The University of Houston-Victoria will hold its first-ever virtual diversity and inclusion conference, which will focus on showing area students the importance of recognizing underrepresented groups in today’s world.

The Race, Inclusion and Social Equity Diversity Conference is a free event that will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 24 on Microsoft Teams. The conference is hosted by UHV Student Life in partnership with the university’s Multicultural Advisory Council student organization. It is open to students from the UH System, Victoria College and area high schools. Attendees will receive a free conference T-shirt and a notebook after the event. Registration is open until 5 p.m. April 21, and links to the registration forms are available at www.uhv.edu/student-life/diversity-inclusion/rise-diversity-conference.

“The central focus of this conference will be on inclusion, especially for those in underrepresented identities and groups,” said Freddie Cantu, UHV assistant director of diversity and inclusion. “At UHV, we take these topics seriously, and we always want our students to feel welcome and comfortable discussing these issues.”

The keynote speaker will be Lamarr Womble, a motivational speaker and school culture expert. He also is cohost of “The Men Up” podcast on Apple and Spotify and was featured on MSNBC.com. His presentation will be “Empathy Through Inclusion.”

In addition to Womble’s presentation, students will be able to attend a variety of breakout sessions. In these groups, students will be encouraged to discuss issues and experiences they have had. Breakout group topics will include:

  • Mental Health and Communication
  • Hispanic Culture Awareness and First-Generation College Students
  • Lighting Your Path: Strategies for Creating Connections and Affirming Spaces from a BIPOC/LGBTQIA+ Professor
  • Race, Inclusion, and Social Equity Town Hall
  • SlideSecret: Turning Fears into Opportunities for Connecting and Supporting
  • The Power to Include
  • Jaguar Ally Training
  • The Future of Diversity and Equity at UHV
  • Diversity Dialogue with Student Leaders

“The Multicultural Advisory Council is excited to be part of this event because it ties in with our purpose as a student organization,” said Jaira Jenkins, MAC president and a UHV sophomore. “We want to raise awareness and be inspiring, and this event will offer both to area students. UHV is a safe place for everyone, and events like this conference help to communicate that message.”

For more information about the conference, contact Cantu at 361-485-4474 or cantufe@uhv.edu.

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