The 2018 Culturally Responsive Symposium


In collaboration with Global Diversity and Inclusion, Portland State University's Diversity Action Council invites the campus community to register for the fourth annual:

PSU Culturally Responsive Symposium

Thursday, May 10, 2018 
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM 
Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom
Registration is required. Please register online by May 4th.

The Culturally Responsive Symposium facilitates campus-wide engagement around issues relevant to our desire to be an equitable and inclusive community.  Centering perspectives related to race, sexuality, gender, accessibility, socioeconomic class and other realities, the symposium strives to break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, celebrate differences and intersect commonalities in people, cultures and community.

In keeping with this year’s theme Taking Care of Yourself and Others in Challenging Times, the day will feature breakout sessions on the following topics:

Concurrent Sessions (#1)

  • Valuing Our Intersectional Identities: Where We're From & Where We're Going
  • Creating a Culture of Inclusion
  • Addressing College Burnout for Students of Color and What Allies Can Do to Help

Concurrent Sessions (#2)

  • Self Care through a Strong Voice
  • Implicit Bias and Microaggressions in STEM - What They Are, Why They Matter in STEM, and How to Interrupt Them
  • Kickstart Community in Your Class

Concurrent Sessions (#3)

  • Inclusion and Accessibility in Activist Spaces
  • Gathering Space: Building Community

Closing Session

  • Being Better Allies: Skill Building Workshop to Become Better Advocates for Others

Symposium Schedule

8:00-9:00  Coffee and Registration
9:00-9:25  Opening Plenary with remarks from President Shoureshi
9:35-10:50  Concurrent Sessions (#1)
11:05-12:20  Concurrent Sessions (#2)
12:30-1:25  Networking Lunch
1:30-2:45  Concurrent Sessions (#3)
3:00-4:30  Closing Session

Registration is required. Please register online by May 4, 2018.
Please note that space is limited and workshop admittance will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Requests for Reasonable Accommodations:
Requests for reasonable accommodations for faculty and staff may be made to Human Resources, (503) 725-4926, email:; and for students, the Disability Resource Center, (503) 725-4150, e-mail: In order to ensure that reasonable accommodations are provided in time, please make your requests as soon as possible.



“Addressing College Burnout for Students of Color & What Allies Can Do To Help”
Facilitator: Jaya Roy

This workshop is designed to promote education, discussion, and action in addressing burnout for students of color. After engaging in discussion regarding critical theory and the educational experience of students of color, individuals will be encouraged to identify what burnout looks like for them, and brainstorm ideas how to manage burnout. Lastly, as a group we will engage in a brainstorm regarding how White Allies can support students of color. 

“Being Better Allies: A Skill-Building Workshop to Become Better Advocates for Others”
Facilitators: Kelly Hamilton, Lauren Park, Timothy Carsey, and Derek Brown

This workshop will improve individuals’ abilities to be social justice allies for one another. The facilitators are a research team in the PSU Department of Psychology led by Dr. Larry Martinez. Our research shows that although many people would like to or already do consider themselves to be “allies” for minorities, they often do not feel knowledgeable or confident enough to actually engage in ally behaviors. Based on these findings, we have developed an interactive workshop designed to overcome these barriers, facilitate deeper learning and behavioral change, and foster participants’ allyship in their roles as educators, peer researchers, students, and staff members.

“Creating a Culture of Caring”
Facilitator: Brenna Kutch
View Workshop Materials 

This session will cover different components of what a caring workplace environment looks like so that employees feel welcome, healthy, trusted, invested in, heard, and that they are making a difference. These all contribute to a positive workplace culture, a sense of psychological safety for others, engaged and productive employees, and happy students/university community. Participants will leave with ideas to improve their own workplace culture and environments both for those in hierarchical leadership roles as well as those without traditional management roles or in positions of authority. Attendees will hear ideas from the presenter and have opportunities to discuss in small groups what they can do in their job/community to create a culture of caring.

“Gathering Space: Building Community”
Facilitators: Shanice Clarke, Wafa Almaktari
View Workshop Materials 

The realities of systematic racial oppression within the U.S. and Oregon permeate through environments within our institution, and the surrounding communities in which we reside. Through efforts within the Cultural Resource Centers’ program, Gathering Space: Building Community- we attempt to address those realities. Through this workshop, we will review culturally-responsive practices that impact all aspects of retention, persistence, and graduation which create meaningful community connections; and foster authentic environments for coalition building.

“Implicit Bias and Microaggressions in STEM - What they are, why they matter in STEM, and how to interrupt them”
Facilitators: Caitlin Everett, Louise Wilmes
View Workshop Materials 

Women, people of color, and other underserved groups are disproportionately underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. A body of research suggests that much of this disparity is due to educational and professional environments that communicate low expectations and disaffirm non-dominant identities through biased or uncaring words and actions. This workshop will focus on defining implicit bias and microaggressions, summarizing what we know about their effects on underrepresented students and employees, and how to interrupt them to create more inclusive environments.

“Inclusion and Accessibility in Activist Spaces”
Facilitators: Jules Gabbard Ledbetter, endever corbin, Dora Raymaker, Disability Alliance 

Participants will learn to identify some of the barriers that may be making their activist work/space inaccessible to disabled comrades and explore concepts from Universal Design that can begin to remediate some of these problems. This workshop is grounded on the premise that the best way to create accessible events and actions is to involve disabled organizers from the outset, but that many activist groups don’t yet have the tools necessary to do so in a way that actually accommodates the access needs of everyone involved. Presenters will speak from their own personal experience as disabled activists as well as some of the broader wisdom that has emerged from the disability community’s activist tradition.

“Kickstart Community in Your Class”
Facilitators: Kari Goin, Misty Hamideh 
View Workshop Materials 

Are you struggling to develop an online space that encourages community building, collaboration and understanding? Let us show you how to kickstart community in your online classroom! This interactive workshop will give you the tools you need to get started designing curriculum that encourages collaboration and inclusion in your class. We will also outline inclusive and accessible strategies for establishing digital identity. By the end of the workshop you will have a framework for developing community in your class and strategies that you can use to get started now. Strategies outlined in the workshop include perspectives from the faculty and student viewpoints around safety and equity in curriculum design, and the importance and value of collaboration. We will discuss ideas for integrating the larger community (experts in the field) into your classroom activities. Kickstarting community building in your course should be as easy as: quick, simple and go!

“Self Care and Power for POC!”
Facilitator: Ashnie Butler

Using the effective tool of Theater of the Oppressed to identify multiple perspectives on a moment of oppression. When a moment of racial oppression occurs, targets and bystanders often find it challenging to interrupt the moment. As People of Color we will explore standing strong while learning and practicing ways of interrupting racist moments while taking care of ourselves. And through a series of theater games and role plays participants will gain tools to seek multiple perspectives on racial oppressive situation.

“Valuing Our Intersectional Identities: Where We’re From & Where We’re Going”
Facilitator: Eddie May, Marina Barcelo 
View Workshop Materials 

During this interactive workshop, facilitators will root self-care in intersectional theory and the impact of structural, institutional oppression. Attendees will create their personal “Where I’m From” Poem, developed by the poet George Ella Lyons, to assess their identities, values, and their experiences with power and privilege and reflect on how these factors influence the way they walk in the world and relate to one another. Through facilitated small group activities participants will discuss the ways we nurture our intersectional identities. Facilitators will then guide participants in generating strategies for resistance, resilience, and engagement with our communities of care.


Previous Culturally Responsive Workshops