Past Events – The Greater La Crosse Area Diversity Council Tue, 08 May 2018 21:36:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 34645140 GLADC Lunch and Learn Program: Intercultural Communication in the Workplace Tue, 19 Dec 2017 14:28:42 +0000 We live in times that are changing rapidly. This rate of change, and the fact that La Crosse is home to many diverse people, creates the imperative for intercultural competencies in the workplace. Join us for a presentation on intercultural communication by Ayesha Patniak, of the UWL Communication Studies Department.

The presentation will explore questions such as:

  • What is culture?
  • What intercultural communication experiences have we had – both online and face-to-face?
  • How have we responded… with amusement, curiosity, interest, hostility, anger fear?

Ms. Patniak will help us understand how we often use our own cultural frameworks to make sense of the world, and how these assumptions can lead to misunderstanding.

The study of Intercultural communication is both an art and a science. We can develop greater intercultural competencies by becoming self-aware, sensitive and flexible to change. This heightened sensibility is critical in reducing conflict, fostering a more positive workplace environment, and leading ultimately to higher employee productivity, satisfaction and retention.

About Ayesha

Ayesha Patniak

Ayesha Patniak teaches in the Communication Studies department at UW-L. A native of India, she has lived in the United States for the past 25 years. She did my Masters in CommunicationArts from the University of Cincinnati, and has taught at UW-L since 1999. Ayesha’s passion is international education; she has taken students to India and Ireland on study abroad trips and is currently planning a faculty led trip to India in 2019. Ayesha says, “As a transplant, with one foot in each culture, I remain in love with my country of adoption, but yearn and return frequently to my country of origin.”

Register Now!

GLADC Annual Conference: Pro-Active Strategies for Inclusion in Today’s Workplace and Community Thu, 21 Sep 2017 21:20:36 +0000 Join us to learn from a broad array of expert speakers who will share best practices for: addressing hate and bias incidents, learning to be positive and proactive mentors and allies, developing and supporting inclusive leadership, and creating an LGBTQA-Friendly workplace.

GLADC members receive a discounted registration fee.
Discounted registration fees are also available for students.

Register Here

Conference Schedule:

8:00-8:15            Welcome & Refreshments
Combatting Hate/Bias in the Workplace
Amanda Florence Goodenough, UW-La Crosse
No place is immune from hate, bias and everyday bigotry. Is your workplace ready to respond? What proactive measures can organizations take? How do we foster a workplace culture that resists bias and embraces inclusion? With these questions as the backdrop, this presentation will cover the basics of hate/bias response in the workplace, including:
•     Defining and identifying hate/bias;
•     Understanding the impact of hate/bias and the importance of addressing it;
•     Grappling with the complexities and current issues surrounding hate/bias, and ultimately, exploring ideas for addressing bigotry and supporting those affected by it.
9:45-10:00          Break
Life’s Lessons on Mentorship, Inclusion & Diversity
 Jennifer Ingram, Mayo Clinic, Rochester
An interactive session designed to redefine diversity and expand understanding of inclusion, highlighting strategies and significance of mentorship within both the workplace and community. This session is intended to offer reflective awareness and actionable steps to aid in inclusive leadership capacity building.
11:15-11:30        GLADC Updates
11:30-Noon        Lunch
Inclusive Leadership Panel
Moderated by Thomas Harris
Vince Hamilton, Ho-Chunk Nation
Sandy Littlejohn, Gundersen Health System
Tony Yang, School District of La Crosse
Panelists with strong inclusive leadership skills and experience will address questions about what inclusive leadership means to them and what kinds of leadership strategies it takes to move diversity and inclusion efforts forward in an organization while creating an inclusive environment.
Creating an LGBTQ+ Inclusive Workplace
Will Van Roosenbeek, UW-La Crosse
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and other people who fall under identities of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression deserve to be free from discrimination, bullying, and/or microaggressions. How do we make the workplace more inclusive for everyone? What things can you do to create change? This presentation will share tools to change your workplace.
1:30-2:00            Next Steps and Evaluations
Being a Female Hmong Professional Fri, 03 Mar 2017 23:10:39 +0000 There is an increasing number of Hmong women completing their degrees every year in the United States. For a Hmong woman, finding balance between career, community, culture, and family can be challenging. In this presentation, Maysee shares personal stories and reflections of how she has been challenged by social and cultural expectations, and how she has learned to overcome them. Maysee opens up about conflicts she’s encountered both within and outside the Hmong community and explains how she has negotiated and navigated these situations while retaining her own dignity, as well as that of the Hmong community. She also presents the advantages and struggles of being one of still only a few Hmong individuals in academia.

Presented by: Maysee Yang Herr, Associate Professor of Education, UW-Stevens Point

This presentation is co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Humanities Council through its Shop Talk program.

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Language Access: What do Employers, Community Members, and Service Providers Need to Know? Thu, 02 Mar 2017 23:16:17 +0000 Providing language access to people whose first language is not English is a growing community need. It’s also a federal requirement under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Failing to provide quality interpreting services can drastically affect the outcome of care and services, as well as cause grave problems for the professionals who need to understand limited English proficient individuals. This presentation will offer tools and community resources to improve effectiveness for clients, customers, patients, and employees, with the aim of implementing better language access in La Crosse and surrounding areas. Such practice is a means of social justice as well as a concrete way to promote community empowerment, equity, and diversity in a variety of organizational settings.

Presented by: Michelle Pinzl, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Community Interpreting Certificate at Viterbo University, and Certified Healthcare Interpreter.

Register Now


Annual Half-Day Conference Wed, 01 Mar 2017 23:18:11 +0000 Mark your calendars for our much-anticipated annual half-day conference, to be held this year on November 2. More details coming soon.

Lunch and Learn: Sexual Orientations and Gender Identities in the Workplace: Being an Educated Employer Fri, 17 Feb 2017 15:48:41 +0000 fullsizeoutput_187bWhere do employers go to keep up on the ever-changing world of sexual orientations, gender identities/expressions, and intersecting identities?  Come learn from Will Van Roosenbeek, Director of the Pride Center at UW-La Crosse, in a session focusing on identities, terminology, and discuss how to create work environments that are welcoming to all.

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender people have always been in the workplace.  Many of these people, in the past, did not talk about their personal lives, and when they did they were careful what pronouns they used to keep their relationships silent. With more LGBTQ+ people speaking their truths about their lives, there are greater opportunities for people with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities/expressions to be themselves in the workplace.  Employers that welcome people with a diverse range of gender identities/expressions and sexual orientations, who educate themselves and their staff, can better attract and retain talent.  Those places of employment will create inclusive environments, will be more productive, and will attract people who are looking for diverse businesses.  Learn how your workplace can be part of this positive trend.

Click here to register.

Employees of member organizations of the Greater La Crosse Area Diversity Council receive discounted registration fees.

“Building Bridges:  Workplace and Community” Mon, 29 Aug 2016 14:37:02 +0000 How can we make the La Crosse Area a great place to work and live for people of all backgrounds and identities? Join us at our annual conference as we hear about promising practices on diversity, inclusion and equity from local employers. The City of La Crosse Human Rights commission will share its purpose and its recent activities aimed at listening and learning from diverse populations in the community, and conference participants will have opportunities for sharing ideas and build connections.

Featured presenters include: Gundersen Health System, La Crosse Area Social Security Administration, La Crosse County, Mayo Clinic-Franciscan Healthcare, UW-La Crosse, the La Crosse Human Rights Commission.

Registration is $85 for non-members, $65 for members, and $25 for students. Click here to register.

If you need accommodations (e.g., communication access, alternate formats) to participate fully in this event, please contact Kathy Thoen: *protected email*.

La Crosse Bridge by Riverside Park

Immigrants, Immigration and the Workplace Mon, 01 Aug 2016 17:41:41 +0000 Registration is now open!

Katie Rubin

Come learn from Katie Rubin, Board of Immigration Appeals Immigration Case Manager, about the U.S. the immigration system and common myths concerning immigration.  Ms. Rubin’s overview will include local immigration issues, cultural sensitivity and community collaboration, the current refugee crisis, current immigration issues and human trafficking.  She will connect this social and legal situation to key issues and opportunities for employers. Diversity Council members receive a discounted registration fee.

Informal Lunch and Learn Opportunities This Summer Wed, 01 Jun 2016 17:44:30 +0000 Are you an advocate for diversity and inclusion in your workplace?  Join the Diversity Council for one of two small, informal lunches, July 14 or August 11, to exchange ideas about best practices and connect with others who share your commitment to a more inclusive workplace, while learning from two area diversity and inclusivity leaders.

Nizam Arain, Director of Affirmative Action at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Ricardo Acevedo, District Manager of the Social Security Administration, will informally share their expertise at both events.

Arain Nizam Ricardo Acevedo

Both events will be held at Three Rivers Lodge (inside the Radisson Hotel La Crosse) between 11:30 and 1:00.  Registration is required in order to keep the number of participants small. Participants pay for their own lunches. Follow the registration links for the above dates to reserve your spot.

Questions:  Contact Jodi Vandenberg-Daves at *protected email*.

Religious Diversity in the Workplace Fri, 01 Apr 2016 17:48:42 +0000 When: Thursday, May 26, 2016

Where: La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce

Lyle & Norma Anderson Education Center Room

601 7th St N

La Crosse, WI 54601

Time: 11:30am – 1pm

Many people in the Greater La Crosse Area practice religious faiths other than Christianity.  Come learn about how to make your workplace welcoming and accommodating to the needs of diverse religious groups.

 Dr. Ahmed El-Afandi and Rabbi Simcha Prombaum will speak from Muslim and Jewish perspectives about how stereotypes can negatively impact religious minority employees, employee concerns about whether to disclose their faith in the workplace, and how assumptions about holidays and other workplace norms can be reconsidered to be more welcoming to a variety of religions.


Registration for the March Lunch and Learn is $15 for members and students and $25 for non-members. Lunch is included in registration fee. Register here.

**If you have need for any accommodations, including dietary restrictions, please contact Morgan Kolinski at *protected email*!