Event is open to the campus and greater community; register at murraystate.edu/dei or view live stream at murraystate.edu/streaming

MURRAY, Ky. — Murray State University will host a diversity, equity and inclusion virtual symposium on Oct. 2, promoting cross-racial dialogue, education and increased awareness of issues related to race and ethnicity. Coordinated by the University’s Office of Multicultural Initiatives, Student Leadership and Inclusive Excellence, the symposium is free and open to members of the campus and broader community. 

The event will include a keynote address and state and national leaders as speakers and panelists. The event will begin that morning at 9:30 a.m. Individuals can register and receive additional information on the event at murraystate.edu/dei. The symposium will also be available by live stream at murraystate.edu/streaming.

Following opening remarks by Executive Director of the Office of Multicultural Initiatives, Student Leadership and Inclusive Excellence Dr. SG Carthell, Murray State President Dr. Bob Jackson and Murray State Board of Regents Chair Jerry Rhoads, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education President Dr. Aaron Thompson will deliver a keynote address.

Pictured is Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education President Dr. Aaron Thompson, who will deliver a keynote address at the symposium.

A passionate advocate for higher education and a first-generation college student from rural Clay County, Kentucky, Thompson has extensive leadership experience within the private and non-profit sectors and is a highly sought-after national speaker. Thompson has authored or co-authored numerous books and peer-reviewed publications on diversity, cultural competence, first-year experience programs, retention and student success, among other topics. In 2019, he was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame. 

The virtual symposium’s afternoon events will include “Grand Conversations” of distinguished alumni and others to share their wisdom and expertise on topics related to the state of diversity, equity, and inclusion, moderated by Dr. Alicia J. Carthell, assistant professor of english and philosophy. 

Individuals who are scheduled to participate include:

  • Dr. Ken Atwater – President, Hillsborough Community College* 
  • Dr. Aileen Bumphus – Assistant Professor of Practice in the Educational Leadership and Policy Department, College of Education, University of Texas at Austin*
  • Dr. Walter Bumphus – President & CEO, American Association of Community Colleges*
  • Ms. Olivia Burr – Retired Education Paducah Public School, Former Murray State University Regent*
  • Mr. Johnnie Green – Johnnie Green Foundation*
  • Dr. Kelvin King – Professor of English, Lawson State Community College
  • Chief Jeff Liles – Chief, Murray Police Department* 
  • Mr. Winfred Nunn – Retired U.S. Treasury Agent/IRS*
  • Mr. Leon Owens – President, Swift & Staley, Inc., Murray State University Regent*
  • Charlie Sanders Col. – USAR Retired, Senior Consultant, Ancilla-Inc.*
  • Dr. Donald Tharpe – Former COO Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., Murray State University Regent*
  • Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton – President Emeritus, Cuyahoga Community College, Former Murray State University Regent *

*denotes Murray State Alumni

“This is an opportunity for Murray State University and the greater Murray community to engage in result- orientated dialogue relative to diversity and inclusivity,” said Dr. SG Carthell, executive director of the Office of Multicultural Initiatives, Student Leadership and Inclusive Excellence. “We want to provide a respectful environment and inclusive culture where our students, faculty, staff and community members have the opportunity to learn and enhance their understanding of cultural competency. We are fortunate to have outstanding and accomplished alumni to engage us in this process.”

“We are very excited to launch this inaugural symposium with keynote speaker Dr. Aaron Thompson and many distinguished alumni and friends from around the country,” said Murray State President Dr. Bob Jackson. “This symposium will provide a wonderful opportunity to discuss the important topics of diversity, equity and inclusion and feature ‘Grand Conversations’ on race and ethnicity.” 

Individuals with questions may contact Dr. SG Carthell at scarthell@murraystate.edu or by phone at 270-809-6836. The symposium’s events and speakers are subject to change. 

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