One Great Challenge diversity conference set for April 7 at TTU

Tennessee Tech University will be hosting a conference focusing on diversity issues in education on Tuesday, April 7.

One Great Challenge: Learning Together in the New Millennium will present workshops, discussions and research that move beyond the diluted interpretations of diversity and challenge the celebratory, superficial approaches to multiculturalism.

It will explore successful strategies for administrators, teachers and students committed to what Margaret Mead called a “richer culture” within our schools.

Held in conjunction with the Upper Cumberland Teachers Council, the conference will give K-12 teachers and administrators an opportunity to attend both events, but it is open to anyone who wishes to attend. The cost of registration is $10 for students and $35 for non-students.

All sessions will be held in the Roaden University Center and will include such topics as “Why Who Teaches Matters,” “Understanding Islam and Your Muslim Students,” “Do Justice: Service Learning for a Diverse World Beyond Campus,” and “Developing Cultural Awareness in Social Foundation Courses in Teacher Education.”

It will feature two keynote speakers, Rita S. Geier and Finnie D. Coleman.

Geier is associate to the chancellor and senior fellow at the Howard Baker Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, where she leads efforts to achieve intercultural and diversity goals and to promote solutions to public policy issues.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from Fisk University, a master’s degree from the University of Chicago and a Juris Doctorate from Vanderbilt University. She received the Presidential Rank Meritorious Executive Award from President Clinton and is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

Coleman is the director of African American and Africana studies at the University of New Mexico. An associate professor of English, he teaches courses in African American literature, hip-hop culture, and African American cultural history. He has been involved in a number of hypertext research projects deigned to recover lost or marginalized African American literature.

An author and a former army intelligence officer, Coleman is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Virginia.

The program schedule for One Great Challenge begins with registration, coffee and pastries at 8 a.m. Geier’s keynote address will be presented at 9 a.m. General sessions will be offered from 10:10 to noon. The luncheon will feature Coleman’s keynote address, with more general sessions to follow from 1:10 to 3:20 p.m. The K-12 sessions held in conjunction with the UCTC will be presented at 3:30 p.m.

For more information about the conference or to register, go online to or call or e-mail TTU history professor Paula Hinton at 931/372-3339 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .
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