Elgin Community College will hold its first diversity and cultural competence conference on Thursday, April 19, as part of its ongoing efforts to promote multicultural dialogue on campus and in the community.
The conference will be held in the Fox Valley University and Business Center on the ECC Spartan Campus, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin.
Sessions for ECC employees and students will be from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Sessions are open to the public from 1:30 to 10 p.m.
All sessions will be facilitated by Lee Mun Wah, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, a poet, an educator and a master diversity trainer.
Wah, founder of StirFry Seminars and Consulting, is best known for his film "The Color of Fear," which documents the state of race relations in America as seen through the eyes of eight men of Asian, European, Latino and African descent. The film also inspired a special episode on the Oprah Winfrey show.
From 1:30 to 5:30 p.m., the public can gain insights, ideas and resources to build and maintain alliances during "Creating Community in a Diverse School Environment." Participants will learn strategies to motivate and retain multicultural groups; techniques to listen and respond to intercultural communications; ways to integrate mainstream cultures with new entries into the workplace; the art of listening and responding; and nine healthy ways to communicate.
The conference concludes with a free screening of the film "If These Halls Could Talk" from 7 to 10 p.m. Directed by Wah, the film depicts the stories of 11 college students across the country and explores alarming rates of departure by students of color from college campuses, what is contributing to those rates, how faculty and staff can be better prepared to address those factors and potential solutions to confront these problems.
A question-and-answer session follows the film.
For details on the conference, contact Student Life Coordinator Katie Storey at (847) 214-7659.