Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) presents its first conference on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion from June 11-14, 2019. The conference will feature world-renowned activist, commentator, educator, poet, and writer Nikki Giovanni as the keynote speaker, as well as Mathew Knowles, record executive, former manager of Destiny’s Child, and father of Beyoncé.
Additionally, MCLA will formally announce the launch of the new MCLA Institute for Arts and Humanities at a press conference on June 12 on the MCLA campus.
ABOUT THE CONFERENCE
Spearheaded by MCLA’s vice president of academic affairs, Dr. Emily Williams, and co-directed by Christopher MacDonald-Dennis, the College’s chief diversity officer, the theme of this event will be “Catalyzing 21st Century Discourse and Engagement on Race.”
Conference participants will spend four days in the historic Berkshires in the city of North Adams on MCLA’s main campus, as well as locations to include MCLA Gallery 51 and MASS MoCA. Presentations will focus on both historical and contemporary issues in varied formats: plenary sessions, panel presentations, round table discussions, poster sessions, exhibitions, and performances.
Conference fees vary, from $300 for the full event to a $50 day rate. Admission to Giovanni’s keynote event is $50; admission to Knowles’ presentation and talk is also $50. Visit mcla.edu/conference for a full schedule and updates.
KEYNOTE LECTURE WITH NIKKI GIOVANNI
Giovanni’s keynote is titled “Grit, Grace, Glow: An Evening with Nikki Giovanni.” The lecture will take place from 6-8:30 p.m. on June 12 and will be followed by a book signing and gala reception at the MCLA Church Street Center.
PRESENTATION WITH MATHEW KNOWLES
Knowles’ talk is titled “Racism in America: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the World of Entertainment.” His lunchtime talk will take place from 1 to 2 p.m. on June 13 at the MCLA Church Street Center social hall.
MCLA ARTS AND HUMANITIES INSTITUTE
MCLA will formally announce the launch of the new MCLA Institute for Arts and Humanities at a press conference from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. on June 12 in The Church Street Center Social Hall, on the MCLA campus.
The MCLA Institute for the Arts and Humanities is a public humanities initiative to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion through community engagement, experiential learning opportunities, and the creation of spaces for dialogue.
Supported with $360,000 in funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the MCLA Institute for the Arts and Humanities will serve as an interdisciplinary catalyst to investigate and address contemporary and historical issues on campus and in the community through the employment of area arts and humanities resources.
The launch event, which continues through the day on June 12, will feature a rich array of cultural leaders and community partners discussing their current efforts and opportunities to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Berkshires.
Members of the media are welcome to attend the morning press conference and opening session. For more information and a full Institute launch schedule, visit http://bit.ly/June12Institute.