Conference on Diversity and Inclusion

Engage in interactive workshop sessions, learn about diversity at Stonehill, and strengthen your commitment to activism and justice!

Conference Registration

The Conference on Diversity and Inclusion will be taking place on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 from 4pm to 8pm in the Martin Institute for Law & Society. All Stonehill College faculty, staff, and students are welcome and strongly encouraged to attend.


Registration is now closed; we will still accept registrations until 9am on Wednesday, October 25. If you wish to attend the conference, please email with the following information:

  • Your Full Name
  • Personal Pronouns (e.g. he/him/his, they/them/their, she/her/hers, etc.)
  • Job Title/Deparment (if staff/faculty), Class Year (if student), or other affiliation information
  • Any dietary restrictions or accessibility needs (we will do our best to accommodate, but cannot make any guarantees this close to the conference date)

Conference Keynote Speaker: Dr. Kim Harris

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Kim Harris, a visiting Woodrow Wilson Fellow for the college, will be serving as our keynote speaker. Her visit to Stonehill College is sponsored by the Martin Institute for Law and Society.

Dr. Kim R. Harris was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is currently a Visiting Professor in the Department of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University. She is a Liturgical Consultant for the Office of Black Ministry in the Archdiocese of New York. While pursuing her Ph.D. at Union Seminary in New York City, Kim composed the Welcome Table: A Mass of Spirituals, along with composer M. Roger Holland II. Kim records and travels the nation, performing concerts, lecturing on the music of African American freedom traditions, and leading music in a variety of liturgical settings.

Conference Schedule

The schedule for the conference is designed to incorporate a combination of large-group presentations with an opportunity for smaller group dialogue breakout sessions. Below you will find a tentative schedule for this year's conference:

Time Event Location
4:00pm - 4:15pm Conference Registration Martin Institute, East Lobby
4:15pm - 4:30pm Conference Welcome & Overview Martin Institute, Auditorium
4:30pm - 5:00pm Conference Keynote Presentation: Dr. Kim Harris Martin Institute, Auditorium
5:10pm - 6:10pm Breakout Sessions Assorted Classrooms
6:15pm - 7:00pm Dialogue Dinner Martin Institute, Auditorium
7:00pm - 7:30pm Closing Session Martin Institute, Auditorium
7:30pm - 8:00pm Raffle & Reception Martin Institute, Auditorium

Conference Breakout Sessions

All breakout sessions take place concurrently from 5:10pm to 6:10pm in various rooms within the Martin Institute for Law & Society. Please note the room location for each of the breakout sessions below.

Cultivating Relationships of “Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity” Between the Catholic Church & the LGBTQ Community
Martin Institute, Room 207

How can we build bridges between the LGBTQ community and the Catholic Church? This session will introduce a framework by Fr. James Martin for doing so, with a specific focus on its application at Stonehill as a Catholic institution, how we can continue this important dialogue to advance inclusion within a Catholic, Holy Cross context, and how we understand the relationship between justice and community in social justice and religious contexts.


  • Erica Stewart, Campus Minister for Community Service and Partnerships, Campus Ministry
  • Bridget O'Brien, Residence Director, Residence Life

Development of a Faculty Learning Community to Support Student Persistence and Success in Science
Martin Institute, Auditorium

This session will begin with an overview of Stonehill’s previous efforts to recruit and retain diverse students in STEM majors. A student panel of STEM majors will discuss the challenges they face to be successful in science. Lastly, science faculty will describe the development of a Faculty Learning Community focused on intensive STEM mentoring as a way to support student success. This portion of the session will include an open discussion on how to develop best-practices in STEM mentoring.


  • Rachel Hirst, Associate Professor of Biology
  • Louis Liotta, Professor of Chemistry
  • Bronwyn Bleakley, Associate Professor of Biology
  • Pamela Lombardi, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
  • Nicole Cyr, Assistant Professor of Biology and Neuroscience
  • Guiru Gu, Assistant Professor of Physics
  • Kristi Burkholder, Assistant Professor of Environmental Sciences & Studies

Hiring at its Best
Martin Institute, Boardroom

Stonehill’s hiring practices are designed to provide fair and impartial assessment of every applicant, in accordance with College policy and legal obligations related to Equal Employment Opportunity.  A diverse workforce has significant benefits, and we know recruiting and hiring is a task that requires strategy. This workshop is designed to provide you with real, actionable takeaways and tangible insights that you will be able to immediately implement in your professional life.


  • Shayla Jordan, Human Resources Generalist

Microaggressions on Campus and the Impact on Students
Martin Institute, Room 206

This session will raise awareness to a topic that is of pressing significance: the occurrence of microaggressions on campus. This particular topic is thought of as not as serious of an issue by students; but research on the topic proves otherwise. The presenter will share his research on microaggressions that students experience through the lens of gender, race, and sexual orientation. Participants will understand how microaggressions manifest within the Stonehill campus environment and engage in personal reflection on how they can adjust their own practices to be more inclusive and respectful of other students within the campus environment.


  • Denis Garcia Reyes, Class of 2019

Navigating Conversations Around Disabilities
Martin Institute, Room 105

Navigating Conversations Around Disabilities is an interactive discussion on the language that is used about and to people with disabilities. The focus of this session will be on making the world a more inclusive place for people with disabilities through language. It will explore different ways we can use our own voices to change these conversations and make navigating conversations more aware on campus.


  • Grace Leblanc, Class of 2019
  • Kristen Grip, Class of 2018
  • Emily Rowland, Class of 2019

Focus & Structure

During the conference, participants and presenters facilitate constructive dialogue, interaction, and understanding around significant issues within/between students, faculty, and staff from different racial/ethnic groups, geographical regions, faith traditions, identities, and different types of teaching experiences.

The conference is designed to engage a diverse audience of participants that bring different levels of knowledge, styles of learning, and types of engagement needs. Some of the sessions are considered “introductory” sessions while others focus on higher‐level activism and justice work. We believe that it is important to travel the road together in this work, and the conference is driven by this philosophy.

Learning Goals

For this year’s conference, the overall “theme” relates to honoring our commitment to a diverse and inclusive Stonehill community. This commitment is informed by the overall climate of the College and also centers the College’s mission of seeing the inherent dignity of every person and encouraging community members to think, act, and lead with courage. With this in mind, we are encouraging attendees and presenters to consider the goals listed below.

At the end of the program, participants in the Conference on Diversity and Inclusion will be able to:

  • Identify key messaging regarding the commitment to diversity and inclusion at Stonehill College
  • Demonstrate awareness of key issues, trends, and inclusive practices across the Stonehill College community
  • Examine topics and issues that pertain to the overall climate for diversity and inclusion at the College
  • Develop at least two personal goals for continued learning and action around diversity and inclusion beyond the conference experience

Learning Guidelines

As attendees participate in dialogue through various components of the conference, we ask that they consider a set of general guidelines to help keep conversations robust and meaningful for everyone participating:

  • Listen actively to others.
  • Be OK with opposing viewpoints.
  • Seek to understand before being understood.
  • Do not assume that everyone knows what you know.
  • Speak from your own experience—use “I” statements.
  • Take care of yourself—mentally, physically, emotionally.
  • Respect confidentiality of individuals’ stories/experiences.
  • Balance your participation in group discussions.

About the Conference

The Conference on Diversity and Inclusion is an annual event that seeks to bring together students, faculty, staff, and community members to discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion at Stonehill College. The conference serves as venue for sharing programs, curriculum ideas, teaching practices, student experiences, and leadership development practices that strive to create a culture of belong at the College.

The conference seeks to fulfill the College’s mission of enriching Stonehill community members in ways that will encourage them to think, act, and lead with courage for the promotion of a socially justice, compassionate, and inclusive Stonehill community.

The Conference on Diversity and Inclusion is entering its ninth year at Stonehill College, and is featured as one of the signature programs offered through the Office of Intercultural Affairs.