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Release Date: January 8, 2014

IUPUC offers free presentation on diversity and inclusion at 11 a.m. on MLK Day

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Susan Sullivan
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High school students, parents, civic leaders, business executives, and local residents are invited to join Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus (IUPUC) students, faculty, and staff on Monday, January 20 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. as the campus honors the life and lasting legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

According to Dr. Marwan Wafa, vice chancellor and dean, IUPUC fulfills an important role in the region by serving as a public advocate for diversity.

“Through the work of IUPUC’s Diversity Council, we explore ways to offer relevant programming and serve as a catalyst for discussion and dialogue about the value of inclusiveness in our communities,” explained Wafa.

By inviting the public to visit IUPUC on Martin Luther King Day, Wafa said, the university recognizes the impact of Dr. King’s work as a civil and human rights pioneer who successfully protested racial discrimination not only in the U.S. but around the world.

Wafa also said that he will announce and recognize recipients of IUPUC’s 2014 Excellence in Diversity Award during the January 20 event.

“Each year, two awards are presented. One is awarded to an individual, organization, group, project, business, or institution from the community who has demonstrated commitment and outstanding effort toward promoting diversity and inclusiveness. The second is awarded to a member of the IUPUC campus community,” Wafa added.

WHAT: Free public presentation titled “Unlikely Allies: Diversity Requires All of Us” followed by presentation of 2014 Excellence in Diversity Awards. A complimentary luncheon will be served at noon. Ample free parking is available.

WHEN: Monday, January 20 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

WHO: Dr. Karen Dace, vice chancellor of diversity, equity, and inclusion, at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), is keynote speaker.

WHERE: Lecture Hall & Auditorium, Columbus Learning Center, 4555 Central Avenue, Columbus, IN 47203

Dr. Karen Dace, who most recently served as deputy chancellor in the Division of Diversity, Access, and Equity at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, was appointed to serve as IUPUI’s senior diversity officer and oversees IUPUI’s Multicultural Success Center and Adaptive Educational Services in September of 2013.

Dace is charged with facilitating the institutionalization of structures that advance equity and diversity within IUPUI units and initiating changes in the organizational cultures and climate of IUPUI to support equity.

With nearly 15 years of experience as a chief diversity officer, including as vice president for diversity at the University of Utah, Dace has been awarded nearly $1.7 million in grants to enhance supportive environments for diversity.

A published scholar and researcher, she is the District 5 regional director for the Commission on Access, Diversity, and Excellence with the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. Dace earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mass communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Ph.D. in communication studies from the University of Iowa.

For information about this event, please contact Dr. Sandra Miles, director of student affairs and university ombudsman, at 812.314.8539 or smiles3@iupuc.edu.