Diversity Conference

Diversity, Equality, Education

Join us for the 11th Annual Indian Hills Diversity Conference on Friday, March 20, 2015 on the Indian Hills Community College Main Campus (Ottumwa). This is an all-day event.

Location

Indian Hills Community College, Main Campus (Ottumwa)
Keynote Presentations: St. John Auditorium
Breakout Sessions: Efner Hall, Arts & Sciences Building

View Driving Directions, Campus Map, and more >

Redefining Diversity

Diversity is a term that many people only associate with race and gender; however, it goes far beyond that. The concept of diversity itself represents a broad range of characteristics that can include, but are not limited to: age, race, creed, color, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability, lifestyle, background, intellect, language, political views, and socio–economic status.

The diverse world that we live in today encompasses a wide range of cultures, ethnicities, values, and beliefs — which makes each and every individual unique. Understanding the definition of diversity allows people to recognize their own individual differences, and thus explore these differences in a positive and enlightening way. By doing this, we can welcome and celebrate these dimensions of diversity that each individual represents.

Registration Options

Online registration for this event will open February 23, 2015. Pre-registration is highly encouraged, as there will be limited seating in the auditorium. We cannot guarantee seating in the auditorium for walk-in registrants.

Conference Fee: $35 for online pre-registration through March 17, 2015. $40 for all other registrations
Student Registration Fee: $10
Lunch is included with all registrations
Note: Must present a current Student I.D. to receive the student rate (K–12 and post–secondary students).

Online Conference Registration

Keynote Speakers

Michael KutcherMichael Kutcher: Born to Live

Michael A. Kutcher emerged into the world in 1978 as a surprise twin brother of actor Christopher “Ashton” Kutcher and to parents expecting a single baby. It was at delivery that Michael met his first challenge, where he entered the world notably smaller than his twin – weighing less than 5 pounds, hardly responsive, and struggling to take his first breath. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP) at the age of three, he stumbled into a journey wrought with the stigma and limitations of having this disorder. Throughout his childhood, however, he conquered the multiple challenges of CP with an innate desire to thrive.

At the age of thirteen, Michael found himself faced with the challenge of survival again after he was diagnosed with heart failure. Once more, Michael defeated the odds and received a heart transplant after given a life expectancy of only three to four weeks. Embarking on life with a new lease, his journey from 13 to 30 was a tossing ship in a turbulent sea, struggling to carve out his own identity as a twin and as the brother of a celebrity, while striving to overcome the obstacles of the hand he’d been dealt.

Successful at last in his endeavor to find his purpose, at age 30 his epiphany was three-fold: he felt that he needed to give back in the face of all he’d been given in his life; he needed to present himself as a role model for taking responsibility for overcoming the obstacles in life; and he needed to release any negative energy that might keep him stagnate and live his life to the fullest in the face of the challenges in his life.

Michael believes that imparting these lessons learned to others is of utter importance – to today’s youth, perhaps discouraged and downtrodden; to the disabled, limited to a large degree by the mere stigma of their disabilities; and to anyone on whom unreasonable limitations have been placed by others or by themselves.

The overarching message of his life is that you can take the wheel, you can begin to make the choices necessary to steer your own life over and around the obstacles that lie in your path, and make your way to an existence in which you not only survive, but in which you thrive, achieve happiness, and find peace.

Michael‘s inspirational message is uplifting and stimulating to all as he promotes hope and courage through his life’s story of overcoming challenges and defeating extraordinary odds. Michael is proof that ambition, perseverance, and a positive attitude can surmount even the most incredible obstacles.

Kevin BrownKevin Brown
Accomplish the Unimaginable — A True Detroit Success Story

Kevin L. Brown is the author of Chasing Crows: A True Detroit Success Story, which chronicles his life growing up on Detroit’s eastside, one of the city’s roughest areas. As a child, Kevin faced many challenges and adversities, including molestation, physical and mental abuse, attempts at suicide, illiteracy, and failing both 3rd and 7th grades. During Kevin’s teenage years, searching for an escape from his troubled home life, he became involved in gangs. His gang involvement led to a conviction of armed robbery at the young age of 17.

Ironically, the institution that was designed to lock Kevin down actually set him free! After being released from prison, Kevin married and had a son, only to later find out that his wife was addicted to drugs, leaving Kevin alone to raise their child. Now a single father, Kevin vowed to be an inspiration for his child. Using education as a means to be a model for his son, Kevin enrolled at Wayne State University, one of the thirty largest universities in the United States.

Despite the failures of his past, Kevin grew from the troubled little boy from Detroit’s eastside into a promising, vivacious, driven college graduate from Wayne State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. He was honored as the class valedictorian, named “Most Outstanding Student of the Year” for the School of Business, was the first African-American to be elected President of the School of Business Student Government, and was inducted into Wayne State’s most prestigious honor society, the David McKenzie Honor Society. Kevin went even further in capturing his Master of Business Administration diploma in 2010, also from Wayne State University.

Kevin’s life is reason to believe that, regardless of where we come from, all obstacles are conquerable and all dreams are obtainable. Regardless of all the people who doubt you, the level of your victory is dependent of the level of your thoughts. He urges each of us to lock onto our definition, and, with drive, determination, and effort, says that we all have the ability to accomplish the unimaginable.

View the Conference Flyer

View a list of Breakout Session Summaries

Diversity Conference Schedule

Check back for the full conference schedule.

Registration 8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. St. John Auditorium
Conference 8:45 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. St. John Auditorium

Diversity Scholarship Essay Contest

Enter the Diversity Scholarship Essay Contest by 4:00p on March 3, 2015.
First place wins $300! Find out more

Sponsors

The 11th Annual Indian Hills Diversity Conference is sponsored, in part, by:

Great Prairie AEA Wells Fargo Iowa Department of Education Alliant Energy

Contact

Ashley Albertson
phone: (641) 683-5755 or (800) 726-2585, ext. 5755
email:

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