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February 21, 2014
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU hosts 'Diversity and Inclusion Series'

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - William Sturkey, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina and a historian of modern American, African American and Southern History, will be the keynote speaker when Slippery Rock University hosts its fifth annual Diversity and Inclusion Series March 3-6.

Other key speakers will be:

•Lynda McKinley Lambert, a 1989 SRU fine and performing arts graduate and a 1994 master's degree in English graduate, now with a studio in Wurtemburg, who will deliver a "Vision and Revision: Creating Art with Limited Sight, Not Limited Vision" address at 11 a.m., March 4, and

•Jim Ott, of ah! Consulting, who will deliver a "Bridges Out of Poverty Certification" workshop at 7:30 a.m., March 6.

All sessions are in the Smith Student Center Ballroom.

The President's Commission on Disability, the President Commission on Women, the President's Commission on Sustainability, the President's Commission on Wellness, the President's Commission on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation, the President Commission on Race and Ethnicity and the President's Commission on Diversity and Inclusion, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Office are sponsoring the series.

Sturkey earned his bachelor of arts degree and his doctorate at The Ohio State University, and his master's degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

STURKEYHis noon, March 3, SRU address is titled "Killing Jim Crow: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Struggle to End Racial Segregation in Dixie."

Sturkey's academic interests include Southern History with a particular research focus on race in the American South, working-class African- American communities and the Civil Rights Movement.

His first book, scheduled for March publication, is an edited collection of the newspapers, essays and poems produced by young black Freedom School students during the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer. His second book, in progress, examines the impact of modernization on Southern Jim Crow and explores the organic origins of the Civil Rights Movement.

Sturkey is also working to examine working-class African- American life in Pittsburgh, in the decades before World War II.

LAMBERTWhile at the University of North Carolina, he presented "Handmade for Self-Help: Clothing Manufacture and the Poor People's Corporation in the Fight for Black Women's Political Rights, 1965-1974."

Sturkey will also present "The Freedom News: The 1964 Freedom Newspapers and the Power of Expressive Resistance in the Classroom" workshop at 1 p.m., March 3, as part of his campus visit.

Lambert's "Vision and Revision" address will explain her journey and transition from working visually to learning how to create art with the use of technology and "touch." She will also offer a presentation on art created after loosing her sight at 12:30 p.m., March 4, as part of her "Myths of Blindness and Next Steps to Recovery: The Rehabilitation Process" workshop.

OTTIn addition to her SRU degrees, Lambert earned a master of fine arts at West Virginia University.

She now serves as a fulltime studio artist and author, and had previously served as an associate professor of fine arts and humanities from 1996 until retiring in 2008. She had also served as executive director of the Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts in New Castle, and as a grants specialist with Mission College, Santa Clara, Calif.

Her works have been exhibited at the Merrick Art Gallery, New Brighton; as part of the Art in Embassies program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Ambassador's Residence, in Papau, New Guinea; "The Trunk Show" that traveled to six locations in Ohio, West Virginia, New York and Pennsylvania; the Trumbull Art Gallery in Warren, Ohio; the Ashtabula Art Center in Ashtabula, Ohio; Calvary Methodist Church in Harrisburg; and a host of other locations.

She is the recipient of the Beaver Valley International Exhibition award; the Jill Snyder Exhibition Award: AAP 90th Exhibition award from the Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh; the Duane Michaels' Exhibition Award; the "Woman of Distinction Award" presented by the Beaver Castle Girl Scouts; and the Aliquippa Memory Quilt award from Aliquippa Embraces the Arts Grant.

Ott, has been a school psychologist with the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency out of Bettendorf, Iowa, since 1984. He has served a variety of schools in rural Jackson County. He is also co-founder of the City of Dubuque's Circles Initiative, which is applying Bridges Out of Poverty Concepts at the community level through workshops, trainings and Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin'-By World groups.

He has been a national consultant with aha! Process since 2010.

He received his bachelors, masters and specialist degrees from Central Michigan University.

Ott said, "My first aha! moment in a series of many came during my first Framework Train the Trainers in Las Vegas in 2006. I knew the power of relationship in my work but had never thought of it being applied in the context of economic class. Having my eyes opened by Ruby and her team gave me new enthusiasm for building successful relationships with students and their families in my schools. I quickly saw the application at the community level and became something of a 'Bridges Out of Poverty evangelist' in my hometown of Dubuque. It has been a great joy to see lives changed in the schools I serve and the community where I live."

His 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. workshop will offer a comprehensive approach to understanding the dynamics that cause and maintain poverty from the individual to the systematic level. Pre-registration is required for the 200 available seats. Pre0register by calling Alice Del Vecchio, assistant professor of professional studies and interdisciplinary programs, at 724.738.2414.

"We have tapped a number of outstanding speakers, including many faculty and students from campus, for this year's program. They will address a wide variety of issues ranging from wellness in the workplace to promoting cultural awareness, civic rights personal experiences and how the civic rights movement impacted student voices," said Erin Strain, director of SRU's Leadership Development Program who has stepped in as program organizer following the departure of previous chair Jessamine Montero-Michaels.

The three-day conference, which marks the 50th year since passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, will offer more than two dozen plenary sessions, including a 6 p.m., March 4 showing of the film "Transamerica," followed by a panel discussion.

The overall program is designed to educate SRU's community of students, staff, faculty and alumni about the importance of diversity and inclusion for all segments of the population.

The complete Diversity and Inclusion Series speaker's schedule is available at:

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.