NACOGDOCHES, Texas — The Stephen F. Austin State University and Nacogdoches communities have several opportunities to be involved in the SFA Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’s ninth annual 2023 Diversity Conference on February 10, which will center on the daily actions one can take to create a more welcoming environment for diverse groups.
The theme “Inclusion as an Everyday Act: Setting Intentions for SFA’s Next Century” invites conference presenters to speak on how inclusion can be an approachable and livable act. Organizers also intend to incorporate discussions on the intended role of inclusion for SFA’s second century.
“We want to emphasize through the theme that inclusion should be a standard, not a task,” said Veronica Beavers, SFA deputy chief diversity officer and director of SFA’s Office of Multicultural Affairs. “When it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, we really want to emphasize a call to action. In addition, we want to commemorate SFA's 100th anniversary. SFA was founded 100 years ago; let us work together to make the next 100 years even better!”
Conference organizers hope to incorporate SFA’s upcoming centennial anniversary throughout the duration of the all-day event.
“In addition to the theme being tied into some of our sessions and keynote address, we will also have activities that center around inclusion,” Beavers said. “We are also inviting nonprofit organizations to table to educate participants on how to take action and create positive change in the surrounding community.”
Proposals for breakout sessions, poster sessions, panels, essays and artwork are now being accepted for educational presentations as well as creative submissions for the conference’s Diversity Art Gallery. Nonprofits and other organizations are invited to table during the event, and conference sponsorships are available.
The event will offer traditional breakout sessions while also incorporating several new features.
“Passive programming opportunities are new to this year’s conference,” Beavers said. “We will have sensory and relaxation stations as well as interactive art activities within our Diversity Art Gallery, and we are inviting community organizations to share information on how to get involved locally. Additionally, this year's format will include expanded sessions that qualify for our DEI certification program, such as safe space training and interactive sessions.”
Businesses interested in sponsoring the conference and organizations wanting to table during the event should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“This conference is our opportunity to highlight the great work of others while also creating a space to learn, grow and share perspectives,” Beavers said.
The conference is February 10 and the deadline to submit presentation and art gallery proposals is Jan. 8.
To submit a proposal and for more information, visit sfasu.edu/odei/diversityconference.