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VALPARAISO — The Urban League of Northwest Indiana will host its 2018 Diversity & Inclusion Symposium in partnership with Valparaiso University. The theme of this year’s event is “Courageous Conversations: Creating a Safe Place.” The event is open to members of the public—from business administrators, to public servants, educators, nonprofits and more —interested in invigorating dialogue on diversity, inclusion and leadership. The symposium will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 5 in the Harre Union at Valparaiso University.

The program is anchored by a keynote address from State Sen. Eddie Melton. He has served as chairman of the Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males, and has served on the State Board of Education, representing the First Congressional District of Indiana.

Building on the Sen. Melton’s address are workshops designed to bring an array of experienced speakers into conversation with one another. Highlights include:

● Diversity Concepts/Language with Zebadiah Hall and Kelli Chavez

● The Challenges of Providing Equity for Students in Public Education

with Dr. Tony Lux and Mike Berta

● Update from the Anti-Defamation League with Dr. Lara Trubowitz

● Navigating a Conversation about Race and Ethnicity with Barb Dahl and Emmett Riley

● Undocumented in Northwest Indiana with Attorney Alfredo Estrada and Leticia Estrada

● Lunch Panel: “What are Barriers to Creating Safe Spaces?” facilitated by Dr. Stacey Miller

“Throughout the region we are seeing an increased urgency in the need for conversations around diversity and inclusion. This symposium is as much about building relationships and trust as it is about education; we need all of Northwest Indiana to catch a vision for meaningful change, not just its more progressive pockets,” said Dr. Vanessa Allen McCloud, President/CEO Urban League of NWI. “We could not be more excited to be hosting this year’s symposium with Valparaiso University, a partnership that connects these important topics with lifelong learning.”

Registration for the event is now open. Individual admission is $75; discounted group rates also are available. visit

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