Building Bridges Conference Honored

Posted on October 22nd, 2012 by

The annual Building Bridges Conference at Gustavus Adolphus College was recently honored as the recipient of the Minnesota College Professional Association’s Voice of Inclusion Award. Director of Multicultural Programs Virgil Jones and Associate Professor in Psychological Science Marie Walker accepted the award on behalf of the conference on Oct. 18 at the Annual Conference of the Minnesota College Professionals Association.

The Voice of Inclusion Award recognizes initiatives or individuals who serve Minnesota higher education by creating exemplary environments of inclusion for students, employees, and/or institutions. Recipients exhibit an ongoing commitment toward advancing multiculturalism, and bring typically underrepresented voices and identities to the forefront of Minnesota higher education.

Building Bridges is a student-led, student-initiated diversity conference dedicated to addressing today’s pressing social and global issues. The conference works to increase awareness and action, promoting mutual respect and understanding about diversity. These aims are achieved through inspirational speakers supplemented by interactive workshops and action steps.

Marie Walker and Virgil Jones accepted the Voice of Inclusion Award on Oct. 18.

Building Bridges has brought many important issues to light in recent years. The 2012 conference was titled “Unresolved Conflict: Remember Our Forgotten History,” and focused on the impact of colonization on Native American Indian history and culture in both the past and present. That conference brought Native American activist Charlotte Black Elk to campus as the keynote speaker.

Previous Building Bridges Conferences have focused on issues such as the human trafficking, immigration, educational inequality, and genocide awareness and have brought well-known speakers to campus such as Freedom Writer Erin Gruwell and Paul Rusesabagina of Hotel Rwanda fame.

The 2013 Building Bridges Conference is titled “Sentenced for Life: Confronting the Calamity of Mass Incarceration.” The conference will take place March 9 and will feature keynote speakers Dr. Angela Davis, a well-known political activist, author, and retired professor, and Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, a commentator, journalist, author, activist, and current professor at Teachers College, Columbia University.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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