Huntington University to host diversity conference

FOR RELEASE
2008-09-15
Huntington, Ind.—Huntington University will host the Conference on Christianity, Culture and Diversity in America on Nov. 14-16 with pre-conference events on Nov. 13. The conference is sponsored by the university, the John M. Perkins Foundation for Reconciliation and Development, Inc., and Salter McNeil and Associates, LLC. The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities in Washington, D.C., is also supporting the event.

The early bird registration deadline is Sept. 30.


Brenda Salter McNeil
The Conference on Christianity, Culture and Diversity in America will address the growing issues of diversity in America, which range from race, ethnicity, gender, culture and religion, to age and the physically challenged—all from a Christian worldview. Given this, the plenary speakers and other presenters will share research that embodies the themes of Christianity, culture and diversity. Opportunities for networking and ongoing dialogue will be offered and encouraged with an emphasis on practical application and advancing diversity on Christian campuses.


Ayiesha Woods
Speakers include John M. Perkins, one of the founders of the John M. Perkins Foundation for Reconciliation and Development, Inc., an organization established for the sole purpose of supporting the mission of advancing the principles of Christian community development and racial reconciliation throughout the world. Another presenter is Brenda Salter McNeil, president and founder of Salter McNeil and Associates, a Christian company that partners with organizations to transform them into reconciling communities. Pastor Keith Reynolds, the director of post high-ministries and spiritual formation and the director of urban discipleship at Fellowship Missionary Church in Fort Wayne, Ind., and the Rev. Joe Johns, director of missional living at Fellowship Missionary Church, also will share their vision and insight.


Pastor Keith Reynolds
One of the conference highlights will be a concert by contemporary Christian music phenomenon Ayiesha Woods at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 15. This 26-year-old New York-born artist won the 2004 Producer of the Year Award at The Caribbean Gospel Music Awards (also known as The Marlin Awards). She also was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2006 for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album. Woods gained national recognition with her debut album “Introducing Ayiesha Woods” by Gotee Records and has recently released her sophomore album, “Love Like This.”


The Rev. Joe Johns
The conference’s research will expand the pool of existing knowledge on the subject, and the event’s Web site, www.huntington.edu/cccda, will post conference materials and research. In particular, the Conference on Christianity, Culture and Diversity in America will provide a forum for faculty, administrators and students from CCCU schools and Christian educators at private and public universities to share research and network among each other.

The pre-conference events will begin Nov. 13 with an on-campus student event. Student events will continue Nov. 14 with a convocation speaker and special sessions planned for Huntington students. The main conference will begin the evening of Nov. 14 with registration followed by dinner and a plenary speaker. Nov. 15 will begin with breakfast, followed by a plenary session and breakout sessions before and after a buffet lunch. The day will conclude with dinner and entertainment. The conference will close Nov. 16, following worship and brunch.

To register for the conference or view the complete schedule, log on to www.huntington.edu/cccda. The cost for registration before Sept. 30 is $190 for non-students and $110 for students. Conference fees include all main conference sessions, plenary speakers, meals listed in the main conference schedule, conference materials and snacks. For further details, contact conference chair Susie Burson, Huntington University assistant professor of education, at (260) 359-4150.

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Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).  
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Heather Barkley
Director of Communications
260.359.4129
Joanne Green
Sports Information Director
260.359.4284