Embracing diversity is essential for us to succeed as a human family. We are constantly growing more and more diverse as minorities become the majority and different cultures continue to interact with each other and blend together. When practiced effectively, diversity recognizes each other’s differences – whether it is gender, disability, sexuality, economic status, race, abilities or religious beliefs - and gives everyone an equal say without “categorizing.”

However, persons with disabilities continue to be left out of the definition of “diversity,” which often does not go beyond ethnicity or culture and fails to mention the ideas and voices of all people. Many marginalized groups are still finding themselves silenced and being defined by an “elite” few who may have brought them more into the forefront but still see themselves as having the “upper hand.”

While there have been many recent pushes for promoting diversity, how can we take this one step further to stretch to all elements of life? We must first take everyone’s ideas into account and come to see that not everyone in a particular group is homogenous, people with disabilities especially. For us to live in a truly diverse society that accepts all forms of human life, we must see people for who they are, not just WHAT they are, and redefine the idea of what it means to be “normal” or “able.” 

We are accepting proposals on the following topic areas:

  • Ways that we can all impact everyone in our present communities, taking small steps towards a more diverse human future;
  • Models for inclusion of persons with disabilities in the realm of diversity, in both the community and the workplace;
  • Best practices on how to handle discussing controversial topics in classroom settings to create a diverse learning climate;
  • Critical analysis of class, privilege and power, so that “diversity” is not defined simply on the terms of a select few or is only skin deep;
  • Initiatives, projects and best practices that a recognition of real democracy (whether it be social, economic, political, or cultural) demands the involvement of all stakeholders;
  • Analysis of how ‘privilege’ asserts itself and undermines human diversity;
  • Public and private initiatives which embrace diversity in all aspects of governance from human resources to equalizing space, opportunity and advancement for all people;
  • Radical and visionary approaches on the meaning of diversity in political, economic and social life;
  • Cutting edge perspectives on intersectionality;
  • The ways in which the intersectionality of disability, poverty and gender undermine diversity;
  • Best practices and innovative solutions in promoting diversity in the workplace;
  • The role of universal design in promoting human diversity and human difference.

If you have a proposal that may not fit in to the above targets, we will welcome them as part of our discussion. We welcome proposals in any presentation format.

Please see presentation formats on our webpage at /presenters/formats.  Please check the criteria for each format and ensure that you have the appropriate number of presenters for your chosen format. You may submit proposals online at: /submissions or send your proposals via email to prcall@hawaii.edu.

For more information about this topic area, contact the Conference Team at prcall@hawaii.eduFor general information on the conference, please contact Charmaine Crockett at cccrocke@hawaii.edu, (808) 956-7539. For registration questions please contact the registration desk at (808) 956-8816, fax (808) 956-4437 or email prreg@hawaii.edu.