NIU to host ‘Unity Conference & Celebration’

NIU Unity Conference & Celebration The NIU Unity Conference and Celebration, a campus-wide collaboration scheduled in late September, will celebrate the university’s unity and diversity and feature Freireian-inspired social justice work.

Coordinators are Molly Swick, instructor in both the Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations (LEPF) and the Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education, and Adam Lopez, NIU graduate student in history and member of the Latino Student Alliance.

The Unity Celebration, planned Friday, Sept. 27, will take place in the MLK Commons and will showcase NIU’s diverse campus through a day of expression and consciousness in the form of music, artwork, poetry, dance, culture and informative posters.

The Unity Conference, slated for Saturday, Sept. 28, will take place in the Holmes Student Center.

Antonia Darder
Antonia Darder

Keynote speaker is Antonia Darder, Leavey Presidential Chair of Ethics and Moral Leadership at Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles) and professor emerita of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois at  Urbana-Champaign. Her address is titled “Critical Leadership for Social Justice and Community Empowerment: A Tribute to Paulo Freire.”

In addition to delivering the keynote address, Darder will facilitate a dialogue at a graduate school colloquium from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, in Gabel Hall 146. The colloquium, sponsored by LEPF, is titled “A Dialogue on Paulo Freire’s Critical Pedagogy.”

DeKalb Mayor John Rey will address participants Friday. LaVonne Neal, dean of the NIU College of Education,will deliver welcoming remarks Saturday.

The conference is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Registration is available online.

For more information, contact Swick at (815) 753-9326 or mswick@niu.edu or Lopez at alopez4@niu.edu.

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