Friday, April 13, 2018

[362] MTSU welcomes ‘all identities’ to LGBT+ College Conference April 5-7

MURFREESBORO — Creating greater interaction and understanding among a diverse range of people is the mission of the 2018 LGBT+ College Conference at MTSU.

“All Identities—Bridging the Divide” is the theme of the gathering, which is slated for April 5-7 in the James Union Building, Keathley University Center and the College of Education building. The conference is free, but registration is encouraged at help with planning.

A printable campus parking map is available at visitors attending the daytime events should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at

“Within the LGBT+ community, there are a lot of divisions where people aren’t sure why other people belong in the movement or haven’t taken the time to learn about each other,” said William Langston, conference organizer and psychology professor.

“No one group of people is large enough by itself to advocate for their rights and inclusion. If we work together, we’re more likely to be successful.”

Registration begins at 9 a.m. Thursday, April 5, in the JUB lobby. Thursday’s events focus on research and examination. Intersections of identity with the broader community will be explored on Friday. Saturday is set aside for working and learning sessions.

The opening panel discussion will be “Exploring Diversity and Inclusion in the Tech Industry: Bridging the Workforce Divide” beginning at 9 a.m. Friday, April 6, in the JUB’s Tennessee Room. Technology industry representatives will talk about how job applicants can make sure a tech firm has an inclusive culture that promotes fairness.

With an emphasis on the transition from the classroom to the workplace, this year’s “Bringing Your Whole Self to Work” panel will engage in a discussion of how people of all identities can integrate various business climates. It is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Friday in the Tennessee Room.

“It’s not enough to know how to merge into a corporate culture,” Langston said. “If you want to be in a nonprofit or own your own company, you have to interface with your customers. How do people navigate their identity in that situation?”

The Student/Corporate/Workplace Issues Summit will bring students and the business community together to discuss job interviews and building an inclusive student organization or employee resource group. The session is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 7, in Room 149 of the College of Education Building. 

Beverly Watts, executive director of the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, will deliver the keynote address at the conference awards dinner, which will start at 7 p.m. Saturday in the JUB’s Tennessee Room. 

Watts, a Nashville native, has more than 30 years of experience in civil rights enforcement and education in the public and private sectors. Her career honors include the city of Louisville’s Martin Luther King Award and induction into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame, both in 2005.

The College of Behavioral and Health Sciences houses the conference in partnership with the MT Lambda student organization. Sponsors include Nissan; Deloitte; the law firm of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis; SunTrust Bank; Hilton Garden Inn; Dell Technologies; Dollar General; Focus Middle Tennessee; and the Tennessee Human Rights Commission. 

MTSU sponsors include the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance; the College of Basic and Applied Sciences; the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences; the Distinguished Lecturers Fund; the Student Activity Fee Committee; the Vice President’s Office for Student Affairs; and the departments of Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology, Philosophy and Religious Studies and Social Work.

For more information, contact Langston at 615-898-5489 or william.langston@mtsu.eduor go to

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