12:50 p.m.
  • Presenter(s): Susan Graziano MSN, APN

This workshop will cover various health disparities in the LGBTQ community. Health disparities including mental health, HIV/AIDS, tobacco/alcohol/substance abuse, cancer and violence will be discussed. Stress and stigma that LGBTQ persons experience as a marginalized community creates health disparities. What can be done to eliminate these disparities? Register for LGBTQ Health Disparities presentation.