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Joan Pong Linton
ARC 2010!

George Vlahakis
University Communications

Last modified: Monday, February 28, 2011

'Who Am I-U? An Inclusive Conference on Identities' begins Thursday at IU Bloomington

Feb. 28, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- After a successful campus-wide diversity series last year, a campus coalition at Indiana University Bloomington has organized a two-day conference Thursday and Friday (March 3-4), "Who Am I-U? An Inclusive Conference on Identities."

Organized by ARC 2010!, which represents Attention, Reflection, Connection: Steps toward an Inclusive Campus (the date marks their inaugural year), the event is free and open to anyone from the campus or community. To register, go to Registered participants will receive a ticket to the conference celebration that begins at 10 p.m. on Friday.

Joan Pong Linton

Joan Pong Linton

Print-Quality Photo

The conference will take place at the Indiana Memorial Union, the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center and the Collins Living-Learning Center. IU Dean of Students Harold "Pete" Goldsmith, IU Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs Tom Gieryn, and Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan will deliver remarks to help kick off the conference at 10 a.m. on Thursday in the Whittenberger Auditorium of the IMU, 900 E. Seventh St.

The keynote speaker will be Terrel J. Starr, an African American freelance writer from Detroit, Mich., who has been living in Ukraine as a Fulbright Scholar. He holds master's degrees in Russian, East European and Eurasian studies and in news-editorial journalism from the University of Illinois and has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark. His blog can be found at

With a lineup of interactive events, poster sessions, research panels, artwork displays, multi-media presentations, performances and roundtable forums, the conference will highlight the plurality of identities that individuals experience and enact in everyday life, according to Joan Pong Linton, an associate professor of English in the College of Arts and Sciences and an organizer of the initiative.

"A commitment to building a culturally literate and culturally diverse campus is fundamental to the nature of Indiana University and its educational mission," said IU Provost and Executive Vice President Karen Hanson. "As part of that commitment we recruit students and faculty from diverse cultural backgrounds, we strive to ensure that cultural diversity is well-represented in the curriculum, and we create opportunities for members of our community who come from diverse backgrounds to interact with one another in educationally purposeful ways."

Identities are based on gender, ethnicity, occupation, religion, sexualities, abilities, age and socioeconomic status, and lived understanding of identity provides a basis for conversation across cultural or institutional lines, Linton said, with the shared goal of co-producing a culturally literate and inclusive community on campus.

Following introductory remarks by Gieryn, Goldsmith and Kruzan, the conference will continue with several presentations at all three locations until 6 p.m. Thursday. The program will continue from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday at the Neal-Marshall Center and the IMU.

Funding for the initiative comes from Residential Programs and Services, the Residence Halls Association, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of English and its Creative Writing Program, the Russian and East European Institute, the School of Education, the Office of the Dean of Students, the Office of Diversity Education, the Collins Living Learning Center, the Department of Ethnomusiololgy, Office of the Dean of Students, Latino Studies and and the IU Alumni Association.

For more information on the initiative and listings of workshops and additional events, see ARC 2010! Web site,