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. Exact times and schedule will be announced at a later date.
Indian Hills Community College, Main Campus (Ottumwa)
Keynote Presentation: St. John Auditorium
Breakout Sessions: Efner Hall, Arts & Sciences Building
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.
Conference Fee: To be determined.
Online registration for this event will open in February 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.
Michael 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.
Diversity Conference Schedule
Check back for the full conference schedule.
Interested in being a session presenter?
Complete and submit the Presenter Confirmation Form >
The 11th Annual Indian Hills Diversity Conference is sponsored, in part, by:
phone: (641) 683-5755 or (800) 726-2585, ext. 5755