The Central KY MOSAIIC Conference was born in 2007 during a frequent brainstorming session between Charlene Walker of Bluegrass Community & Technical College and the late Dr. Bill Parker, formerly at the University of Kentucky. MOSAIIC stands for Multicultural Opportunities, Strategies and Institutional Inclusiveness Conference.
Conference themes have included KY a State of Omission, Stimulating Diversity, See what Condition your Condition is in, the Impetus of the Underdog, and The Beauty and Confusion of Fusion: The Memoirs of a Mixed-up Society. The first conference keynote speaker was Marilyn Loden. Ms. Loden pioneered the development of awareness training to accelerate personal and organizational change; and she coined the term “glass ceiling” in 1977 to describe the invisible barriers to career advancement that many non-traditional executives continue to face. The following year featured Dr. Yvonne Freeman, Executive Officer of the Alliance for Global Education and Leadership, Inc. Dr. George Wright, President of Prairie View College and Kentucky historian, spoke at the third MOSAIIC Conference. The following year MOSAIIC was included in the 50th year celebration of the KY Human Right Commission, and they featured a panel of activists from Tennessee, Florida, West Virginia and Kentucky. Leah Smiley, President of the Society for Diversity, came from Indianapolis to lead a conference the next year. Last year, Dr. Samuel Betances, a member of the Executive Team of Souder, Betances & Associates, Inc. Diversity Trainers & Consultants, spoke of his work with Fortune 500 companies, governmental agencies, and community groups.
The results of this annual conversation has stimulated ideas, built relationships, launched programs and provided a multi-lane avenue for needed candid dialogue on diversity and inclusion. From the 2011 conference we learned that most participants felt that Kentucky had a serious condition: one of oversight and one of subtle racism. This year, the MOSAICC Conference will rely on a new combined group called the Central Kentucky Diversity Consortium. The Consortium includes representatives from the following institutions:
- Berea College
- Bluegrass Community & Technical College
- Centre College
- Centro Latino
- Eastern Kentucky University
- Georgetown College
- Kentucky Latino Education Alliance (K’LEA)
- Kentucky State University
- Transylvania University
- University of Kentucky, Undergraduate Education
This year, December 4-5, 2014, the theme for MOSAIIC is “The Lynching of Resurrected Jim Crow: the Problems and Solutions.” We will feature many local experts on diversity and inclusion as well as the nationally renowned scholar, speaker and author of Between Barack and a Hard Place, Tim Wise. Tim Wise will be the keynote on Friday, December 5th. Tim is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and educators in the United States. Named one of “25 Visionaries Who are Changing Your World,” by Utne Reader, Wise has spoken in all 50 states, on over 800 college and high school campuses, and to community groups across the nation.
The entire conference will be held at the Historic Lyric Theatre in downtown Lexington. Thursday’s session will begin with a definition/history of Jim Crow. This will be followed by a panel of students who will articulate in their life stories the current problems that exist which include low achievement of students of color, incarceration, disillusionment and other issues. After lunch, a panel of activists, educators and legal scholars will further explain the complexities that point to a continued legacy of poverty in the U.S., the miseducation of people of color, concentrated killings and imprisonment of young men of color. Friday will focus on the solutions to combat issues raised by the panelists on Thursday.
Students who register before November 26th will be able to attend for free – they can use this handy online registration form.
All other attendees need to download a paper-based registration form and send the information and payment to Charlene Walker at Bluegrass Community & Technical College (download 2014 MOSAIIC Registration form here).
Onsite registration begins at 9 AM Thursday, December 4 with the first session beginning on Thursday Morning at 10. The event ends Friday December 5th at 3 pm. ALL attendees must register in advance unless they are attending the keynote only in which case $25 is paid directly to the Lyric at the ticket office. The entire conference fee is $100 covering both days and meals. Day 1 only (with luncheon) is $50.
“Standing still is never an option so long as inequities remain embedded in the very fabric of the culture.”
― Tim Wise, Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity