Join us for the 12th Annual Indian Hills Diversity Conference on Friday, March 18, 2016 on the Indian Hills Community College Main Campus (Ottumwa). This is an all-day event.


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

Check back for registration details.

Conference Fee: $35 for online pre-registration through March 15, 2016. $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).

Keynote Speakers:

Julissa Arce

Julissa Arce - My (Underground) American Dream

Julissa Arce is a writer, immigrant rights and education advocate. She is the Co-founder and Chairman of the Ascend Educational Fund, a college scholarship and mentorship program for immigrant students, regardless of their immigration status, ethnicity or national origin. She is the former Director of Public Affairs at Define American, a media organization that uses the power of story to change culture around immigration and citizenship. Prior to becoming an advocate, she built a successful career on Wall Street working at Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch and had seemingly achieved the American Dream, and yet she was not part of what defined American.

Julissa immigrated to America from Mexico at the age of 11 and was undocumented for almost 15 years, including some of her years rising to prominence on Wall Street. In order to help other young people in similar circumstances, Julissa co-founded the Ascend Educational Fund. She was officially sworn in as an American citizen in August of 2014. Julissa is currently working on a book chronicling her story, set for release in 2016.  

Julissa shares her story about what it was like “climbing the corporate ladder” as both a Hispanic woman and an undocumented American. While, to many, she achieved the American dream of wealth and status, how could it be that she still did not fit what the U.S. legally defines as “American”? She discusses how questions like that, and the stories of the millions of other undocumented Americans living in the U.S., compelled her to leave Wall Street and pursue a path as an immigration rights advocate. Through Julissa’s personal stories, audiences will gain a new perspective on what it means to achieve the “American dream.”

Julissa Arce

Clemencia Spizzirri - Creating a Culture of Achievement for All

Clemencia Spizzirri holds a Master’s Degree in Arts and Teaching from Drake University in Des Moines. A native of Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, Clemencia began her teaching career in her home country where she taught English at the high school level for several years before moving to the United States in 2003. In the United States she taught Spanish at Merrill Middle School (in Des Moines) and facilitated middle school Foreign Languages Acquisition Professional Development. She also worked at Drake University with the Languages Department in the DULAP Program (Drake Language Partners) providing conversational Spanish classes at the university level.

In 2015, Clemencia received one of the most prestigious awards in education, the Iowa Teacher of the Year award, and was the first immigrant Latina to receive the Teacher of the Year honor in all of the United States. She now serves as an Ambassador of Education for the State of Iowa, and works on many educational initiatives across the state and the country. During Clemencia’s keynote, she will address the importance of creating a sustainable culture of achievement and understanding for all, inside and outside of the classroom.


Online Conference Registration

Online Registration for the 12th Annual Diversity Conference will open on February 15, 2016.
Attendees may pay at the door, cash, check, credit/debit cards will be accepted.

Interested in being a breakout session presenter?

Please complete our online information form here.


The 12th Annual Indian Hills Diversity Conference is sponsored, in part, by:

Great Prairie AEA Iowa Department of Education Indian Hills Community College Indian Hills Community College
Great Prairie AEA Iowa Department of Education Community 1st Credit Union Indian Hills Community College
Ottumwa Legacy Foundation
Ottumwa Legacy Foundation


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

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