YWCA to host racial justice conference

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JANESVILLE - Dismantling racism will be the topic of discussion at the YWCA Rock County's third annual Racial Justice Conference.

The conference, "Building Bridges to Dismantle Racism" is scheduled for Nov. 2 at the Holiday Inn Express/Janesville Conference Center, 3100 Wellington Place.

By attending the event, Beverly Broyles, director of communication, said participants will obtain tools and tips to support and foster diverse populations in the workforce and community. The conference has been averaging around 250 participants each year.

"The first line of our mission, which is a national mission that we have adopted, is to eliminate racism," Broyles said. "We're trying to embrace our mission by trying to bring enlightenment, encouragement and a new opportunity to learn."

There will be two break-out sessions. The first will include Dr. Rosita Lopez, discussing essential strategies for effective leadership across cultural lines and Dane County Judge Evertt Mitchell on the role of judges in re-creating a narrative of trust. The School District of Beloit will be presenting on building an inclusive and diverse workplace and sharing what they've done to promote diversity.

The second session will include Milton Thompson, former Beloit School District Superintendent, presenting "The Only One in the Room," Juan Jose Lopez, UMOS Board Chair, presenting "The Myths About Latinos" and Dr. Martha Barry, racial justice program director for the local YWCA, who will be presenting on recognizing racism.

The morning keynote speaker will be Dr. Rosita Lopez, an educator who has served on the Casa Centeral School Board, one of the largest Hispanic-serving nonprofit organizations in the United States. She also serves as chairperson of the Northeastern University El Centro Board in Chicago for 18 years.

The lunch presentation will feature a panel including Major General Marcia Anderson, the first African-American woman to achieve the rank of major general in U.S. history and a former Beloit resident; Deirdra Copeland, of Enterprise Resource Groups Office of Inclusion, BMO Harris Bank; Angela Russell, manger for diversity and inclusion, CUNA Mutual Group; and moderator Neil Deupree, of the Diversity Action Team of Rock County. The panel will discuss diversity and inclusion in the workplace, with lunch being provided.

The afternoon speaker is Daniel Brown, former Vice President of the Ho-Chuck Nation and current executive manager of Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison.

The Third Annual Dorothy Height Racial Justice Diversity in the Workplace will be awarded during the opening of the Conference. The award honors a business within Rock County that personifies Dorothy Height's commitment and leadership in racial justice in the workplace. The first award went to Community Action, while last year's went to the School District of Beloit.

To nominate a local business that promotes diversity in their workforce, submit a form on the YWCA's website.

Early bird registration is $85 per person until Sept. 1. After Sept. 1 until Oct. 16, registration will be $95 per person. Continental breakfast and lunch is included with registration.

For more information or to register for the conference, visit the conference website at www.ywcaracialjustice.org.

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