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UMC Celebrates Diversity Awareness Week October 2-5, 2006
September 28, 2006

Contact: Tollefson, assistant director of communications, 218-281-8432 (; Marcia Walker, diversity coordinator, 218-281-8583 ( )

CROOKSTON, MN (September 28, 2006) – Diversity is about much more than race and gender, and the University of Minnesota, Crookston (UMC) will host a wide range of activities and events during Diversity Awareness Week, Oct 2 through 5, 2006, designed to raise awareness and foster understanding in the workplace and in society. All events are free and open to the public and will be held in Bede Ballroom in the Student Center on campus.
On Monday, Oct. 2, there will be a presentation by Velma Korbel, the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights entitled “The Right Focus on…Diversity and Human Rights” from 1 to 4 p.m. Korbel will be joined by Cheryl Saunders, Ph.D., the director of the University Learning Center at the University of North Dakota (UND) and other experts to discuss the different protections that exist under the Minnesota Human Rights Act.
On Tuesday, Oct. 3, Anne Phibbs, the director of the University of Minnesota Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) Programs Office, will be on campus to present an ally workshop discussing the definitions and symbols used in the GLBT community from 1 to 3 p.m. Later that day, Debra Davis, executive director of the Gender Education Center at the University of Minnesota, will lead a dynamic and interactive presentation on transgender issues from 4 to 5:30 p.m.
A religious diversity workshop will be presented on Wednesday, Oct. 4, by Linda Rains, coordinator of volunteer services and programs at UND from 1 to 2 p.m. where participants will have the chance to explore questions on religious diversity. A panel discussion on working in a diverse and global workplace will follow from 2 to 3 p.m. Members of the panel include Peter Onstad, financial manager at Wells Fargo, Les Johnson, director of Human Resources at UMC and others.
Final events for the week will take place on Thursday, Oct. 5, when Julius Erolin, a consultant for the University of Minnesota Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, will use case studies to teach the skills and tools needed for creating an inclusive and respectful environment at 1 p.m. followed by the session “Diversity Matters:  Excellence in the Workplace and in the Classroom.” This session will provide tools and resources for assessing, managing and leveraging diversity in the workplace.
Diversity Awareness Week is developed and organized by the UMC Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.
The University of Minnesota, Crookston (UMC) delivers more than 24 different undergraduate degree programs, including online options, in agriculture; arts, humanities, and social sciences; business; math, science and technology; and natural resources. UMC is dedicated to helping students and the region aim higher, reach further and dream big dreams. To learn more, visit