D&E Hosting Virtual Workshop as Keynote to President’s Diversity and Inclusion Initiative

Date Posted: 

Friday, August 28, 2020

ELKINS – As part of the President’s Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, the Morrison-Novakovic Center for Faith and Public Policy at Davis & Elkins College will host a public virtual event. The session, featuring race, diversity, and dialogue experts Dr. David Campt and Matthew Freeman, will take place via Zoom from 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 2.

Titled “Building a Community of Inclusion in Turbulent Times,” the open workshop geared to students will focus on stereotypes, inclusion and dialogue. Campt and Freeman will present a framework for interpersonal dialogue across differences, offering practical steps to build community.

Davis & Elkins College President Chris A. Wood announced the Diversity and Inclusion Initiative earlier this year and appointed a committee made up of faculty, staff, students, trustees, alumni and Elkins community members. D&E Director of Career Services Chris Jones serves as committee chair, while Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Philosophy Dr. Bryan Wagoner is assisting with programming.

“We are grateful for President Wood’s leadership with the Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, and to Trustee David Morrison for his support and vision,” said Wagoner, who also is Director of the Morrison-Novakovic Center for Faith and Public Policy. “It is a privilege to be hosting Dr. David Campt and Matthew Freeman for the fourth time. These issues could not be more urgent, and it is a moral imperative for all of us to build a more inclusive and welcoming community.”

This public keynote presentation is one of seven events on race, diversity, and dialogue hosted by the Center for Faith and Public Policy in August and September. Campt and Freeman, along with United Methodist minister the Rev. Lindsey Baynham, will lead workshops for resident assistants, students in Greek Life, First Year Seminar students, the residential Center for Faith and Public Policy students, and a faculty and staff training.

With more than 25 years of professional experience, Campt is considered a national expert in the areas of inclusion and equity, cultural competence, intergroup dialogue and civic engagement. He served as race advisor to President Barack Obama and can been seen in a recurring comedy sketch, the “White People Whisperer,” on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.” He also is the author of several books including “The Little Book of Dialogue for Difficult Subjects” (2007) and “Read the Room for Real: How A Simple Technology Creates Better Meetings” (2015).

Freeman has facilitated conversations on race with members of Congress from both parties, created workshops to deal with the migration crisis in Europe, worked with the German Marshall Fund, Windsor Castle in the United Kingdom, and is the author of “Overcoming Bias: Building Authentic Relationships Across Differences.”

To obtain login information for the workshop, contact Dr. Wagoner: wagonerb@dewv.edu. An e-mail with the Zoom link will be automatically sent to all D&E students, faculty and staff a few days in advance.