‘Diversity’ is focus of DakotaDome Conference set for Friday, Saturday

'Diversity' is focus of DakotaDome Conference set for Friday, Saturday With a theme of "Diversity," The University of South Dakota School of Education will host the 21st annual DakotaDome Conference on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 24-25, at Farber Hall of Old Main on the USD campus.

The conference will include keynote talks by University of California-Riverside Professor Emeritus of History Carlos Cortes and consultant Terrance Kwame-Ross, founder and senior consultant of Terrance Ross Consulting of St. Paul, MN, during the two-day event.

Sponsored by the Division of Education Administration, the conference will open at noon on Friday with registration. Dr. Cortes, a leading expert in the field of multicultural education, will deliver his keynote talk at 1:15 p.m. on Friday afternoon. In his keynote Cortes will address "Education in a Multicultural Society," discussing the changes, opportunities and realities in a multicultural society. He will explore how educational institutions may become more proactive in dealing with change, and suggest strategies for helping students become effective contributors in an enriched and constructive multicultural future.

Ross, a national consultant with the Northeast Foundation for Children, advocates a message of "community as a teacher." Ross explores the educational roles played by the adults in a community and also stresses the importance of laughter in the healing process. Ross will speak at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night at the North Commons on the USD campus. He also will address "All Children Can Learn" at 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning in Farber Hall. As a trainer and consultant, Ross has worked for community, county, and statewide organizations and developed and initiated curriculum for public schools and community organizations. He has explored the ideas and concepts of health youth development at the Center for Youth Development and Research at the University of Minnesota where he earned a master's degree in education and he is currently studying for his doctoral degree.

In addition, the conference will feature various panel discussions Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. The Friday afternoon panel, which begins at 2:30 p.m. will involve the following individuals: South Dakota Secretary of Education and Cultural Affairs Ray Christensen; Dr. Gordon Dietrich, superintendent at Spearfish Schools; Leonard Bruguier, director of the Institute of American Indian Studies; Angela Banks, a USD graduate who works for the Sioux City School District; and Lynda J. Earring, a USD graduate and director of the graduate program at Oglala Lakota College.

Panels on Saturday, which will follow Ross's keynote, involve college and university students and a second panel with high school students. Both panels will highlight a diversity of perspectives that affect students' intellectual, personal and civic development. Professor Cortes will be on hand after each panel to talk with panelists and the audience.

To register, please e-mail pvik@usd.edu or call the school of education at (605) 677-5269.

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