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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Conference in the Berkshires

Catalyzing 21st Century Discourse and Engagement on Race

June 11-14, 2019

Nikki GiovanniKeynote Speaker: Nikki Giovanni (Biography)

World-renowned activist, commentator, educator, poet, and writer

MCLA[1] presents its first conference on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Presenters from across the United States, as well as globally, will share their expertise and experiences from varied perspectives on race matters in higher education, K-12 Teacher/Administrator, government, and community/nonprofit groups. Conference participants will spend four days in the historic Berkshires in the city of North Adams on the MCLA Main Campus, as well as locations to include the MCLA Gallery and Mass MoCA[2]. Each year presentations will focus on both historical and contemporary issues in varied formats:  plenary sessions, panel presentations, round table discussions, poster sessions, exhibitions, and performances.


Abstracts will be accepted on topics to include (but not limited to) single and cross-disciplinary discussions from applied sciences, formal sciences, social sciences, natural sciences[3], business/commerce, humanities, body arts, visual arts, and performance arts:

  • Racial Identity Development
  • Gender Identity: Past and Present Understandings
  • Beyond Survival To Action: Contemporary Methods In Gender Empowerment
  • Women of Color and their Impact on National and International Reproductive Justice Policy
  • Black Males: Navigating Metaphorical and Physical Spaces
  • Institutions (e.g., family, penal, education, government, and their Impact: Identity, Influence, and Evolution
  • Organizations (e.g., extremist, political, religious, Greek letter, and their Impact: Defiance, Resistance, and Activism
  • Media (internet, print, radio, television) Depictions – Distortions and Reality
  • Social Media “Discussions” on Race
  • Coding and Decoding Messages in Body Arts, Performing Arts, and Visual Arts
  • The Psychology and Sociology of Resistance: Research, Theory, and Application
  • Religious And Spiritual Leadership in Race Matters: Historical and Contemporary Movements
  • Race Discussions on Mental and Physical Health
  • LGBTQ and Race
  • Race Matters in Science

Abstract Categories

  • Professors, Independent scholars, and Community Leaders/Organizers
    • Graduate Students
    • Undergraduate students

Submission Requirements

  • Individual abstracts should be no more than 250 words
  • Panel, exhibition, performance, and poster abstracts should be no more than 750 words
  • Abstracts provide a clear explanation as to the significance of the presentation to the conference theme
  • Abstracts clearly detail A/V and space requirements
  • Abstracts detail the status and contact information of all participants (professor, independent scholar, community leader/organizer, and/or student)
  • Abstracts provide the tentative title/focus of the individual presentation and/or panel
  • Abstracts provide the same word limitation information for poster presentations

Abstracts are requested no later than Monday, April 22, 2019. Early submissions are encouraged in order to ensure capacity and participation. All registration fees are due no later than Tuesday, April 30, 2019. 

Submit abstracts electronically to or submit your form on the Registration page.

Registration: Includes Opening Reception with Nikki Giovanni, as well as Continental Breakfast, Lunch, and Refreshment Breaks (each day of the conference)

Category A:  Professors, Independent Scholars, and Community Leaders/Organizers - $300

Category B:  Graduate Students - $200

Category C:  Undergraduate Students - $100

Category D:  Non-presenters - $100

Category E:  Attendance (only) at June 12, 2019 6:00 pm Gala with Nikki Giovanni (Reading, Lecture, and Book Signing) - $50

Category F:  Single day attendance - $50

For additional information contact the Office of Academic Affairs [413-662-5227]


Dr. Emily Allen Williams
Vice President of Academic Affairs
Conference Director

Dr. Christopher MacDonald-Dennis
Chief Diversity Officer
Conference Co-Director

Ms. Sherry Burdick
Conference Coordinator  



**If you have any problems registering for the conference, please send your information to

[1] Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth's public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA prepares its graduates to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.

[2] The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) is a museum in a converted factory building complex located in North AdamsMassachusetts. It is one of the largest centers for contemporary visual art and performing arts in the United States. The complex was built by the Arnold Print Works, a business which operated on the site from 1860 to 1942, and was used by the Sprague Electric Company before its conversion. (

[3] Applied Sciences (Engineering and Technology; Medicine and Health); Formal Sciences (Computer Science, Mathematics, and Statistics); Social Sciences (Anthropology, Economics, Human Geography, Law, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology); Natural Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Space Science, and Physics)