The 13th annual UNITED Conference will be held Sept. 24-25 at Northern Michigan University. UNITED is a yearly conference composed of a broad range of presentations and films focusing on diversity and inclusion. This year’s speakers and events will address such topics as social justice, human rights and gender studies.
A complete schedule and more information is available at www.nmu.edu/united. All events are free and will be held in the Great Lakes rooms of the Don H. Bottum University Center at Northern Michigan University (NMU), unless otherwise noted. Featured guest speakers and performers include the following:
Monday, Sept. 24:
Xavier DeGroat will share authentic stories of education, persistence and growth through autism from 11 a.m. to noon. He is the founder and CEO of the Xavier DeGroat Autism Foundation.
Morgain MacDonald will address “Social Justice at the Intersect” from 1-2 p.m. The focus is on how understanding intersectionality is key to moving toward a more equitable environment. MacDonald is currently a trainer and facilitator for non-profits in Seattle, Wash.
Minnesota Chippewa tribal member Steve Chapman will explore “Dementia and American Indians: Helping Tribal Elders and Caregivers” from 2-3 p.m.
Human rights activist John Dau will present “Human Rights and One of the Lost Boys of Sudan” at 7 p.m. This presentation is sponsored by Platform Personalities. It is free for NMU students, $2 for the general public.
Tuesday, Sept. 25 :
Ari Burford, a professor at Northern Arizona University, will discuss feminist theory and gender studies at 10 a.m.
Jasmine Johnson and Rachel Pimm, Rabbit Island artists in residence, will present “This is Not This” from 11-12 p.m. They make interrelations between painting with electricity and the Newberry Tablet.
Molecular and cellular biologist Lydia Villa-Komaroff will present “Thinking Fast Makes Changing Slow: How Decision-Making Processes Impede Equity” from 3-4 p.m.
Lindsey Slifka will present “Human Trafficking: Are we sure it is even a thing?” from 4-5 p.m. This presentation will cover the different types of trafficking and highlight global, national and state statistics. Slifka is an EMT-Paramedic professor at Bay College and a member of the U.P. Human Trafficking Task Force.
Grammy-nominated Swedish folk musician Emilia Amper and her band will perform original compositions and arrangements featuring vocals and string ensemble from 5-6 p.m.
Jonathan Gayles will end the conference with a “White Scripts and Black Supermen: Black Masculinities in Comic Books” presentation at 7 p.m. Gayles is a professor of African-American Studies at Georgia State University. He specializes in African-American academic performance and media studies.