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Diversity Summit

Please join us for NSU’s diversity summit, hosted by the university’s Belonging, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Advisory Council. "The Power of Belonging: Connect, Collaborate, and Thrive" will take place March 15 - 16, 2023, at NSU’s Fort Lauderdale Campus as well as virtually on Zoom.

This summit is part of the BEDI Advisory Council's strategy to guide NSU toward inclusive excellence by cultivating and supporting the ongoing development and implementation of processes, procedures, and programs that promote greater belonging, equity, diversity, and inclusion throughout all aspects of the university and our communities. The vision is to continue providing an experiential learning summit focusing on NSU Core Values of DEI as an annual tradition at NSU across all campuses.

Connecting as a Community

These sessions will showcase how diverse groups at NSU (leadership, administrators, faculty, staff, and student) from different racial, cultural, ethnic, religious, gender, age, sexual orientation, and philosophical backgrounds connect across the various communities.

Collaborating as a Community

The summit will focus on the NSU's commitment to building on the existing infrastructure to achieve the full benefits of diversity to enrich the university community. Speakers at these sessions will highlight the various diversity initiatives and actionable direction from the grassroots to the leadership level across the university to collaborate as a community.

Thriving at NSU

These sessions will focus on NSU's commitment to building a campus climate that reflects greater belonging, safety, and inclusion for all stakeholders. The goal is to implement a strategic vision that speaks to the importance of diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging across all campuses at NSU. Moreover, inspiring our community to take action to move the needle on diversity initiatives and make NSU an even better place to study, work, and thrive.

Presentation: Are These the Interesting Times of Chinese Proverbs? with Robert Kesten, Executive Director of Stonewall National Museum, Archives, and Library 

Robert KestenRobert Kesten is the Stonewall National Museum Archives (SNMA) Executive Director in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The SNMA houses one of the most extensive gay archives and libraries in the United States, with a rich history of over 50+ years. Through his position at SNMA, he brings full circle his active engagement in the LGBTQ+ community and his commitment to using history as a tool to make sense of and fashion a response to today and tomorrow.

Presentation: Committing to DE&I: Moving from Pledges to Outcomes, with Jason Thompson, Vice President for DEI at Western Governors University

Jason ThompsonJason Thompson is a thought leader in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I), having spent the past twenty-five years building DEI programs in sports, health care, technology, and education. Jason is Vice President for DE&I at Western Governors University. Jason is also the co-founder and senior advisor to CAPE Inclusion, an innovative DEI platform. Thompson developed the initial diversity and inclusion (D&I) program for the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and created the D&I scorecards to measure diversity within the US Olympic movement. The D&I Scorecard developed by Thompson received the top honor in the 2016 International Innovations in Diversity Awards program from the Profiles in Diversity Journal. Jason was also recognized as a 2017 and 2018 Diversity Leader by the Profiles in Diversity Journal. His book, Diversity and Inclusion Matters, is a handbook for DE&I professionals, CEOs, and HR executives that provides a clear blueprint and tools for a successful DE&I program.

How do I register for this event?

This event is free and open to all NSU community members (Staff, Faculty, Students, Alumni, and invited presenters). Advanced registration is strongly encouraged. To register for the summit, click here.

You can register for either March 15, March 16, or both days. For those who cannot attend the Summit, recordings will be made available following the conference for viewing on NSUWorks. All correspondence, including your registration confirmation and receipt, will be sent to the email address provided on your registration form.


Please find the most current Diversity Summit list of speakers here.

The final schedule with rooms, locations, and Zoom login links will be available in NSUWorks for Day 1 and Day 2. It is also available for download here.

Accessibility for all participants

At NSU, we strive to host inclusive, accessible events at NSU that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. To request an accommodation or for inquiries about accessibility, don't hesitate to contact the conference organizers.

Venue Locations

Registration and the official welcome and keynote address by Robert Kesten will be at the Rose and Alfred Miniaci Theater at 1 pm on March 15. The keynote address by Jason Thompson will be at 10 am via Zoom on March 16.

All other in-person session events will occur on March 15 in the Miniaci Theater, Knight Auditorium, and Carl DeSantis Building.
In-person sessions on March 16 will occur in the Terry Building in the Chancellor’s 5th Floor Dining Room.
All virtual events will be via Zoom on March 15 and 16.

Click here for directions to venue locations at the Ft. Lauderdale/Davie campus.

For parking information, click here.

Who is the Conference Planning Committee?

The following individuals comprise this year's Conference Planning Committee from the BEDI Council Learning and Development Team: Sherrica Talyor, Elizabeth Swann, Arnetta Pierce, Jennifer Berne, Yashiva Edwards, Lind Treitler, Lorainne Shim, Robyn Kaiyal, Terry Morrow Nelson, Jennifer Vigille, Arkene Levy, Laura Ramirez, Jane Cross, Timeka Franklin, Eileen Petzold-Bradley, Brandon Hensler.

Will I have the opportunity to publish my work?

Presenters will submit an electronic copy of their presentation, handout materials, and extended abstract for publication on NSUWorks.

What happens if my proposal is accepted, my plans change, and I cannot present?

Once the program schedule is final, changes cannot be made. While situations may arise that cause a presenter to cancel their presentation, we encourage you to seek every possible alternative, including finding a substitute or co-presenter, before withdrawing from the conference.

Will my session be recorded?

All sessions will be recorded and made available on NSUWorks following the Summit.

What is the cost of the conference and how do I register?

This conference is free for all NSU community members (Faculty, Staff, Alumni, Students, Presenters, and invited community stakeholders); however, registration is required.

What if I have technical issues or problems with Zoom?

If you are experiencing any technical issues, please reach out to the OIIT Help Desk at 954-262-0070.

What if I have questions?

If you have questions about any aspect of the conference, please get in touch with the organizers at

For this diversity summit, we have done everything possible to prepare for a successful conference event. If there is an internet interruption, we will have the conference back online as quickly as possible. If one zoom room is temporarily unavailable, please join another breakout room until we get it back up. Our conference page and email account will provide the most up‐to‐date program and links.

Please note that there will be a room moderator in every breakout room. We will do our best to assist you with the technical details of presenting online. However, you can improve your chance of a smooth and seamless presentation by practicing your presentation and utilizing Zoom before the event. Below, we have some tasks for you to review. Please let us know if you need any further assistance.

Before the Conference

  • Download Zoom at
  • Create a space for your presentation. Make sure the lighting is good and the background noise is minimal.
  • Test your audio (speakers and microphone) and video (webcam) equipment and make sure it works. You can do this right within Zoom. Using video during the conference will be your option.
  • If you are a presenter, practice using the screen.
  • Check your internet connection at Your download speed should be around 5. If it is not, consider not using your video during the event.

Starting the Conference

Log into the conference by clicking on the provided zoom link. When logging into your session, please note that someone else will be presenting unless you are the first presenter of the day or after a break.

All attendees will be asked to mute their microphones when attending a session. This will reduce the possibility of feedback.


During your presentation, be sure to share your presentation visually by utilizing screen share. If you plan to talk without a visual, please disregard this. If you need anything, please ask your room moderator.

When you have five minutes remaining, the moderator will notify you that it is time to take questions.

Live Transcriptions

Live transcription is a feature that automatically converts spoken words into text in real time. It will be enabled by the host, like recording or screen sharing. Participants will see the live transcript as subtitles under or to the side of the video. The benefits of live transcription include the following:

  • Provides clarity and context for those attending meetings in loud areas or without access to clear audio.
  • Allows those in shared workspaces to participate in meetings without bothering others.
  • Increases accessibility for participants with hearing issues and non-native speakers.
  • It makes information recall a breeze. You can search by keyword to find specific points in the transcript.
  • Increases active listening by taking notes for you, allowing you to be fully invested in the meeting.


NSU students, faculty, and staff have collaborated on and led multiple diversity initiatives in previous years. In particular, the Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement, under the direction and leadership of Terry Morrow Nelson, was instrumental in hosting the earliest annual Diversity Summits at NSU from 2006 through 2012.


The BEDI Advisory Council relaunched the NSU Diversity Summit in 2023. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of the Council’s Learning & Development Subcommittee members, they are making this event an inclusive experience for the NSU community.

The NSU 2023 Diversity Summit is dedicated to Dr. Robin Cooper, Professor and Assistant Dean at the NSU Halmos College of Arts and Sciences, in recognition of her foundational work and continued dedication to advancing diversity and understanding at NSU.

Dean Trantalis, the Mayor of the City of Fort Lauderdale, proclaimed March 15, 2023, as NSU Diversity Summit Day in the City of Fort Lauderdale, urging all citizens to celebrate and support diversity, equity, inclusivity, and belonging,

The BEDI Advisory Council looks forward to fostering new BEDI initiatives and building upon the NSU tradition of having annual Diversity Summits.

These resources help to support a positive, educational, and inclusive experience for all NSU stakeholders.

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