Ostapenko Center Holding June Conference on Racial Equity & Equality
A three-day conference being held next month at Niagara University seeks to create dialogue around racial equity and equality, and discuss ways to improve the social conditions of society’s most vulnerable individuals.
From June 13-15, the University, Community and Government Partnerships Conference will convene approximately 150 stakeholders for a series of sessions on topics that include recidivism; perceived social-psychological barriers of underrepresented undergraduate students; a restorative model for addressing the harms experienced by mentors with a history of incarceration; electoral power disparities; student-led efforts to advance change; and many others.
In addition, a roundtable discussion concerning racial equity in Buffalo will be held Thursday afternoon, featuring the Rev. George Nicholas, senior pastor at Lincoln Memorial United Methodist Church and member of the Concerned Clergy Coalition of WNY; Laura Smith, vice president of economic development for the Buffalo Niagara Partnership; Felicia R. Beard, director of racial equity initiatives for the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo; and Tommy McClam, Say Yes Buffalo’s director of boys and men of color.
The conference’s keynote speaker is Dr. David Hooker, associate professor of the Practice of Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Hooker has worked with communities, governments, international NGOs and civil society organizations on post-conflict community building, environmental justice and other issues of public policy and social justice. A former assistant attorney general in Georgia, he serves as president and principal consultant of CounterStories Consulting LLC, where his work focuses on narrative alignment for civic, community and faith leaders.