Link to Conference Homepage

Conference Program

October 25-31, 2003

Sheraton Downtown Hotel
Nashville, Tennessee

A Conference of Best Practices for Culturally Appropriate Behavior in Business, Education, Government and Media


The Middle Tennessee State University Office of Cultural Diversity Initiatives

sincerely thanks the following Sponsors and Co-Sponsors of this conference: 


The Tennessee Board of Regents

The Geier Program

The Regents On-Line Degree Program


Middle Tennessee State University

The Office of the President

The Office of the Executive Vice-President and Provost

The Office of the Vice-President of Student Affairs and Vice Provost for    

            Enrollment Management

The Office of Affirmative Action and Title IV Coordinator


The Dean of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences

The Dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Science

The Dean of the Jennings A. Jones College of Business

The Dean of the College of Liberal Arts

The Dean of Continuing Studies and Public Service

The Dean of the College of Mass Communication

The Dean of the College of University Honors

African-American Studies

Aramark Food Services

Audio-Visual Services

The Anthropology Program

The Department of Elementary and Special Education

The Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Safety

The Department of History

The Department of Management and Marketing

The Department of Social Work


The Distinguished Lecturers’ Program

The ESL Enterprise Grant

The Japan Program

The Office of Event Coordination

Tennessee Institute for Pre-Professionals


Dr. Charles Frost

Dr. Sharon Shaw-McEwen

Mr. Gary Scott

SunTrust Bank

The Centers for Family Life

The Sheraton Nashville Downtown Hotel

The Spruce Street Baptist Community Development Cooperation & Family Life Center

The United States Department of Agriculture: Economic and Community Systems


Office of Cultural Diversity Initiatives, MTSU,  P.O. Box 139, Murfreesboro, TN 37132; (615)898-5975

Conference Overview


This conference has been thoughtfully designed to be the finest cultural diversity conference ever developed and a review of the presenters will reveal that we have succeeded in so doing.  The presenters are from throughout the world, representing a wide variety of fields of interest and concern, and outstanding leaders.   We have also created the conference so that the participants will have the opportunity to interact with presenters in a variety of formats.


Formats include: day-long institutes, large meetings where everyone is present, workshops and seminars led by the presenters, and small roundtable discussions.  These roundtables are usually located in the Pinnacle of the Sheraton Hotel, and are literally set up around round tables in a round room and are typically led by professors and students who are facilitating the sharing of your ideas on the various topics.


Last but not least, each night we have culturally diverse entertainment for you!  We are delighted that you are here.  Please let the faculty, students, and staff with ribbons on their name tags know if there is any way that we can enhance your learning during this conference.


Dr. Charles Frost, Chairperson

Conference Program Committee and

MTSU Department of Social Work




Dr. Sharon Shaw-McEwen

Conference Coordinator and

Director, MTSU Office of Cultural Diversity Initiatives

Conference At-A-Glance




Registration- Foyer of the Capital Ballroom – Sheraton Downtown Nashville Hotel




 8a.m.- 6p.m.

Registration- Foyer of the Capital Ballroom – Sheraton Downtown Nashville Hotel


9a.m.- 3p.m.

Pre-Conference Institutes

Sheraton Downtown Nashville Hotel

The Renaissance Center, Dickson TN

Middle Tennessee State University

Middle Tennessee Tour


3:30 p.m.

Reception – Hotel

(wear conference badge/have ticket)



Multicultural Gala

War Memorial Building

(across the street from the front doors of the Hotel)



An Evening With Louis Gossett, Jr.




8a.m.- 6p.m.

Registration- Foyer of the Capital Ballroom – Sheraton Downtown Nashville Hotel



Continental Breakfast

(check meal ticket for location)



General Session –Sheraton Capital Ballroom



Concurrent Business Related and Individual Growth Roundtables and Workshops



Luncheon Program – Sheraton Capital Ballroom



Concurrent Education Related Roundtables and Workshops



Evening Theater- “Undesirable Elements”- War Memorial Building (across the street

from the front doors of the Hotel)



8a.m.- 10a.m.

Registration- Foyer of the Capital Ballroom – Sheraton Downtown Nashville Hotel



Continental Breakfast

(check meal ticket for location)



General Session –Sheraton Capital Ballroom



Concurrent Media, Corporate, and Institution Related Roundtables and Workshops



Luncheon Program – Sheraton Capital Ballroom



Conference Schedule 


Tuesday, October 28th

5 pm-8 pm                  Registration Table: Foyer of the Capitol Ballroom


Wednesday, October 29th

8 am-6 pm       Registration Table:  Foyer of the Capitol Ballroom


Note: Many of our presenters have written wonderful books and have websites filled with valuable information.  We recommend that you read those books and visit those websites in order to enrich your learning opportunities.


All listed presentations are confirmed but subject to last minute exigent changes.


Pre-conference Institutes


9:00 – 3:00  A. Hugh Vasquez (Actor in “The Color of Fear”) and Isoke Femi, National Trainers

                        Los Angeles, CA  

                        Beyond The Color of Fear: Tools and Strategies for Developing Cultural Competence : 

                        This workshop uses the powerful documentary, “The Color of Fear” to examine racism, power, and privilege in the development of cultural competence.  Participants will learn how to not only bring about cultural competence within individuals, but also how to motivate people to social action so that changes in the institutions that perpetuate divisions based on race, ethnicity, social class, gender, etc. are addressed.

                        Room: Davidson, Sheraton Hotel


9:00 – 3:00  B. Dr. Kevin  Smith, Professor of Anthropology, Middle Tennessee State University

                        Mid-Tennessee Cultural Tour

                        Participants will meet in hotel lobby and board bus for tour.


9:00 – 3:00  C. Dr. Robbie K. Melton, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Tennessee Board of Regents

                        The Digital Divide and Cultural Diversity

                        Participants will meet in hotel lobby and board bus for workshop at The Renaissance Center, an ultra technology lab in Dickson, TN 


9:00 – 3:00  D. Gail B. Fedak, Coordinator, Instructional Media Resources

                        Middle Tennessee State University

                        Film Festival:

                        Information & Supplies on Diverse Cultures

                        Participants will meet in hotel lobby and board bus for festival on the Middle Tennessee State University campus.


9:00 – 3:00  E. Dr. Craig E. Nelson, Professor of Biology & Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

                        Responding to Diversity: Three Pedagogical Changes that Can Make a Real Difference in ANY Classroom

                        When diversity issues are cast in content-centered ways, many faculty view them as irrelevant to their own teaching.  Examination of pedagogical practices reveals a need for major changes in all courses.  Hence, this session will make your day!  If your teaching is free of discrimination: deep affirmation.  If not, you will understand unintentional bias and will have strategies to make your classes fairer.  Specific topics: 1. How can I radically reduce or eliminate low grades in lecture courses without lowering standards?  2. How can I make my students brighter and harder working using only 1 hour of class time (in ways that level the playing field for all groups)?  3. Does my assessment system unfairly and unnecessarily favor particular groups?  The focus will be on pedagogical practices and not on content issues.

                        Room: Fourth Floor, Suite 4 A&B, Sheraton Hotel


9:00 – 3:00  F. Dr. Joseph White (Author of “The Psychology of Blacks”), Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Psychiatry

                        Retaining Faculties of Color

                        Room: Fifth Floor, Suite 5 A&B, Sheraton Hotel


10:00-2:00  G. Elizabeth Edwards Halbert, Law Student, Northwestern University, and Spokesperson for “Not In Our Town”

                        Racism: Not In Our Town

                        Screening and discussion of  PBS “Not In Our Town” program and how it has grown and developed since 1995 in an effort to stop hate crimes and racial intolerance.

                        Room: Sixth Floor, Suite 6 A & B, Sheraton Hotel


3:30         Reception for those registered with the conference at the Sheraton Hotel, Capitol Ballroom (please wear name tags/present meal ticket)


4:00-6:00   Gala (War Memorial Auditorium- across the street from the front doors of the Sheraton)                    Music and Dance to get you started!

    4:00                 Medicine River Singers - Eastern Woodland Drum group, Jackson, TN
    4:30                 Steel de Boro
    5:00                 Malone Studios
    5:20                 Chinese Arts Alliance of Nashville
    5:40                 Village Cultural Arts Center
    6:15                 J.J. Kent , of Oglala Lakota heritage, Sundance veteran and honored pipe carrier


6:30-8:00  Opening Session - War Memorial Auditorium (across the street from the     front doors of the Sheraton Hotel)


        Blessings on this event        

        Opening Remarks          Dr. Sharon Shaw-McEwen, Conference Coordinator                                 Greetings                       Dr. Sidney McPhee, President, Middle Tennessee State University

        Introduction of Speaker                                                                       

        Speaker                        Louis Gossett, Jr.: Actor and Community Activist                       “AN EVENING WITH LOUIS GOSSETT, JR.”

       Program announcements                                   Dr. Charles Frost


*********** Final entertainer***********




 Thursday, October 30th


8-6:00              Registration                              Foyer of the Capitol Ballroom, Sheraton Hotel


7-8:15              Complimentary Coffee & Pastries for those registered for the conference.  (Check your meal ticket to determine which location you should go to for your breakfast.)


8:30-10:00      General Session: Cultural Diversity and the Workplace

                        Sheraton Capitol Ballroom


                        Opening                                               Dean E. James Burton, Moderator

                                                                                    MTSU Jennings A. Jones College of Business

                        Message from Ingrid Sanders-Jones

                        Senior Vice-President of Corporate External Affairs, The Coca Cola Company




                        Joyce Washington,

                        Candidate for the U.S. Senate from Illinois

                        “When the Workplace is the Senate and Nobody Looks Like You: Best Practices ”


                        Gerald A. “Gerry” Fernandez, Diversity Chair, Board of Wyndham Hotels


                        Barry Callender, Managing Director, Simmons Associates


10:15 –12:15   Business Related and Individual Growth Roundtables and Workshops


                 1.    Barry Callender, Managing Director, Simmons Associates

                        The Vectors Theory: Hidden Forces Hindering Employee Contribution and Productivity---Strategies to Identify and Eliminate them from the Workplace.

                        The Vectors Theory is a unique and powerful tool developed by Simmons Associates based on 25 years of working and consulting with domestic and global organizations from a broad range of industries.  The theory reveals hundreds of invisible forces that exist in the workplace.


                 2.    Janice Rodriguez, Director Tennessee Foreign Language Institute

                        Language and Cultural Diversity

                        Angela Harris, English as a Second Language

                        Hope Collins, Interpretation and Translation Services

                        Yolanda Olavarria, Medical Interpretation


                 3.    Barbara Patton: The Law and Diversity

                        Panel Members:

                        Wendy Jill Thompson, J.D.  Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Geier Implementation,  Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR)  TBR is the sixth largest system of higher education in the nation, governing 45 post-secondary educational institutions.   TBR institutions include six universities, 13 two-year colleges, and 26 technology centers.  Ms. Thompson is responsible for supervising and coordinating compliance with the Geier Consent Decree, a settlement agreement which is one of the longest pending higher-education desegregation lawsuits.


                        Christine Modisher, General Counsel, TBR.

                         In her position with TBR, Ms. Modisher provides legal advice to the 45 Board institutions in areas such as employment, student discipline, business law, and intellectual property.


                        Mario Ramos, Attorney at Law

                        Mario Ramos received his J.D. from California Western School of Law and an LL.M. from the London School of Economics and Political Science in England.  He has also studied at the Hague Academy of International Law; the Universidad Complutense  at Madrid, Spain; the International College in Cannes, France; and the Alliance Francais, in Paris.  His website is .


                        Dr. Jacquelyn Hart, Vice Provost, Univ. of Florida

                        Dr. Hart is responsible for  Affirmative Action at a  large research university serving 50,000 students  and 1,700 faculty and staff.  She designs and implements various programs to ensure affirmative action and equal opportunity for faculty, staff and students.


                        Dr. Anantha Babbili, Dean, College of Mass Communication, MTSU

                        Dean Babbili heads up one of the largest colleges in the world devoted to higher education in mass communication and to free expression.  He has been recognized for his efforts to improve ethnic diversity in the media and in higher education by the Barry Bingham Fellowship and has worked as a journalist  in Asia and is a specialist in international  affairs and media ethics.


                   4.  Christy M. Haynes, SPHR , Human Resource Director for the Memphis Grizzles, Memphis, TN

                        What is Business Diversity and why is it really important to businesses (and should it be important to me)?

                        This seminar will demonstrate what business diversity truly is (beyond race and gender) and the bottom line reasons it is really important.  It will also show how business diversity will help an organization reach its overall goals.


                        Dr. Dona Vassall-Fall, President, Learning Link

                        Connecting with Cultures

                        In this dynamic workshop, participants will be actively involved in using a mini case study model that is easily adaptable to diverse cultures and settings.  Participants will leave with tools that they can use in developing their own case-studies for use in conducting Cultural Awareness workshops. Her website is


                 5.        Sun Trust Banking Panel

Banks and Cultural Diversity Issues


                        Debbie Crowder, Senior Vice President

                        Diversity Council Chair

                        Sun Trust Bank


                        Carolyn Cartwright, Senior Vice President

                        Diversity Initiative Director

                        Sun Trust Bank


                        Katherine McCary, Vice President in Human Resources

                        Manager of Accessing Community talent

                        Sun Trust Bank

                 6.        Marilyn Robinson, Executive Director, Nashville Minority Business Center

                        Nashville, TN

            Best Practices for Minorities who Start Businesses – The basics for minorities             who do, or want to, own businesses.  

                 7.        Aubrey B. Harwell, Jr., Chief Manager, Neal and Harwell

“Blind is Best as to Gender, Race and Age.”

This presentation will suggest that those who have achieved significant success in the business/professional world are usually blind to issues of gender, race, and age.


Phillip L. McEwen, COO, H&H Enterprises and Logistics, Inc, Southfield, MI

Diversity Awareness in an Increasingly Multicultural Work Environment.

A discussion of the ways in which individual and organizational differences help and hinder individual and group effectiveness in the workplace.

Gerry Fernandez, Governing Board of Wyndham Hotels, Indianapolis, IN


                 8.        Caroline Blackwell, Multicultural Director, University School of Nashville,

Nashville, TN

“Suppose  I Say the Wrong Thing”

Among the 5,000-plus decisions teachers are said to make each day, hundreds involve mediating classroom conflicts.  “She called me stupid,”  “He won’t let me play.”  Instructors are called on to intervene in misunderstandings all the time.  Yet what happens when students raise the stakes in their wars of words?  “Jayne’s a Jew, that’s why she’s cheap,”  “My mom says I don’t have to play with niggers.”  This workshop will introduce a  framework for understanding a range of responses to  destructive  bias and prejudicial  remarks in classroom settings.  In addition, using real-school scenarios, participants will 1)  examine  a variety of strategies for interrupting bias and inflammatory comments;  and 2) consider the efficacy of different strategies based on the unique developmental and cultural  variables among their students and within their school communities.


                 9.      Elizabeth Terrill

Interviewing Minority Families

                        This presentation will address the unique family dynamics and interpersonal needs of African American, Middle Eastern, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American  families  with an emphasis on providing culturally appropriate  counseling.


                10.   Teresa Quance

Death and Dying: Beliefs, Traditions and Rituals in the Laotian Culture

                        This presentation offers a look at the beliefs of Laotians and how our society tends to resist the gifts of diversity that can enrich our lives.  A Laotian Monk will be guest and available to answer questions.


               11.   Dr. Maggie Schultz, Jennifer Campbell, Stephanie L. Williams and Lisa M. Reasons        

International Adoption and the Transracial Family

                        The videotapes “Perspectives on Adoption: International Adoptees Tell Their Stories” and “Struggle for Identity: Issues in Transracial Adoption” will be shown and discussed.


                12.   Basics of Culturally Sensitive Interviewing Skills:

                        Videotaped Presentations Created by the following students:

                        Kaili Dainty, Amanda  Landrum, Keith Rearden, Mollie Robertson, Jill  Aaron, Jenna Allen, Courtney Jarrell, Melissa Case and Jessica Krzeminski created one on dealing with language barriers. 

                        Lavar Arnold, Julia  Brandon, Molly Brown, Carrie Chapman, Gerald Christian, Kasey Crowe, Dana Delva, Holly Ford, Chasity Fowler, Marc Gonzales, Amy  Grant, Joyce Harris, Kacey Hercules, Stacy Jones, Jeff Kenney, Emily Manning, Melanie McKinney, Gloria Peters, Stephanie  Pittman, Brian Reesor, Julia  Roberts, Kenisha Smith, Miranda  Upham,  Rachael Williams, Scott Toomey and Waninahi Williams created one that presents basic skills applicable when interviewing diverse clients.


           13.  Amber Burgin and Sarah Yancey

                        The ABC’s of Exploring Multiculturalism

                        An exploration of how we teach our children about diversity and the role of literature.                          


                 14.  Amanda Jakes and Sue Chiappoone

                        Invisible Students: Teaching Girls Using Multicultural and Feminist Ideologies

                        An examination of classroom structure, teacher attitudes, and curriculum organization.  Best practices for implementing multiculturalism and feminism in the classroom.

                 15.    Aram Ferdowsi

Cultural Diversity from the Perspective of a Baha’i

                        Ms. Ferdowsi has lived in three continents and visited 35 countries.  She offers presentations on the Persian, Navaho, and Congolese  cultures to area schools, churches, and clubs. She helped deliver a two year diversity training program to the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department.  She serves on the Board of the Middle Tennessee Interfaith Alliance.  She is committed to the oneness of humanity.


                 16.    Dr. Julie Peterson, Associate Vice President for Media Relations and Public Affairs, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

The Business of Defending Diversity: The Michigan Supreme Court Cases

This workshop will explore the six-year legal and public opinion battle

by the University of Michigan and its allies in defending affirmative action in college admissions.  Participants will learn how the communication strategy was developed and implemented, contributing to a major victory in the nation's highest court.


 12:30–2:45     General Session Luncheon: Cultural Diversity and Education

                         Sheraton Capitol Ballroom


                        Opening                           Dean Gloria Bonner, Moderator, MTSU College of Education


                        Lunch – Sheraton Ballroom




                        Keynote Speaker         Joseph L. White, Ph.D., Author of “The Psychology of                                            Blacks”                 

                                                            Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Psychiatry,

                                                            Univ. of California, Irvine


                    The Browning of America:

                   Building A New Multicultural, Multiracial Paradigm


                        By the year 2050, over half the population of the Untied States will be people of color.  The “so-called minorities” will be the majority in many states and regions of the country.  In the past, there has been a long history of racial conflict in America involving adversarial relationships, hostility and mutual suspiciousness.  At the present time, ethnic and racial relationships in the U.S. are characterized by political correctness, superficial tolerance, cultural and psychological separateness, and peaceful co-existence.  In essence, we are strangers to each other, we don’t know each other as people.  To move forward toward finding common ground, mutual enrichment, mutual understanding and racial  reconciliation, it is essential that we build a new multiracial, multicultural, multiethnic paradigm based on conceptual understanding, face-to-face interracial dialogues and interactive behavioral learning.


                        Response Panel:  Dr. Carlos Cortes, Professor Emeritus of History, University of                                     California. Riverside, CA

                                                    Dr.   William Cross, Program Head, Doctoral Program in                                     Social-Personality, City University of New York; &

                                                    Dr.   Antonio Flores, President/CEO, Hispanic Association of                                     Colleges and Universities (HACU)


                        Dr. Julie Peterson, Associate Vice President
for Media Relations and Public Affair, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 

                        Cultural Diversity, Education, and the University of Michigan Case


3:00 - 5:00      Education related Roundtables


                17.   Dr. Sidney McPhee, President, Middle Tennessee State University

                        and Dr. Kaylene Gebert, Executive Vice President &  Provost, MTSU

                        Senior  Administrators Group 


                18.   Hugh Vasquez and Isoke Femi -  The Color of Fear: Tools & Strategies for Developing Cultural Competence


                19.   Dr. Craig Nelson: Educating the Culturally Diverse: Emphasis on Science and Math


                 20.  Dr. Carlos Cortes  (author of “The  Children are Watching:  How the

                        Media Teach About  Diversity”  and “The Making and Remaking of a Multiculturalist”)

                        Needs of Hispanic Students and Families


                 21.  Dr. Joseph White (author of “The Psychology of Blacks”)

                        Enhancing Educational Achievement for Black Males 


                 22.  Dr. William Cross (author of “Shades of Black: Diversity in African-American Identity”)

                        The Expression of Black Identity in Everyday Life

                        The workshop will show how there are many ways black identity  may be  expressed in everyday life such as buffering, bonding, code-switching and bridging.  The presentation will be very interactive in an effort to show all the dimensions of black identity in everyday life.


                 23.  Dr. Antonio Flores - Strength in Diversity: Hispanics in American Higher Education

                        This session will address the condition of Hispanics in higher education and its possible consequences for our economic prosperity, national security, and global leadership in the 21st Century and beyond.  New and best practices will be presented and approaches to student outreach, admissions, retention, graduation, and placement.


                 24.  Dr. Don R. Perine, Professor of  Chemistry, University of Mobile

Mobile, AL

                        Learning Styles of African American Students

                        How we need to change curricular and instructional programs to accommodate the learning styles of African Americans from elementary to graduate school.


                 25.  Dr. Jimmy McCamey, Jr., (MTSU Social Work Alumni)

                        Practicing Diversity through the Eyes of Clients

                        Building on possibilities and moving from disease and disorder based thinking to solution and strength based approach in relationship development with clients.


                 26.  Professor Patrick Smith, University of Cape Town, South Africa

                        The Perspective on Cultural Diversity from South Africa


                 27.  Dr. Tyson King Meadows, Fulbright Fellow in Ghana

                        Reflections and Discussion on What we are Learning at this Conference


                 28.  Laura Crawford and Brenda Hosley, Professors, Berea College 

                        Partnerships in Diversity Education

                        This presentation will describe the process and activities one small private college is using to increase the quality of diversity education for students, faculty, and staff at Berea College, Kentucky.


                        Dr. Stacey Borasky, Dr. Margaret Fontanesi-Seime, and Professor Karen Lee, MTSU Social Work Faculty

                        Appalachia & Best Practices

                        The presenters will provide a framework of Appalachian culture needed to work effectively with the people of this rural region.


                 29.  Gerald Stern, Attorney, (author of “The Buffalo Creek Disaster”)

                        Dealing with Diverse Cultures: Appalachia, the South, Schools and the Workplace

                        Class action work in Mississippi and Appalachia will be discussed along with work as a diversity consultant to a major corporation and educational work related to the Holocaust.


                 30.  Dr. J. Visuvathas Jeyasingh, Madras School of Social Work, India

                        Cultural Practices impacting Females in India

                        Cultural practices related to child marriage, child abuse, female infanticide and child prostitution in India will be examined.


                 31.  Dr. Jid Lee, Associate Professor, MTSU, Murfreesboro, TN

                        Cultural Diversity in Theory and Practice: How to Bridge the Gap

                        Originally from Korea, Dr. Lee will present her successes and failures at trying to get Americans to explore racism.


                 32.  Christy Haynes, SPHR 

                        Human Resource Director of the Memphis Grizzlies

                        How to be successful in a diverse environment.

                        This seminar will show how a person can be successful in a diverse business environment when they are the “diversity” or when they appear to be the majority.  It will teach how to ensure diversity works to your advantage regardless of your background.


                 33.  Tanya Tewell, Art Professor, MTSU, Murfreesboro, TN

                        Diversity and Creativity: A Feminist Painter’s  Personal Perspective

                        How growing up in a communal environment with people from diverse cultures and various perspectives including the oddball and eccentric, can foster independent thinking, a feminist  perspective, and unique artistic expression.


                 34.  Dr. Debbie Thomas, Director of Education, Fisk University

                        Leave No Child Behind: The Excellence versus  Equity Paradox Confronting Culturally  Diverse Schools


                 35.  Dr. Clyde E. Chesney, Administrator, Cooperative  Extension Program, Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN                      

                        Food & Fiber Production: Challenges and Opportunities in a Global Economy

                        Panel Presentations:

                        International Markets and Trade: Mr. Joe Gaines, Assistant Commissioner, Tennessee Dept. of Agriculture

                        International Dimensions  of Forestry: Dr. Joshua Idassi, Extension Assistant Professor, Cooperative Extension Program, Tennessee State University

                        Food Security at Home  and Abroad: Dr. Thelma Sanders-Hunter, Extension  Assistant Professor, Cooperative Extension  Program, Tennessee State University

                        Preparing Extension Leaders to Lead a Diverse World: Mrs. Brenda Hunter, Director, National Extension Leadership Development  Program, Cooperative Extension Program, Tennessee State University

                        The Importance of Hispanic Labor in Agriculture Production,  Marketing and the Food Service Industry: Dr. Nolo Martinez, Director, NC Hispanic/Latino Affairs, Governor’s Office, Raleigh, NC.


                 36.  Alesha Gresham, Metro Police Department, Counseling Division Intern; Janisca Rodriquez, Metro Police Department Domestic Violence Division, Social Worker, born  and raised in Pouerto Rico, she focuses on Hispanic needs;

                        Eduardo “Ed” Gumucio, born in Cochabamba, Boliva, Ed Created the Hispanic  Communication  Solutions, Hablemos, with visions of  helping companies  and organizations develop  their  staff to competitively operate in today’s multicultural environment.

The Complexities of Hispanic Culture


General Session – Evening Theater - War Memorial Auditorium (across the street from the front doors of the Sheraton Hotel)


6:30– 8:00       Evening Theater: “Undesirable Elements”

                        The Illusions Theater, Minneapolis, MN

Illusion Theater develops and produces new works that give voice to artists who reflect a variety of cultural perspectives and who contribute to the fabric of theater here and across the country. In doing this, Illusion provides opportunities for both emerging and established artists, with a special commitment to the Twin Cities community of artists.

Executive Producing Director Michael Robins founded Illusion Theater in 1974. In 1977, founding company member Bonnie Morris joined Robins as Co-Producing Director. Since its inception, Illusion Theater has commissioned or developed over 250 original mainstage plays that have been seen by more than 600,000 people. Plays developed at Illusion have been staged by more than 100 theaters across the United States, including major regional theaters such as the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, the Alliance Theater in Atlanta, the Goodman Theater in Chicago, and the Manhattan Theater Club.


Friday, October 31st


8 – 10:00 am    Registration in the foyer of the Capitol Ballroom, Sheraton Hotel.


7 –  8:15          Complimentary Coffee and Pastries: (check your meal ticket for your location)


8:30–10:30      General Session - News Media and Cultural Diversity: Challenges and Best Practices

                        A panel of distinguished journalists and researchers from around the world, sponsored by the John  Seigenthaler Chair of excellence in First Amendment Studies at MTSU and the College of Mass Communication, share their ideas and perspectives on the best practices for fostering cultural diversity and developing inclusivity of minority populations in American newsrooms.  They also address the challenges in intercultural understanding facing American journalists and American democracy in the 21st century.



                        Welcome: Dean Anantha Babbili

                        Dr. Babbili is the dean of the College of Mass Communication at Middle Tennessee State University.   He was recognized for his efforts to improve ethnic diversity in the media and in higher education by the Barry Bingham Award by the National Conference of Editorial Writers Foundation.  A former journalist in Asia, he was selected in 1997 by the Carnegie Foundation as one of the 15 best professors in the United States representing all disciplines.


                        Moderator’s Remarks: John Seigenthaler,

                        Publisher, Journalist, Civil Rights Activist

                        John Seigenthaler served for 43 years as an award-winning journalist for The Tennessean and at his retirement he was editor, publisher and CEO.  He was also the founding editorial director of USA TODAY.  Seigenthaler left journalism briefly in the early  1960s to serve in the U.S. Justice Department as administrative assistant to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.  His work in the field of civil rights led to his service as chief negotiator with the governor of Alabama during the Freedom Rides.  He founded the First Amendment  Center at Vanderbilt University in 1991 with the mission of creating national discussion, dialogue and debate about first Amendment  rights and values and he is a senior  advisory trustee of the Center and of the Freedom Forum.  The Forum, based in Arlington, VA, is a nonpartisan foundation dedicated to free press, free speech and free spirit.  A Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies was endowed in his name at Middle Tennessee State University.



                        Panel Members:


                        Wanda Lloyd: Executive Director of the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute. “Best Practices in Cultural Diversity in the Newsrooms: An Overview”

                        The Institute is based on the campus of Vanderbilt University and offers journalism training to people of color coming from colleges or careers outside of journalism and who are interested in a mid-career shift into journalism.  The institute’s mission is to increase the number of journalists of color in America’s daily newspaper newsrooms.  Lloyd is  also co-host of “Behind the Headlines,” a weekly radio news analysis show on WFSK-FM and was formerly managing editor of The Greenville News and before that she was senior editor/days & administration at USA TODAY.


                        Abdur Rahim: President, British Commonwealth Journalists Association

                        “Towards a Balanced Coverage of Muslims and Islam in the News Media”

                        Dr. Rahim is one of the most noted journalism educators, journalists  and commentators in Asia.  He holds leadership positions in several organizations including the Commonwealth Association of Education in Journalism and Communication and the Indian Association of Muslim Social Scientists.  A former Fulbright award-winner, he is an expert on the role of mass media in conflict resolution and is a consultant to the United Nations. 


                        Marilyn Kern-Foxworth: Vice President, Ad*itive

                        “Cultural Diversity: What Does Research Tell Us?”

                        Dr. Marilyn Kern Foxworth, APR, is a nationally acclaimed journalism educator and public relations consultant.  She is the President & CEO of Kern Foxworth International, LLC.  She is the author of Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben and Rastus: Blacks in Advertising, and co-author of Facing Difference: Race, Gender and Mass Media.  A prolific writer, Dr. Kern-Foxworth has taught at Texas A&M University and other universities and has won many awards and honors. 


                        Sujatha Mukiri: Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages, India

                        “Women and the Media:  Some Perspectives  from a Traditional Society”

                        Professor Mukiri teaches media and communication and is an author and expert on issues of feminism in Western literature and media.  She teaches newspaper writing, feminist theory and communication technology.  Based in India, Professor Mukiri lectures on her specialty  areas such as the representation of women in the media of Asia, the history of documentary cinema, and philosophical and sociological  foundations of education focusing on disadvantaged populations.


                        Don Flores: Editor and Vice President, El Paso Times

                        “Hispanic Presence in the Newsrooms:  Why Should It Matter?”

                        Mr. Flores is recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the United States.  In his position with the El Paso Times and through his proactive leadership  of several national organizations, he empowers other journalists and news professionals of color.  He was the president and publisher of the Iowa City Press-Citizen and currently serves on the Texas State University Board of Regents.  He recently received the highly coveted Robert G. McGruder Award for Diversity Leadership and serves as the vice president of the Freedom of Information Foundation. 


                        Kenneth Bunting: Executive Editor, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

                        “African American Representation in the U.S. Newsrooms”

                        In addition to his outstanding work at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Mr. Bunting has also held several significant leadership positions in newspapers including at the Fort Worth Star–Telegram.  Known for proactive programs in enhancing diversity in the newsrooms and in national media organizations, Bunting, a  member of the American Society of Newspaper Editors’ board of directors, is the alumnus of the Advanced Executives Program of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business.  In his  fourth decade as a newspaperman, Bunting worked previously at the Los Angeles Times, the Sacramento Bee, and the  Corpus Christie Caller Times.  He is a winner of numerous awards and honors. 


10:45 – 12:15  Corporate and Institution Roundtables and Presentations

                        News media and Cultural Diversity (continued)

                        Round Table Discussions featuring the above media specialists Moderated by:

                 37.  Dr. Jennifer Woodard, with Kenneth Bunting


                 38.  Dr. Zeny Sarabia-Panol, with Don Flores


                 39.  Dr. Sanjay Asthana, with Professor Sujatha Mukiri


                 40. Professor Ray Wong with Wanda Lloyd


                 41. Dr. Rama Tunuguntla (Grambling State) with Dr. Marilyn Kern Foxworth


                 42. Paul Watson with Abdur Rahim


Other Breakout Sessions:

                 43.  Dr. Mohammed Abu-Nimer

                        Overview of World Conflict Related to Diversity


                 44.  Sheldon  Drobny, Co-founder AnShell Media, Chicago IL

                        The Lack of Healthy Opinion Discourse on Talk Radio

                        Our Nation’s talk radio waves and cable television broadcast have been hijacked!  Is this what we want?  Is this what we’re going to allow to happen?  NO!!!  True democracy demands a healthy debate.  For a democracy to remain vital, a democratic nation must have intelligent and articulate voices of dissent through its media.


                45.    Kelvin Datcher, Southern Poverty Law Center: a Web Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center

The Southern Poverty Law Center, founded by  Morris Dees, has an outstanding record of fighting racism and hate  crime in the courts.  The center has created a new project to fight hate and promote nonviolence through education. is a principle online destination for people interested in dismantling  bigotry and creating, in hate’s stead, communities that value diversity.


                46.  Jon Abercrombie, Senior Associate of the Study Circle Resource Center

                       More than Just Talk: How Institutions Can Build Diverse Community                                  Study Circles

                        The Study Circles process assumes that conflict, if creatively faced, is an asset---proof positive that people are passionate about their lives and their viewpoints.


Dr. Jackie Gilbert, Marketing Professor,  MTSU, Murfreesboro, TN

                        The Internet  & Diversity Resources

                        Ways to use the Internet to more effectively communicate the principles of cultural diversity.  


                 47.  Dr. John McDaniel, Dr. Charles Frost,

                        Dr. Marion Hollings & Dr. Beverly Lewis  

                        The Use of Literature to Increase Appreciation for Diversity

                        With Brooklyn Smith  & Sonya  Morrison

                        Poetry and Rhythm Among the African Americans 


                 48.  John Lynch Panel: Spirituality and Diversity

                        Gary White, Associate Chaplain, Vanderbilt University

                        Kelly Kaufman, Vanderbilt Divinity School graduate student

                        Dr. Lon Nuell, Faculty Advisor, Hillel Student Association

                        Dr. Saleh Sbenaty, Faculty Advisor, Muslim Student Association

                        Charles Nored, Campus Minister, Baptist Collegiate Ministries

John Thatamanil, Professor of Theology, Vanderbilt Divinity School

                 49.  Arnold Leahman, Director, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY

                        WE/THEY/OTHERS:  The Role of the Art Museum in Promoting Diversity

                        The Brooklyn Museum of Art has responded to the diversity of the community

                        it serves by offering exhibitions and building collections that honor diversity. This    

                        has resulted in more interest and participation by the community and the varied    

                        constituencies that come from all over the world.                     


                50.   Brie Anna Schultz, Pushpa Rose Schultz, and Desiree Stryker

                        What it is like growing up in America when you were born elsewhere      


                51.   Dr. Steven Kahn, MD and Elizabeth Hodder,

                        Directors of the Abundance Foundation

                        The Osa Wilderness Medicine Project: Challenges of International Public Health

                        This team is striving to create a public health program in Costa Rica that is sustainable and which effectively involves local people.   In a remote and sparsely populated peninsula, health care delivery perhaps can be improved  through a mobile clinic.  Funding will be generated in part through wilderness medicine  courses that tap into ecotourism resources.  Their website is . 


                52.   Ahmad Kahnsari, Middle Tennessee State University Professor 

                        The Voices of Iranians in America

                        How Iranian-Americans have established an important presence in the United  States and the lessons this  provides for Best Practices for all American Minorities.


                53.   Dr. Carol M. Swain (author of “The New White Nationalism in America: Its Challenge to Integration”), Professor of Political Science and Law, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

                        White Nationalism: A Warning for America’s Future

                        Report on the emergence of a new white nationalist, white rights movement gaining strength in America which is being led by well educated and well financed individuals who believe that the future of western civilization is at stake.  Scared by a future in which whites will no longer be the dominant race in America, the movement has appropriated the language of multiculturalism and civil rights to make its case.


                 54.  Edith Crumb

                        End of Life Care and Cultural Diversity


                 55.  Stacey England

                        Conducting Business  with the Japanese Both Here and Abroad


                 56.   Casey Turner

Growing Old: Who will take care of you?

Different cultures think of and care for their elderly in different ways.


12:30 – 2:30    Closing General Session - Luncheon

                        Sheraton Capitol Ballroom:


                        Opening                                                           Dean John McDaniel, Moderator

                                                                                                MTSU College of Liberal Arts






                   Sheldon Drobny, Co-founder of AnShell, Chicago IL - The Media and Cultural Diversity: Why We Need Another Voice


                        Dr.  Mohammed Abu-Nimer (Co-Editor of “Positive Approaches for Peace” and Executive Co-Editor of Journal of Peacebuilding and Development)

                        Center for Global Peace, American University, Washington, D.C. 

                        Appreciating Diversity: A Foundation for Peace and Justice

                        As an international peace advocate and scholar of peace and conflict resolution, and based on his experiences in areas such as Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Israel, Palestine, Bosnia, Northern Ireland, and the USA, Dr. Abu-Nimer will offer insights on the root causes of local and international violence.  Stories and examples of effective peacebuilding initiatives will be shared to illustrate ways in which educators and people in general can contribute to peace and justice.





                        Video Review of the Conference: Dr. Charles Frost


                        Closing Remarks:      Dr. John McDaniel, Dean

                                                            Liberal Arts, MTSU


                                                            Dr. Sharon Shaw-McEwen

                                                            Conference Coordinator






Special Recognition


The Office of Cultural Diversity Initiatives and the Conference Planning Committees wish to express their heartfelt thanks to the Sponsors and Co-sponsors on the front page and to the following individuals and MTSU units for their contributions to the first International Conference on Cultural Diversity:



The Office of the Controller and Alan Thomas

The Office of Information and Technology

The Office of Public Safety and Major Brewer

The Office of Publications and Graphics and Suma Clark and Paul Steinberg

The Office of Multicultural Affairs and Ralph Metcalf

The Office of News and Public Affairs and Doug Williams, Lisa Rollins and Tom Tozer

Instructional Media Resources staff


Dr. Kevin Smith, MTSU Anthropology Program

Dr. Robbie Kendall-Melton, Tennessee Board of Regents

Dr. Julie Peterson, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Ms. Joyce W. Washington, Il Senate Candidate, Chicago,IL


Student Director, Ms. Ave’ Trotter

Ms. Evelyn Jared

Mr. Ed Deboer

Ms. Valerie Avent

The MTSU Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America and the firm Emerge

The conference class

The MTSU Social Work Faculty


Blue Raider Bookstore

Phillips Bookstore












The Conference Planning Committees



Language is so culture-bound that it is often insufficient to express the emotions that one feels.  The conference coordinator finds herself without words to express her gratitude to the President, the Provost, the Deans, Dr. Charles Frost, her colleagues in the social work department, and the several faculty colleagues on the steering committee who endured to the end.  Thank you, and may you be forever blessed.  Sharon



Program – Dr. Charles Frost, Chair             Budget – Dr. Tyson King-Meadows, Chair


Ms. Barbara Patton   Dr.  Jackie Gilbert      Dr. Sharon Shaw-McEwen     Ms. Janine Brink

Dr. Thomas Heine      Dr. John Lynch           Mr. Alan Thomas

Dr. Dorothy Craig     Dr. Anantha Babbili



Registration & Arrangements –                               Promotion & Publicity – Dr. Jennifer Woodard

Ms. Gail Fedak & Dr. Tina Johnson, Chairs           and Dr. Zeny Sarabia-Panol, Chairs


Roy G. Brewer             Dr. Rosemary Owens              Dr. Jan Quarles           Ms. Lisa Rollins

                                                                                    PRSSA firm Emerge    Ms. Jennifer Campbell

                                                                                    Mr. Robert Rucker      Mr. Tom Tozer

                                                                                    Ms. Suma Clark          Ms. Caryn Bailey

                                                                                    Dr. Elizabeth Vaughn-Neely, Union College

                                                                                    Ms. Sorren Young       



Student – Dr. Stacy Borasky,                                   Audio-Visual & Technology – Mr. John

Dr. Margaret Seime, Ms. Rachel Edmonds            Sanborn and Dr. Kenneth Lancaster, Chairs


Ralph Metcalf              Rachel K Edmonds                  Jerry Gentry                Pat Jackson

Enjoli Barner              Christina Benz                         Barbara Draude          Craig Doman

Evelyn Jared               Daniel Hearn

Pat Cummins              Danecia Jones

Fawn Bilderback         Ave Trotter

James Mason              Tarik Smith



Special Events – Attorney Loren Mulraine, Chairs

Honorary Chair and First Lady, Liz McPhee


                        Dr. Robbie Kendall-Melton                 Dr. Kevin Smith

                        Becca Wilson





Alphabetical Listing of Presenters


Jon Abercrombie

Mohammed Abu-Nimer

Sanjay Asthana  (Babbili moderator)

Anantha Babbili

Caroline Blackwell

Stacey Borasky

Kenneth Bunting (Babbili panel)

Barry Callender

Carolyn Cartwright

Clyde Chesney  or

Carlos Cortes

Laura Crawford

William Cross

Debbie Crowder

Neal Darby (with Callender)

Kelvin Datcher  (Southern Poverty Law Center)

Shelly Drobny

Gail Fedak

Aram Fedowski

Isoke Femi

Gerry Fernandez

Antonio Flores

Don Flores  (Babbili panel)

Maggie Fontanesi-Seime

Charles Frost

Joe Gaines (Chesney panel)

Kaylene Gebert

Jackie Gilbert

Lou Gousset, Jr.

Eduardo Gumucio (Gresham)

Liz Halbert

Jacquelyn Hart

Christy Haynes

Marion Hollings

John Hood

Liz Hodder & Stephen Kahn

Brenda Hosley

Galen Hull

Brenda Hunter (TSU)

Joshua Idassi (TSU)

J. Visuvathas Jeyasingh

Ahmad Kahnsari

Kelly Kaufman

Marilyn Kern-Foxworth (Babbili Panel)

Tyson King-Meadows

Arnold  Leahman via Kevin Cooper

Jid Lee

Karen Lee

Beverly Lewis

Wanda Lloyd (Babbili Panel)

John Lynch

Nolo Martinez  (Chesney Panel)

Robbie K. Melton

Christine Modisher

Frank Montano

Sujatha  Mukiri (Babbili Panel)  

Jimmy McCamey

Katherine McCary

John McDaniel

Phillip McEwen

Sidney McPhee

Craig Nelson

Charles Nored

Lon Nuell

Zeny Sarabia-Panol

Barbara Patton

Don Perine

Julie Peterson

Abdur Rahim (Babbili Panel)

Mario Ramos

Marilyn Robinson

Janice Rodriguez and Panel Members (Angela Harris, Hope Collins, & Yolanda Olavarria)

Janisca Rodriguez  (Gresham)

John Sanborn

Thelma Sanders-Hunter (Chesney panel)

Ingrid Sanders-Jones

Saleh Sbenaty

Maggie Schultz

John Seigenthaler

Sharon Shaw-McEwen 

Kevin Smith

Patrick Smith

Gerald Stern

Carol Swain  carol.swain@Law.Vanderbilt.Edu

Tanya Tewell

John Thatamanil

Debbie Thomas

Wendy  Thompson

Hugh Vasquez

Dona Vassal-Fall

Joyce  Washington

Gary White

Joseph White

Ray Wong

Jennifer Woodard