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Sessions and Descriptions - Friday, June 26th

Connection 2020: An NCORE Experience will feature interactive sessions that directly address critical topics affecting our campuses and communities. The engaging, challenging sessions that you expect from NCORE are highlighted below. 

Coffee & Conversation with a Community Leader

Live: Friday, June 26th  |  8:45 – 9:45 a.m. Central Time

Start your morning by having a conversation with an NCORE community leader and fellow participants. Let’s connect, build and foster community around our stories, our passion and finding out about the work we are doing to make needed change in our institutions and how we are facing up to the challenges of our time. Please join us as community leaders share a little about themselves and lead us in connecting with each other. 


Coffee Chat Guide

The complexity and the politics of naming Latina, Latino, Latinx, Latiné, Latinu, Latin@, Latin, and Latin American Students **

Track: Race and Social Justice in Higher Education
Livestream: Friday, June 26th  |  10:00 – 11:30 a.m. Central Time

The categories of race, gender, and sexuality continue to be the site of analysis for many higher education researchers, effectively filling the void of intersectional approaches to student development and learning theory. Yet, we still struggle with terminology that honors Latinx/a/o students’ identities, let alone their intersections with systems of oppression. This presentation will engage in a dialogue about the importance of Latinx/a/o students’ identities and labels that have been (mis)used, (mis)interpreted, and have not been fully examined. The goal is to illuminate how the politics of naming social identities can perpetuate structures of power, and work toward transforming higher education through critical naming processes. In her work, Patel (2016) pointed out that “Attention to something does not automatically mean transformation” (p. 2) and the concept of change often misses the most robust critique. With an understanding that all forms of change occur frequently and is not consistent with social patterns, in this presentation we analyze politics surrounding naming practices around Latina, Latino, Latinx, Latiné, Latinu, Latin@, Latin, and Latin American identities. Due to the variations in understandings the terms, this presenter contends that one should consider the term Latin*.  

**At the request of the presenter(s), this session will not be recorded.


Cristobal Salinas Jr., PhD, Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership & Research Methodology, Florida Atlantic University- Boca Raton, FL

Activists Gotta Eat: How to be Gainfully Employed While Leading the Revolution

Track: Race and Social Justice in Higher Education
Livestream: Friday, June 26th  |  10:00 – 11:30 a.m. Central Time
There are thousands of causes worth fighting for. Some of us are fighting to end of state-sanctioned violence against the marginalized. Others are calling for equal pay for equal work. There are people pleading for the end of conversion therapy and other harmful practices forced upon the LGBTQIA+ community. Many people prioritize the ongoing fight for voting rights for the underserved and underrepresented. Some others are called to advocate for equity, access and inclusion for marginalized student groups in the college admission process and on college campuses. More and more individuals find themselves called toward social and political activism. Unfortunately, most of these individuals do not have the privilege or generational wealth required to walk away from the responsibility and economic security of gainful employment to be fully invested in the liberation struggle. This session should particularly benefit participants who are committed to the revolution but still must pay their bills. 

Monica Johnson, MS. Ed, Director, Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, Indiana University―Bloomington, IN

Charlane Oliver, MPA, Co-Founder and Executive Director, The Equity Alliance―Nashville, TN

Brandi Smith, B.A., College Advising Coordinator, Marietta High School―Roswell, GA


White Immunity: Working Through the Pitfalls of Privilege

Track: Race and Social Justice in Higher Education
Livestream: Friday, June 26th  |  10:00 – 11:30 a.m. Central Time

“How can poor white people be privileged?” How many times have you encountered that question in a discussion on white privilege? Scholar and author, Nolan Cabrera, offers a new way to address this question with the concept of “White Immunity” – the social inoculation that white people experience as a result of being white in a systemically-racist society. This framework helps work through some of the pitfalls of “privilege.”

Cabrera links the history of racial oppression and whiteness to contemporary times, including a look at the current uprisings against police killings of Black people. Based on 15 years of research for his award-winning book, White Guys on Campus: Racism, White Immunity, and the Myth of “Post-Racial” Higher Education, Cabrera explores how white immunity informs racial conflicts ranging from cultural appropriation, racism on college campuses, white men using the n-word, and the re-open “protesters.”

Ultimately, he calls for radical empathy and racial responsibility for white people that stems from their white immunity.


Nolan Cabrera, PhD, Associate Professor, Center for the Study of Higher Education, University of Arizona―Tucson, AZ

Plenary Session, Including Keynote Address by Melina Abdullah

Black Lives Matter and the Making of a Mass Movement

A presentation by one of the original members and an on-the-ground organizer of the #BlackLivesMatter global network, offering a political history of the movement as a point in Black freedom struggle. Through personal narrative and movement analysis, this talk presents the vision and hope for the movement as well as its approach and tactics. 

Livestream: Friday, June 26th  |  12:15 – 2:15 p.m. Central Time

Critical APIDA Conversations: Lift As We Climb

Track: Race and Social Justice in Higher Education
Livestream: Friday, June 26th  |  3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Central Time

Finding a sense of support can be challenging for APIDA professionals navigating their careers in the higher education pipeline. What do we need? What can we offer each other? How do we create a sense of community across intergenerational differences and professional stages? In this session, participants and invited speakers will share their experiences on how we have created mentorship opportunities and advocated for each other professionally. This session will examine how APIDA professionals can leverage their sphere of influence (i.e., their position, power, and agency) to make change despite institutional boundaries. This session should particularly benefit a) APIDA professionals looking to share and brainstorm resources about advocacy beyond 1:1 mentorship and b) APIDA higher education practitioners seeking to cultivate a greater sense of purpose national community and network of APIDA professionals.


David Surratt, Ed.D., Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK - Email

Der Vang, M, Ed. Director of Mentoring, College of Computing and Informatics, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte - Email

Charles Sasaki, Ph.D., Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Hale Alaka’I 121D, Windward Community College, 45-720 Kea’ahala Rd., Kāne’ohe, HI 96744 - Email

Joy Hoffman, Ed.D., Independent Consultant - Email

Susan Hua, MA, Residence Director, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, 2500 Campus Road, Honolulu, Hawai/i, 96822 - Email

Facilitator: Dawn Lee Tu, Ph.D., Faculty Director of Professional and Organizational Development, Office of Professional Development, De Anza College - Email

Seeing Identity Plurally

Track: Intersectionality, Identities and Discussions
Livestream: Friday, June 26th  |  3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Central Time

This interactive session will allow participants to test the idea that our identities contain not one but many different selves.  Participants will learn of this idea in the work of psychiatrists and social commentators of the past and present.  The age of “identity politics” has encouraged many people to over-simplify their identities.  Our target audience is students, staff, and faculty who want to honor and discuss their identities in more complex ways than are offered by the present-day emphasis on an authentic single self.


Peggy McIntosh, PhD, Senior Research Associate, Wellesley Centers for Women, Wellesley College- Wellesley, MA

Hugh Vasquez, PhD, MSW, Senior Associate, , The National Equity Project- Oakland, CA

Reimagining Institutional Support for Undocumented Immigrants

Track: Intersectionality, Identities and Discussions
Livestream: Friday, June 26th  |  3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Central Time

Currently there are more than 60 Undocumented Student Resource Centers (USRC's) in the U.S. The goal of the structure and function of these USRC's have been 1) to create a welcoming and supportive environment for undocumented students 2) enhance undocumented students college experience, 3) build leadership skills, and 4) promote their mental health and well being. This presentation seeks to identify and understand the ways that Undocumented Student Resource Services and Centers have made support accessible and visible to undocumented students. This session should particularly be of interest to those who are interested in institutionalizing support for undocumented students and who are interested in exploring the ways in which you can do this beyond the current existing frameworks such as the USRC's and undocumented student program coordinator positions.


Diana Valdivia, MA, Director, Undocumented Student Services, UC Santa Barbara―Santa Barbara, CA

Laura Bohórquez, M.Ed., Director, AB540 & Undocumented Student Resource Center, University of California Davis―Davis, CA

Open Forums / Facilitated Discussions

Live: Friday, June 26th  |   5:00 – 6:30 p.m. Central Time

Please join your fellow event participants in a lively discussion at our open forums! Let’s share our perspectives and generate knowledge to grow our capacity as change makers. The topic of this session will be listed in the session titles on the virtual conference platform. We hope to see you there!