CCCU Advance - Fall 2015

Page 20


Record number of attendees at 2015 Diversity Conference address challenging topics that arise in creating inclusive campus communities. By Morgan C. Feddes


Diversity, Inclusion and the Christian Academy: A Matter of Faith, Excellence and Institutional Survival

been timid, we no longer will be. We are no longer going to be cautious; we are going to be visionary. If we have been distracted, we are going to be focused. If we have been inconsistent, we pledge to be trustworthy.” With those opening words from President Shirley Hoogstra, the CCCU kicked off its 2015 Diversity Conference, held on the campus of CCCU member North Park University in Chicago, Illinois. It was the CCCU’s first conference held on the the topic of diversity in several years and the largest CCCU conference this year: 210 faculty and administrators from 48 campuses gathered for three days of sessions, discussions and fellowship with their peers all involved and interested in advancing diversity in Christian higher education. The conference, which was shaped and organized by the hard work and commitment of the CCCU’s Commission for Diversity and Inclusion, centered around diversity, inclusion and the Christian academy as a matter of faith, excellence and institutional survival. Topics ranged from the imperative of diversity for institutional excellence, to culturally responsive teaching, to developing ways for students to get involved in the diversity discussion. In addition to keynote presentations by Daryl Smith, Soong-Chan Rah, and Elizabeth Conde-Frazier, attendees had the opportunity to attend a panel discussion with three CCCU member presidents as well as 16 peer-led breakout sessions and discussions. There were also a number of musical performances from local groups, including the North Park Gospel Choir, Buya (a drum and dance group specializing in Bomba, a traditional musical style of Puerto Rico), and the Oakdale Covenant Church Children’s Choir based in Chicago’s South Side. here we have

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