U of A to Offer Online Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Conference

Professionals interested in creating inclusive, equitable workplaces can register now for an online conference hosted by the U of A IDEALS Institute and Global Campus in Bentonville on Oct. 7. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

Register online for the Arkansas Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace Conference. Participants will learn from experts and engage in small-group discussions to explore the current social climate and its impact on advancing equity and inclusion in workplaces and communities. The early-bird cost is $230 per person through July 30.

“This conference will offer insight into a wide range of topics, many of which are left out of typical DEI conversations. We are creating a space that will challenge participants and encourage them to ask courageous questions through authentic small-group conversations,” said Elecia Smith, executive director of the IDEALS Institute. “We are excited to present our first statewide conference and to collaborate with the U of A Global Campus.”

Conference speakers include Smith; U of A Vice Chancellor Yvette Murphy-Erby; Caree Banton, U of A associate professor of history and director of the African American Studies Programs; Takema Robinson, CEO and founder of Converge consulting; David Sorto, a research associate with the Center for Business and Economic Research; and other IDEALS Institute staff.

A panel discussing the “Inclusive Practices for All Identities” will be moderated by Magdalena Arroyo, an IDEALS Institute trainer, facilitator and consultant. Panelists include:

  • Ja’Liyah Shemari, a Black transgender organizer
  • Julie Petty, who works at Partners for Inclusive Communities at the U of A
  • Lyna Ninkham, who joined Canopy NWA and assists refugees
  • Denise Soignet, director of the Tyson Centrer for Faith and Spirituality in the Workplace and an associate professor of management in the Sam M. Walton College of Business.

The IDEALS Institute, launched in 2019, is a professional development, consultancy and research institute dedicated to creating diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces and communities. It is a part of the university’s Division for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and is intended to serve as a hub of support for diversity and inclusion efforts for organizations of all sizes and across all sectors. It is a unique conduit for businesses, government agencies, community groups, philanthropic organizations, public schools and fellow higher education institutions to receive expertise in the best diversity and inclusion practices.

In addition to the conference, the IDEALS Institute provides other training and education options, leadership consulting and access to research and outreach.

Become a sponsor

Several sponsorship options are available to help defray conference costs. Companies will be recognized during the live event and on the conference website. Sponsorships include tickets to the online event.

Please reach out to Heather Sprandel, coordinator with the Global Campus in Bentonville, at sprandel@uark.edu to sponsor part of the conference. The conference is offered through U of A Professional and Workforce Development.

About the IDEALS Institute: IDEALS Institute is a diversity, equity and inclusion professional development, consultancy and research institute that works with system leaders and their organizations from all sectors who have a commitment to match their everyday practices to their stated values. IDEALS offers a customized and intentional approach to training, consulting, leadership development, and organizational change management to promote sustainable DEI practices. The institute is a unit within the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the University of Arkansas. 

About University of Arkansas Global Campus and Professional and Workforce Development:  The Global Campus provides expertise in developing and delivering both academic and training courses. It offers instructional design services, media production and assistance with program planning and marketing. U of A Professional and Workforce Development, a division of the Global Campus, is a hub for professional and workforce development programs and courses. For a complete list of services available, visit the U of A Professional and Workforce Development website.

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas' flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas’ economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the top 3% of U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research News.

Contacts

Heather Sprandel, program coordinator
U of A Professional and Workforce Development
479-464-5024, training@uark.edu

Elecia Smith, executive director
U of A IDEALS Institute
479-575-3509, ideals@uark.edu

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