Penn State Fayette holds 2nd annual Diversity Summit

2nd Annual All In Diversity Summit
Credit: Penn State

LEMONT FURNACE, Pa. — Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus held its second annual “All In” Diversity Summit for students, faculty and staff on March 17 on campus.

The free summit, sponsored in part by the campus Coalition for Equity, Student Government Association, and the Vice Provost for Educational Equity, is designed to provide the campus community with opportunities and resources to foster dialogue about diversity and inclusion. Fayette is the only campus across the commonwealth to host the summit in support of Penn State’s university-wide “All In” campaign.

Keynote speakers Odell Bizzell and Corey Wade addressed an audience of more than 80 members of the Penn State community, including those from the Altoona, Beaver, and University Park campuses. Bizzell, an author and internet personality, presented on the dynamics of personal biases, power and privilege. Wade, the first openly gay male contestant on America’s Next Top Model, discussed sexuality, gender identity, and the importance of LGBTQ allyship.

Breakout sessions included “Responding to Bias Incidents” (Jo Jankoski, Penn State), “Disability Doesn’t Equal Inability” (Brandon Daveler, University of Pittsburgh), “Play Your Cards: A Power and Privilege Exercise” (John Young, Young Lungs Leadership Training), “A Panel Dialogue on Immigration” (Julio Palma, Jay Precht, and Keeley Forrestal, Penn State), “The Coal Patch Culture” (Amanda Peters, Penn State), and “From Feminism to Sexual Harassment: An Alphabet for Women at Work” (Elaine Barry, Penn State).

“For many students, this was their first exposure to these conversations, which can be difficult,” said Chad Long, manager of student affairs. “And for others, it was a platform to accept and express who they are in a safe place.”

Attendees reflected on the learning outcomes of the summit with two writing prompts: “What are you leaving behind?” and “What are you taking with you?”

Synthea Hairston, student government senator, gave a luncheon presentation on the history of soul food in African-American culture. “The voices of marginalized people are absolutely necessary so that their own narratives are shaped by stories of their reality,” she said.