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Community Conference

Alverno College

logo for Alverno Community ConferenceEmbracing Diversity:
A Mindful Approach to Inclusion

Friday, November 11, 2016


Alverno’s annual community conference features several presentations by filmmaker and master diversity trainer, Lee Mun Wah. This conference creates a safe and nurturing atmosphere for an authentic dialogue on diversity and inclusion.  

On-line regsitration is now closed. Please register as a walk-in on Nov. 11. The community member registration fee is $25. There is no registration fee for Alverno students, faculty, staff, and alumnae.

Pre-Conference Event

Thursday, Nov. 10 | 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Students are invited to a film showing and talkback with documentary filmmaker Lee Mun Wah.

"If These Halls Could Talk"
In the summer of 2010, Lee Mun Wah brought together eleven college students from around the country to explore issues of race on their campuses. In the process of sharing their stories and different life experiences with each other, they discover and expose the complexity and anguish that accompany those experiences, while trying to be understood and validated in a predominately white environment. Their stories are starkly emotional and the issues they provoke are equally perplexing, begging to be heard and confronted.

Watch the Trailer:

Conference Schedule

Friday, Nov. 11  | 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

8:30 – 10:00 a.m. Keynote Presentation by Lee Mun Wah
10:15 – 11:15 a.m. Concurrent session I
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Drop-in art session
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Concurrent session II
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch on your own
1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Faculty/Staff session with Lee Mun Wah
Educator in Residence – Lee Mun Wah

Lee Mun Wah is an internationally renowned Chinese American documentary filmmaker, author, poet, Asian folk teller, educator, community therapist, and master diversity trainer.  Presently, he is the Executive Director of Stirfry Seminars & Consulting, a diversity training company that provides educational tools and workshops on issues pertaining to cross-cultural communication and awareness, mindful meditation, and conflict meditation techniques. Learn more about Lee Mun Wah at his website.

Keynote Presentation: What Stands Between Us

8:30 –10:00 a.m. | Presented by Lee Mun Wah

Someone once said that westerners are very good at honoring diversity, but not very good at practicing it. If we are ever going to learn about someone who is different from ourselves, we are going to have to leave the comfort of our familiar world and begin a relationship, not just by talking about ourselves, but by truly wanting to make a connection through honest, curiosity, and our willingness to be open to new ideas and relationships. We can never become a community until we have first learned about those who are next to us, our next door neighbors, and those we have been taught to be afraid of. What we are talking about is breaking down the walls we have created out of fear and truly desiring to confront what stands between us.

Breakout Sessions

Concurrent sessions will be held 10:15 – 11:15 a.m and 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. We welcome presenters from the Alverno Community and the greater Milwaukee community to share their perspectives on diversity and inclusion. Please note that Lee Mun Wah’s breakout session for students has an extended time, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Click here for Breakout Session Descriptions‌ (PDF)

Drop-in Art Session

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Facilitated by members of the student organizations Not So Starving Artists and Artourage

Text From Around the World
Students, faculty, staff, and members of the community will have the opportunity to join in on creating a cultural weaving using newspapers from around the world. This weaving activity will promote unity and cultural awareness. The final product will represent diversity. The strips of newspaper from around the world will illustrate how people of different backgrounds and cultures are woven together as one.

Faculty/Staff Session

1:30 – 3:30 p.m. | Facilitated by Lee Mun Wah

Resolving Conflicts on Campus
Many discussions around diversity issues are bound to have communication issues and possibilities for some form of conflict or misunderstanding. The Buddhists say that conflict is both an opportunity and a sign of danger. At StirFry they call it a “dangerous opportunity”! In their experience, conflicts can often be an opportunity for growth and a time for deeper understandings to take place. In this very dynamic and exciting session we will explore techniques around diversity, conflicts and misunderstandings.

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