November 26, 2012

Contact: Harvey Levenson

Second Annual Cal Poly Diversity and
Inclusiveness Colloquium Set for Feb. 5

The second annual Cal Poly Diversity and Inclusiveness Colloquium will take place from 5:30 to 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, in Harman Hall in the Performing Arts Center. A reception with exhibits will follow in the Rossi Main Lobby.

Attendance is free and open to all.

This year’s colloquium focuses on diversity and inclusiveness. In planning, the university has consulted with the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce’s Diversity Committee to involve the local business community in a discussion on how Cal Poly and the city can develop inviting climates for people of all backgrounds, including race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, class and ability.

“We decided to add ‘inclusiveness’ to the colloquium focus and to lengthen the time for panel discussion after receiving feedback from last year’s participants and diversity stakeholders, comprised of Cal Poly organizations, departments and individuals,” said Harvey Levenson, head of Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication Department and a colloquium planner.

The keynote speaker will be Lauren N. Nile, an attorney and nationally recognized trainer on diversity and inclusiveness. Nile’s skills include leadership, team building, organizational communication, conflict resolution, sexual harassment prevention and intervention, cultural competence, training-of-trainers, and facilitated dialogue.

Nile was selected by the Equal Employment Opportunity Office of the Executive Office of the President of the United States to conduct the first office-wide sexual harassment training for the President’s White House staff. She was selected by Texaco Corp. to be a member of its national diversity training team. As director of training for the National Multicultural Institute, Nile authored the highly acclaimed Guide for Diversity Trainers Manual. She has been interviewed on National Public Radio and the Fox News Network and quoted in the Washington Post, Business Week and the Christian Science Monitor. For the past five years, she has served as manager of professional development at CSU Northridge. 

The panel will include faculty, staff, students and members of the greater San Luis Obispo educational and business communities. Local radio talk-show host David Congalton will moderate the panel.

Planners for this program include Levenson and Martha Cody, employment equity director and special advisor to the president for diversity at Cal Poly; Cornel Morton, senior advisor to the Cal Poly president for outreach; Missy Reitner-Cameron, chair, San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce Diversity Committee; and Grace Allen, director of visitor services, San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce.

“The San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce is excited to see this colloquium back for a second year,” Reitner-Cameron said. “Diversity and inclusivity are a large part of the chamber’s communications to our members, and being a part of this event allows us to expand the event’s reach.”

In addition to the keynote presentation, addresses will be given by Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong; Cuesta College President Gil Stork; Ermina Karim, San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce president and CEO; and San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx.

A highlight of the colloquium will be the premier showing of video clips of immigrant business owners talking about their experiences and how they came to live and work on the Central Coast.

More information is available online. Or, contact Levenson at 805-756-6151 or or Reitner-Cameron at 805-959-1368 or

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