Diversity Conference

Please join us for the 15th Annual Indian Hills Diversity Conference on Friday, March 22, 2019, 9:00AM - 3:30PM on the Indian Hills Community College Main Campus (Ottumwa).

  Registration     Location      
   Keynote Speakers     Schedule    
 Session Summaries   Certificate of Attendance
  Sponsors         Contact Us            


Redefining Diversity

Diversity is a term that many people only associate with race and gender; however, it goes far beyond that. The concept of diversity itself represents a broad range of characteristics that can include, but are not limited to: age, race, creed, color, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability, lifestyle, background, intellect, language, political views, and socio–economic status.

The diverse world that we live in today encompasses a wide range of cultures, ethnicities, values, and beliefs — which makes each and every individual unique. Understanding the definition of diversity allows people to recognize their own individual differences, and thus explore these differences in a positive and enlightening way. By doing this, we can welcome and celebrate these dimensions of diversity that each individual represents.


Online Registration:

If you would like to register to attend this year's annual Diversity Conference, please click the register link below. Pre-registration is highly encouraged, as there will be limited seating in the auditorium. We cannot guarantee seating in the auditorium for walk-in registrants.

Register Now


Registration Rates:
(Lunch is included with all registrations.)

Early Bird Registration: $30.00 
Regular College Student Registration: $10

The Early Bird Rate ends on February 28, 2019.

Regular Registration: $40.00 
Regular College Student Registration: $10

The Regular Rate ends on March 18th, 2019.

Late Registration: $45.00 
Late College Student Registration: $10

The Late Registration Rate: March 19-22, 2019 at 3:30 P.M.

High School Students: Always FREE
(However, please note that you still need to complete registration, even if you are a high-school student.)

Note: If you register for the Diversity Conference at a student rate, you must present a current Student I.D. at the check-in table on the day of the event.



Indian Hills Community College, Main Campus (Ottumwa)
Keynote Presentations: St. John Auditorium
Breakout Sessions: Efner Hall, Arts & Sciences Building

View Driving Directions, Campus Map, and More 


Earn IHCC college credit by attending the Diversity Conference!

Are you interested in receiving IHCC college credit by attending the Diversity Conference?

If so, please read more by clicking the button below. If you have any questions about this opportunity, please feel free to contact us for more information.

Learn More


Keynote Speakers:

Opening Keynote

Tania Rashid - My Global Identity: Breaking Barriers as a Woman of Color

Tania Rashid

Tania Rashid is an award-winning journalist who presently works as a special correspondent for PBS Newshour. The focus of her work has been on human rights, and women’s issues. She has contributed to networks like the Channel 4, The National Geographic Channel, Vice, Mic, and CNN International.

Born in Saudi Arabia to a Bangladeshi father and Pathan mother, Tania Rashid moved to Utah at a young age. She remembers watching Christiane Amanpour on TV and being inspired to similarly travel the world to tell stories. Journalism was not an encouraged path in her household since Rashid’s parents wanted her to be a doctor, engineer, pharmacist or lawyer.

But during her undergraduate years at University of California Los Angeles, where she studied global studies and history, she started to see opportunities unfold. Her initial internship at Nightline ABC further ignited her spark for journalism and storytelling. She then went to Columbia University where she received her masters in Broadcast Journalism and documentary. Shortly after graduation she moved to South Asia and lived there for 4 years.

Her breaking story was at at Al Jazeera English where she was the first female journalist on the ground at the collapse of “Rana plaza” the largest industrial disaster in Bangladesh which killed thousands of factory workers. She also followed the life of sex workers, toxic tanneries, and child marriage in the region. Her work has also taken her abroad to South Africa, India, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.



Afternoon Keynote

JJ Kapur - Be a Turbanator: How to Smash Stereotypes and Build Cross-Cultural Understanding

JJ Kapur

JJ Kapur is a freshman at Stanford University. When JJ was not lugging his 20-pound backpack around the hallways, he was traveling the country with his speech and debate team.

JJ was recently named the Original Oratory National Champion at the National Speech and Debate Tournament, the most prestigious high school speech and debate competition in the nation. JJ’s victory capped off a string of high profile awards, including first-place finishes at the Tournament of Champions, Emory University, and Harvard University tournaments.

His desire to share his community’s story led him to found the Iowa Sikh Turbanators, a youth-led community service group focused on “turban-ating” the negative stigma surrounding Sikhism. At the group’s first event, members worked with other faith groups to pack 44,000 meals at Meals from the Heartland. Kapur has participated in an interfaith panel on hate crimes, contributed to an interfaith digital story project at Drake University, sponsored open-house events at his Sikh temple, and continues to share his story through speech and debate. JJ’s work advocating for Sikh civil liberties has earned him the Herbert Hoover Uncommon Student Award, ACLU Youth Advocacy Award, and West Des Moines Emerging Citizen of 2018.


Diversity Conference Schedule:

Check back soon for a full conference schedule. Information will be added when it is available.

Check In & Registration 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. St. John Auditorium
Opening Keynote Speaker 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. St. John Auditorium
Breakout Sessions I 10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. Varies/See Below
Lunch 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 a.m.  
Breakout Sessions II 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Varies/See Below
Closing Keynote Speaker 2:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. St. John Auditorium
Breakout Session Summaries:

Please see below for a listing of Breakout Sessions that will be available at the 2019 Diversity Conference.

Opening Keynote Speaker: 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Location Speaker Session Title
St. John Auditorium Tania Rashid My Global Identity: Breaking Barriers as a Woman of Color


Session I: 10:45 AM - 11:45 AM
Location Speaker Session Title
Room 116 Marcy Chilton Dewitt, LISW The Stigmatization of Mental Health
Room 117 A&B Tai Tomasi, J.D. Your Resonable Rights: Requesting Accommodations Under the Americans with Disabilites Act
Room 118 John McKerley American Confluence: A Brief History of Immigration in Iowa
Room 121 Rev. Trey Hegar Iowa Welcomes Immigrant Neighbors (Iowa WINS): Responding to the Heat of ICE with Cool Compassion
Room 122 Dr. Craig Payne The Other Kinds of Justice
Room 123 Patrick Towne Poverty in Rural Iowa, Past and Present: The film Black Canaries and How it Relates to Poverty in Rural Iowa Today
Room 124 LULAC Chapter 377 Formalizing Informal Networks: LULAC 377: How we did it!
Room 125 Kimmie Andersen-Reed From Acronym to Action: LGBTQLA 101


Session 2: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Location Speaker Session Title
Room 116 Marcy Chilton Dewitt, LISW The Stagmatization of Mental Health
Room 117 A&B Tai Tomasi, J.D. Let the Shameful Walls Come Down: Dignity and the Protections of the American's with Disabilities Act
Room 118 Robin Clark-Bennett Confronting Labor Trafficking in the U.S.
Room 121 Rev. Trey Hegar Iowa Welcomes Immigrant Neighbors (Iowa WINS): Responding to the Heat of ICE with Cool Compassion
Room 122 Nadia La Fontant PREA: Defining Sexual Violence in Corrections
Room 123 Dr. Rizwan Shah ISLAM-The Faith and Practice in Current Times
Room 124 Nora E. Ryan, PhD You have really nice hair... for a Black person: Recognizing and Addressing Microaggressions
Room 125 Kimmie Andresen-Reed Unserved and Underserved: Queering Sexual Violence


Closing Keynote Speaker: 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Location Speaker Session Title
St. John Auditorium JJ Kapur Be a Turbanator: How to Smash Sterotypes and Build Cross-Cultural Understanding



 Diversity Conference Certificate of Attendance:

To receive a certification of attendance, please complete the Diversity Conference Certificate of Attendance Form after the conference, indicating which sessions you attended.

Request a Certificate of Attendance




The 15th Annual Indian Hills Diversity Conference was sponsored, in part, by:


Ottumwa Legacy FoundationConnect
Ottumwa Legacy Foundation 


Iowa Department of Education
Iowa Department of Education


Indian Hills Community College
Indian Hills Community College


Great Prairie AEA


Community 1st Credit Union

Community 1st Credit Union

JBS Logo 

JBS Pork


Jessica Chickering, Program Director, Student Support Services
Indian Hills Community College

525 Grandview Avenue Ottumwa, Iowa 52501

Phone: (641) 683-5133 or (800) 726-2585, ext. 5133
Email: [email protected]