The Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement (DDEEA) kicked off their Diversity Forum 2020 on Tuesday with keynote speaker Robin DiAngelo, promoting this year’s theme of “The Pandemic Effect: Exposing Racism and Inequities.”
The two-day forum, usually held in person, has transitioned like most events to a virtual platform. This year's theme covers a wide variety of topics.
“This year’s forum will explore a convergence of contemporary issues from racial equity and social justice to disparities in health care and white privilege,” according to the DDEEA website.
Each day covers different topics and allows participants in the forum to select different breakout group topics such as, the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 on minority communities or medieval perspectives on racism. Not only are there a wide variety of topics to discover more about, the keynote speakers are both experts in their field and acclaimed authors.
Dr. DiAngelo, who has a PhD in Multicultural Education, authored "White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism", which stayed on the New York Times Bestseller List for 85 weeks. Her talk, “Seeing the Racial Water” occurred on Oct. 27 and dealt with the question: “What does it mean to be white in a society that proclaims race meaningless yet is deeply divided by race?”
The second keynote speaker, Austin Channging Brown, bestselling author of "I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness", will discuss her book and the Black American experience in a white dominated society on Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 9:00 a.m.
Both authors will speak about their different racial points of view and the impact that their experiences have had on their lives. For 20 years, the Diversity Forum has strived to offer a variety of perspectives to best inform the UW-Madison community about contemporary initiatives on diversity and inclusion.
The Forum draws over 1,000 participants from the UW-Madison campus and community each fall.
To learn more or to register for the events, community members can visit https://diversity.wisc.edu/diversity-forum/.