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MIT to hold 2014 Institute Diversity Summit

Three-day summit to feature keynote from motivational speaker, diversity workshops, and a documentary on a civil rights activist.
2014 Institute Diversity Summit poster.
2014 Institute Diversity Summit poster.
image: Niclas Nordensved

Expand, challenge and explore diversity at the 2014 Institute Diversity Summit, to be held on Jan. 27-29. In response to attendee feedback, the Summit has been expanded to three days to better accommodate the schedules of faculty, students and staff. Registration is now open on the Summit website at The online registration deadline is Jan. 22 at 5 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome on a space-available basis.

The theme of this year's summit is "Demystifying Diversity: Challenge, Expand, Broaden your Perspective."

Day one starts with a welcome from Institute Community and Equity Officer Edmund Bertschinger, followed by this year’s keynote speaker Ret. Lt. Col. Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch. She is a renowned charismatic, passionate and influential speaker who discusses what it takes to be an effective leader in today’s global marketplace. She is also the founder of Educational Achievement Services (EAS, Inc.). The day closes with the Summit keynote reception with MIT President L. Rafael Reif starting at 4 p.m.

Day two features a full day of thought provoking workshops, held on the Stratton Student Center's third floor, designed to demystify diversity and help expand and broaden the perspectives of the attendees. Workshop titles include: Leveraging the Power of Diversity; How to be a Trans* Ally; Speak Up: Responding to Everyday Bias; Conversations You Can’t Have on Campus; and Dispelling the Myths and Fears surrounding Disability. Sessions will take place throughout the day. Advance registration is strongly encouraged, as workshop seating is extremely limited. Space cannot be guaranteed for any registration not submitted online by Jan. 22. To see the full list of workshops visit the Institute Diversity Summit's webpage.

On Jan. 29th, the Summit will sponsor a special showing of the documentary "Brother Outsider: The Story of Bayard Rustin," at 6 p.m. in the Kirsch Auditorium (32-123). The documentary is the inspiring story of Bayard Rustin, an openly gay African-American activist and mentor to Martin Luther King Jr. who has been called the “unknown hero” of the civil rights movement. The film has won numerous awards; Rustin was recently posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama.

The goal of the Summit is to stimulate dialogue and offer a safe space for honest discussion about the current diversity climate at the Institute for faculty, students, and staff. It is also an opportunity to hear perspectives from various members of the MIT community, as well as leaders beyond MIT. The Summit is a collaboration among faculty, students and staff.

Monday, Jan. 27:

Registration begins at 12:30 p.m. at the MIT Kresge Auditorium.
1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.: Welcome address and keynote Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch, followed by a reception at 4 p.m. with President L. Rafael Reif in Kresge Auditorium.

Tuesday, Jan. 28:

Registration begins at 8 a.m. at the MIT Stratton Student Center (third floor).
8:30 a.m to 5 p.m.: A dozen workshops held throughout the day in the Student Center.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Registration not required
6 p.m.: A showing of "Brother Outsider: The Story of Bayard Rustin" in Kirsch Auditorium (32-123).

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