The 19th Annual Diversity Conference is coming soon! Stay tuned for event information and registration deadlines.
The date, time, and location of this event has not yet been determined.
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.
A Look at Last Year's Keynote Speakers (March 2023):
Interrupting Iowa nice: a field guide to authentic community inclusion
When we think about what brings people together, we look toward the best of who we are. Too often, though, the best of who we are isn't a reality enough of us get to experience. Why? Because it's easier to default to dominant narratives about being a strong community rather than create the conditions to build it.
Join human rights strategist and TEDx speaker Abena Sankofa Imhotep as she explains how to build and sustain communities that are authentic and inclusive.
Abena Sankofa Imhotep is a renowned writer, transformative thought leader, and the executive director of Sankofa Literary & Empowerment Group which creates spaces for lifelong learning that center the literature and scholarship of Black authors. An active advocate for education, justice, and humanitarianism, Abena founded Sankofa Literary Academy in 2021, a literacy incubator for emerging readers in 3rd through 8th grades.
The Academy is also a partner with national literacy ambassador Barbershop Books to expand access to diverse books to 10,000 Black boys across the United States. Abena has presented human rights papers on "Social Impact and Responsibility" and "Black Non-performance as a Strategy for Racial Justice" at University of Notre Dame Kroc Institute, the Nelson Institute Global Citizen Forum, and the Iowa Human Rights Research Conference.
Additionally, Abena serves on several boards of directors including the Board of Trustees of Iowa Wesleyan University, the American Red Cross of Central Iowa, African American Museum of Iowa, and the Union of Black America. Abena is a TEDx speaker, an International Relations major at Drake University, and author of the beloved children's book, Omari’s Big Tree and the Mighty Djembe.
Rev. Adam Barlow-Thompson
The Neighboring Movement
The Neighboring Movement nurtures neighbor-centered leadership by focusing on what's strong to address what's wrong. We train and support community leaders, provide resources for churches, and practice being good neighbors in our founding neighborhood located in Wichita, KS.
Our work moves from a culture of fear, which is defined by individualism and scarcity, to a neighborly culture that is defined by joy, relationship, and abundance.
Rev. Adam Barlow-Thompson began his career as a local pastor in a suburban setting. In this role, he experimented with social entrepreneurship and community building but always felt restrained by the traditional church structure.
In 2015, Adam co-founded The Neighboring Movement with his wife Ashley and their neighbors. Together they connect neighbors in the SoCe (So-See) Neighborhood of Wichita, Kansas, and train others in Asset Based Community Development. The Neighboring Movement has grown to a national network of community builders in faith-based and non-religious contexts.
In addition to his role as Executive Director at The Neighboring Movement, Adam continues to work bi-vocationally as a trainer, speaker, and consultant focusing on communication and healthy conflict. He has co-authored several resources, tools, and workshops which all work to understand and connect the power of people within community.
In his free time, Adam enjoys sitting on his front porch with his 11-year-old son Prescott and his banjo.
Information about Last Year's Breakout Sessions (March 2023):
- "Beyond X and Y: The Genetics of Sex is Complicated" by Michael Miller
- “Pave The Way for a More Inclusive Iowa” by JJ Kapur and Kate Brockmeyer
- “But You Don’t Look Diverse” – How a privileged White Girl Becomes a Director of DEI by Holly Stevenson
- “Affirming & Christian: Removing Faith Barriers to Affirming Same-Sex Couples” by Chris Childs
- “Hiring Nonviolent African American male ex-offenders: A phenomenological investigation on Employment Discrimination” by C. Negus Rudison-Imhotep, Ph.D.
- “Growing Up Amish” (2 Sessions) by Rosemary Miller
- “Cultures and family roots influence personal lifestyle choices” by Dr. Edith Cabrera-Tello
- “Why Are Immigrants and Refugees Afraid of Reporting Crime?” by Joshua Dabusu
- “Beyond Diversity: cultural competency and the next steps in your journey of diversity” by Himar Hernandez
- “Community Decision Making” by Adam Barlow-Thompson
- “Beyond Iowa Nice: Road Simulation Tool” by Abena Sankofa Imhotep
- Student Panel –Larissa Scatamburlo, Daniel Barnes and Lukas Glade
- “Growing Up Amish” (2 Sessions) by Rosemary Miller
- “Mindfulness Writing” by Patti Jones
- “What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You” by Hollie Tometich
- “Coming Together for Racial Understanding: A tool to have safe and healing discussion on race in your community” by Himar Hernandez
- “Trauma, Cultural Adjustment, and Mental Health in Refugee and Immigrant Populations” by Jahnavi Pandya and Adina Levitt
- “Language attitudes: Communication is a two-way street” by Christine Shea
- “Empowering Others to Avoid Violence: The Journey to Prevent Human Trafficking” by Amy Ratekin (Tom Lazio will introduce)
- "Pacific Islanders in Iowa, A Rising Demographic" by Trevy Augustin
College Credit for Diversity Conference
Are you interested in receiving IHCC college credit by attending the Diversity Conference?
IHCC offers attendees of the 19th Annual Diversity Conference a one-credit online course designed for the Spring 2024 term. You can also inquire at the front registration/check-in table during the conference.
To receive a certification of attendance, please complete the Diversity Conference Certificate of Attendance Form after the conference, indicating which sessions you attended.
Conference attendees can choose from one of the following meals:
- Tuscan Turkey – Organic sprouted wheat berry bread, turkey, sliced provolone, crispy bacon, sliced tomato, and leaf lettuce.
- Cubano – Cuban bread, slow roasted pork, sliced ham, stone ground mustard, pickles, and Swiss cheese.
- Greek Sandwich (Vegetarian or Vegan Option) – Pita bread, sliced tomato, sliced cucumber, red pepper strips, and house made hummus (optional feta cheese on the side).
- Mediterranean Salad (Vegan and Gluten Free Option) – Romaine lettuce, chickpeas, balsamic vinaigrette, Kalamata olives, sliced onion, and tomatoes (optional croutons).
Each option is paired with a cookie, chips and beverage.
The Indian Hills Diversity Conference was sponsored, in part, by:
Jessica Knapp, Director, Library Services
Indian Hills Community College
Phone: (641) 683-5178 or (800) 726-2585, ext. 5178