UHV to host diversity conference for area students
The University of Houston-Victoria is preparing to host its third annual RISE Diversity Conference, and students from across the region are invited to attend.
The Race, Inclusion and Social Equity Diversity Conference will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 22 in UHV University North, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. The free conference is hosted by UHV Student Life and is open to students from the University of Houston System, Victoria College and area high schools. Portions of the conference also will be available virtually.
“This conference is a great opportunity to educate students about many of the topics involved in diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Freddie Cantu, UHV associate director of diversity and inclusion. “It’s always exciting to see how students react to what they learn.”
This year’s keynote speaker will be Karla DeCuir, UHV assistant provost for distance education. Her presentation, titled “Identity: It’s Not You, It’s Me,” will focus on how a person’s identity shouldn’t determine their outcome in life.
“Everyone has thoughts and experiences dealing with diversity, equity and inclusion, and I want students to take this opportunity to see these topics and experiences through a different lens than what they’ve seen in videos or read about,” DeCuir said. “UHV is doing important work to help students find ways to be successful despite any struggles they may have that are connected to their backgrounds, diversity or lived experiences.”
As part of her presentation, DeCuir plans to share some of UHV’s efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion. In recent years, the university has created a Diversity and Race Task Force as well as other minority-focused groups, such as the UHV Latino Faculty and Staff Association. The task force has recommended key priorities on campus and is beginning to have conversations about policies on campus as well as short-term and long-term goals.
“These conversations should matter to everyone, and I want students to see how important it is to have conversations about these topics,” she said. “Everyone plays a role in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. This conference is an opportunity to show students how their actions can positively impact change at UHV and in their communities.”
In addition to DeCuir’s presentation, students also will participate in breakout sessions that feature topics including financial insecurity, imposter syndrome and closing the gaps on LGBTQ+ health disparities. Students also will participate in roundtable discussions at the end of the day.
Students who attend the conference will receive a free T-shirt, and lunch will be provided by Raising Cane’s. Students should register by Oct. 20 at www.uhv.edu/student-life/diversity-inclusion/rise-diversity-conference.
The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.